Dissecting “Taylor’s Version”


Caitlin Maughan, Opinion Editor

“I just think that artists deserve to own their work, I just feel very passionately about that.”


This Taylor Swift quote is the premise of her new album, “Taylor’s Version.” When Swifties, Swift’s fans, discovered the news that Swift was rerecording her old music, many questions arose but the most prevalent was how it would differ from her original album? 


“Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” was the first re-recorded album released on April 9, 2021. The album includes all of her songs from the original and platinum edition of “Fearless,” six previously unreleased tracks from the vault (songs that didn’t make it into the original album) and a bonus song.  


“My favorite song of hers is ‘You Belong With Me (Taylors Version),’” junior Trisha Gillen said. 


When listening for the first time, Swifties could not help but discern that the new album is almost exactly the same as the original. Swift uses the same keys, the same tempos, the same instruments — a country string band with pop-rock reinforcements — playing identical licks. Swift also replicates numerous of the vocal deliveries she employed in 2008 and approximately duplicates her initial album’s breathless phrasing and intentional dabs of vibrato or grain. 


One of the most notable contrasts between the original album and the rerecording is Swift’s voice which has changed immensely over the years. She is far more controlled. 


“I noticed that the original ‘Fearless,’ Taylor had less of a mature voice,” sophomore Jessica Glander said. “Her voice sounds more professional in ‘Taylor’s Version’ than the original.” 


Yet, other discrepancies between the albums are minuscule. For instance, there is more space in the mixes, the lack of an organ note 10 seconds into “Fearless,” the absence of fiddle echo in the opening to “Tell Me Why” and other alterations like those which are almost imperceivable. Fans who have been singing along to the original “Fearless” album since 2008 won’t have to adjust at all for “Taylor’s Version” as it’s practically a clone.


However, the similarity and consistency between the albums provide fans with much-needed nostalgia. Not to mention, Swift’s lyrics withstand the test of time; the re-recordings are a reminder of how far she has come and how much she has grown since her first album.


“Her songs sound almost the exact same, but this time it feels like she is trying to send a message,” Gillen said. “It’s like she is taking a stance.”


Taylor Swift’s “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” is a powerful reclaim of her art and sentimental experience for all of her loyal fans. Swift stays true to her original composition while enhancing it with her improved and matured vocals. It truly is a masterpiece.