Taylor Swift
Fearless


4.0
excellent

Review

by SowingSeason STAFF
April 10th, 2010 | 263 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A dream come true for fans of pop and country music everywhere.

What more can possibly be said about Taylor Swift" At age 21, she has essentially conquered the world of pop/country music. She has only released two full length albums, yet she is the top selling digital artist in music history. She’s won several awards, including a VMA that unexpectedly featured Kanye West and became one of the most controversial celebrity moments of 2009. She is all over magazines, television, and the movies. Bottom line: if you are looking for the top icon in mainstream music today, Taylor Swift is it.

Yet beyond all the fame and glory that has accumulated for Swift over the past few years, she has managed to maintain an “innocent girl” image. Perhaps it is just another record-selling technique…but even if that is true, it functions wonderfully with the graceful songs that she seems to so effortlessly craft. With lyrical topics that range anywhere from relationships and betrayal to personal reflections about life, it is clear that Swift is just another girl trying to make her way through the trials of young adulthood. Yes, her music is undeniably catchy and ridiculously marketable, but the simplicity and innocence of her songs is what has really launched her career to such admirable heights. With topics that anyone from age 13 to 30 can relate to, Taylor Swift writes straight from her heart and makes accessible, honest pop music that is a rarity in this day and age.

Fearless only reaffirms the positive qualities attributed to her music. The album contains songs that are just as much about your average teenage girl as they are about Swift. Tracks like “Fifteen” and “You Belong With Me” express the teenage experience with refreshing clarity. Passages such as In your life you'll do things greater than dating the boy of the football team, but I didn't know it at fifteen show a deeper side to Swift’s reflections about high school that aren’t insultingly shallow. Thoughtful descriptions and stories are abundant throughout, and they make up what may be the album’s most endearing trait. “Breathe” is another example, which also serves as the Swift’s most accomplished ballad to date with soothing vocals that almost disguise the solemn lyrics:

Never wanted this, never wanna see you hurt
Every little bump in the road I tried to swerve
But people are people
And sometimes it doesn't work out

Moments like these are what elevate Taylor Swift over your average teen pop sensation. Every note she sings and every chord she plays manages to connect with the listener on a personal level. One can almost see her lying down in the grass, letting her thoughts go from her mind to the pencil and paper or straight from her heart to her fingers as she lightly touches each string, finally finding a combination of notes that convey just the right emotion. When this type of image is conjured up in the mind of the listener, you know the music is more than skin-deep.

With that said, Fearless also has its moments of fantasy and idealism. The hugely successful single “Love Story” comes to mind, with a Romeo and Juliet storyline and an overall renaissance feel. Even though the whole idea seems a bit contrived, the song has Taylor Swift’s charm, an unspoken sense of innocence, and a very catchy chorus to help it roll on all cylinders. “White Horse” was written in the same vein, but it is more down to Earth lyrically (and can be seen as the undoing of Love Story):

I'm not a princess
This ain't a fairytale
I'm not the one you'll sweep off her feet
Lead her up the stairwell
This ain't Hollywood
This is a small town
I was a dreamer before you went and let me down
Now its too late for you and your white horse
To come around

All in all, it seems that Taylor Swift has a vivid imagination, but also knows when to bring things back into reality for the listener’s sake. After all, most people don’t want to hear an album completely riddled with fairytales and happy endings. On Fearless, there is a perfect balance between happy-go-lucky tales and straight up pop-country tunes.

Speaking of country, the overall genre of this album is debatable. Taylor Swift’s self-titled debut album was about a 50/50 split between pop and country. Fans of the twangy, outdoorsy style displayed on tracks like “Pictures to Burn” from the debut might be a little disappointed at times, as Fearless lends itself even more to the foundations of pop music. It still displays its definitive country roots (the intro to “You Belong With Me”), but these moments are few and far between while more straight-up radio tunes like “Change” and “You’re Not Sorry” are more abundant than ever. If it is any consolation, Swift’s style lends itself to pop more so than country, although a balance between the two always seem to showcase her at her best. On Fearless, Taylor Swift has found the formula to make her music accessible for fans of either genre, all the while maintaining a certain magical element that has made her into a cultural icon.

In the end, Fearless is an album that accomplishes a great deal of things both for Swift as an artist and for listeners everywhere. From a career standpoint, this is a record that could easily stand as the most successful pop/country album of all time. It has sold over 10 million copies to date, and that isn’t even counting the platinum release featuring 6 bonus tracks. From a listener’s perspective, Fearless is something that will be enjoyed by people with a wide variety of tastes. Sure, there are middle-school students who can’t get enough of her, but there are also some metalheads and rock enthusiasts who will get into this every bit as much. And thanks to the broad range of lyrical content and its overall relevance, the album will also attract listeners of all ages. However, this album has to hold even more meaning for those who supported Swift from the beginning, or who have always been fans of the genre. Simply put, Fearless is a dream come true for fans of pop and country music everywhere.



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user ratings (545)
Chart.
3.3
great
other reviews of this album
1 of
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    If you don't like it, why don't you go and write a better album?...

    Rudy K. STAFF (4)
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    indiancoffee (2.5)
    Even though she’s arguably the greatest country-pop star this side of Shania Twain, that...

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  • annibannani123 (4)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
SowingSeason
Moderator
April 11th 2010


28718 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I wanted to do something special for my 20th review...

Digging: Exit North - Book of Romance and Dust

Edwin
April 11th 2010


1399 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I went to a Taylor Swift concert a few months ago.

(A friend of mine really wanted me to go, and it was a free ticket).

Happy 20th review, I bought you a Pos.

ThePalestMexican
April 11th 2010


2816 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

members also liked

DJ Shadow-Endtroducing




Knott-
Emeritus
April 11th 2010


10204 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

album is actually fucking magical

ConsciousLife
April 11th 2010


121 Comments


The tracklist is in a different order to my copy. Great album, though - cool review aswell.

JulesWin
April 11th 2010


993 Comments


"members also liked DJ Shadow and Massive Attack"

wtf?

tiesthatbind
April 11th 2010


7441 Comments


She's got some catchy stuff. Great review, nice new avatar (The Office ftw). Pos.

ziroth
April 11th 2010


1260 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

members also liked: kayo dot - choirs of the eye is the best one

ninjuice
April 11th 2010


6760 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

ewww pop country

JWT155
April 11th 2010


14182 Comments


Too embarrassed to experiment and listen to this and have this show on my last.fm...

SowingSeason
Moderator
April 11th 2010


28718 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

yea im not sure why i changed to the office avatar...its either



1.) because jim is my favorite character

or

2.) i'm subconsciously hoping waior will bring back his pam avatar so we can flirt



but yes, album rules...i've loved it since it came out but i never thought to review it before

tiesthatbind
April 11th 2010


7441 Comments


Dude, if Waior brings back Pam, I'll switch mine to Dwight or Michael. We could get a trend started.

SowingSeason
Moderator
April 11th 2010


28718 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

i like where this is going

tiesthatbind
April 11th 2010


7441 Comments


That's what she said!

SowingSeason
Moderator
April 11th 2010


28718 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

never seen her live...i believe you, but i still want to see her anyway. i...kind of love her....

WhiteWallStargazers
April 11th 2010


2647 Comments


amazing album

Edwin
April 11th 2010


1399 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I thought she was pretty reasonable live.

Especially at the end when she was dancing around on the ground under a stream of water.

Waior
April 11th 2010


11627 Comments


sup guys

Douglas
April 11th 2010


9283 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

omg pam where luhrs?

Waior
April 11th 2010


11627 Comments


pretty stoked you remember that



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