The Agelessness of “Fearless”
I was freshly nine years old when I first heard “Love Story” by Taylor Swift. I was at a family friend’s farm, and I had just climbed onto a horse named Legs for a ride around the property. The banjo riff that would define a generation of young country music listeners echoed from a small stereo in the corner.
“We were both young when I first saw you,” I heard her sing.
The music of Taylor Swift would define a lot of moments for me in the following years. “Mean” was on repeat when I was 11. “I Knew You Were Trouble” blared from my mom’s SUV speakers when I was 13. I shook it off to “Shake It Off” all through my high school years, and I cried to “cardigan” in my darkest days of the pandemic.
I’ve always admired the ability that music possesses to define the moments in our lives. When I caught wind of Swift’s intention to re-record her back catalog after her departure with Big Machine Records, I knew I was in for a blast from – and back to – the past. First to come of these re-recordings was none other than “Fearless,” an album that so seamlessly defined my childhood and that of so many others.
“Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” is a record of its own accord. Where the vocals of a teenager fresh on the country music scene once resided, the polished trills of a master of inter-genre musical experimentation now flourish.
All I can say is thank you to Taylor Swift. Thank you for giving us the anthems to grow up with, and for growing up with us.