Last year, when Taylor Swift released her Folklore album, I wrote a post about why I didn’t want to buy and listen to the album. The post is still up (You can read it here) but if you don’t want to read it, basically I didn’t want to listen to Folklore because I’m tired of listening to Taylor’s recent albums, know that her song lyrics are about her life, and I probably will never be able to relate to them the way I used to when I listen to her first albums.
Even though I’m still put off by Taylor’s candidness in her song lyrics in recent albums, I recently decided to listen to her 2008 album Fearless. Fearless came out when I was in college and was very popular where I lived. Even though many female teenagers loved the album, many boys around my age like it as well. Since Taylor will re release her Fearless album, I wanted to re listen to the original 2008 album and review it on my blog before the new version is released.
The track list for Fearless is as follows…
You Belong With Me
Breathe (Featuring Colbie Caillat)
Tell Me Why
You’re Not Sorry
The Way I Loved You
Forever & Always
The Best Day
After listening to the album, I can honestly say I like this album way more than her recent albums. Although this album is stereotypical for a teenager (Fifteen is a reflection about teenage youth and high school) I liked this album. The lyrics are written better and the music is more catchy than in her recent albums. The music is in the style of country music in the late 2000’s and I don’t mind it one bit. Some of my favorite songs from this album are Hey Stephen, Fearless, and White Horse.
Even though I really enjoyed re listening to her album, the same problems I didn’t like when I listened to the album in 2008 still bother me in 2021. The most annoying problem with the album is Taylor’s voice. Her singing is not great. It is pitchy and, on certain parts of songs, she hits wrong notes. This is something that did not go unnoticed in 2008 because music critics back then complained about it. I don’t know why nobody pointed this out and tried to re record the music with Taylor singing on pitch. I’m aware of some of Taylor’s fans claiming that this pitchy singing is her “style” of singing, but as someone who took many music classes over the years, I can truthfully say that this pitchy singing really detracts from the album and makes it less enjoyable to listen to. If there is anything I wish Taylor will do different in her Fearless (Taylor’s Version) album, it’s to sing the songs on key and make sure absolutely nobody uses a more pitchy version of her singing on the album.
In conclusion, I liked this album. Even though the singing got on my nerves after a while, I still put up with it for the song lyrics. The upsetting part is that this album is no longer available like it once was. CDs can be found on Amazon, but it cannot be downloaded and the vinyl version is still available from sellers for a much higher price than it used to. I believe this is because Taylor wants this album to be completely removed from distribution so she can earn more money from her new 2021 version.
I’m very disappointed with Taylor because of this. I’m sure there are many of Taylor’s fans that will not agree with me (And I’m not writing this review to get into a fight with them) but I’m very upset that Taylor wants the album to just disappear in order for her to get more royalties from her new album. I thought there was more than enough interest in the 2021 version to allow for it to be a commercial and critical success without the need to take away the 2008 version. This move makes me very upset and makes me look at Taylor with a new set of eyes. I love the 2008 version. Even though I really don’t like her recent albums, I’m willing to buy the 2021 version because I liked the 2008 version so much. Yet, knowing the 2008 version is no long in distribution makes me wary of the 2021 version and makes me not want to buy the album. After all, Taylor made the 2021 Fearless album in order to keep not only more copyrights, but more royalties. And if Taylor is that passionate to keep more royalties for herself, I don’t think I would like to buy more of her music.
When Fearless was released, I liked it a lot. I hated her singing, but if someone tried to record her singing less pitchy, I’d love it more. Today, I still like it, but, because the 2008 version is no longer widely available like it once was, I cannot recommend it. I also feel conflicted about it. I liked the album, but I don’t like how Taylor is erasing of one of my favorite albums she ever released because of copyright and royalty contract issues. Also, now that she has a bad reputation for being candid about her life and her opinions about people who did her wrong in her albums, listening to this album was hard. I caught myself listening to the lyrics and wondering if this song is about someone specific and how her anger motivated her to write songs that I used to enjoy and not pay much attention to. Taylor’s actions and choices with her music and her life ruined my enjoyment of this album. It also makes me sad to know that this was one of the last albums Taylor released before she became a huge superstar and no longer wrote about normal female problems.