These five reasons fans are why hyped for Taylor Swift’s album of old country-pop songs.
Taylor Swift has been on a roll lately.
In the span of just one year and four months, the talented singer-songwriter released three well-received albums: Lover, folklore (which won “Album of the Year” at the Grammys) and evermore.
But as a long-time fan of Taylor Swift, none of those albums got me as excited as I am for Fearless (Taylor’s Version) – an album where she re-records the exact same songs from her 2008 album Fearless.
Here are five reasons why Taylor’s fans – known as Swifties – are hyped for an album of 13-year-old songs.
When Taylor left her previous label Big Machine Records, she tried to acquire her previous six albums, which are reportedly worth US$140 million (S$188.6 million).
She was told that, if she wanted to own her music, she had to re-sign her contract with Big Machine Records and “earn” one album back at a time. She would only get to own her masters after releasing another six albums with the label.
In Jul 2019, Taylor wrote: “I walked away because I knew once I signed that contract, Scott Borchetta would sell the label, thereby selling me and my future.”
To get a chance to own her music, which she had mostly written and produced by herself, she decided to re-record her entire discography.
However, record executive Scooter Braun bought all her masters and prohibited her from playing or performing her old songs until they had been re-recorded.
This prompted another Tumblr post, titled “Don’t know what else to do”, where Taylor wrote: “I just want to be able to perform MY OWN music. That’s it.”
After a long and challenging battle with her old record label, Taylor is finally able to re-record and own her songs.
Before, fans felt guilty listening to Taylor’s music, as Scooter Braun would profit from it. Now, they can stream her re-recorded music with the assurance that they are listening to something Taylor herself owns the rights to.
On Feb 12, Taylor released the song Love Story (Taylor’s Version).
A fan favourite from the 2008 album, the re-recorded single garnered 5.8 million streams in the United States on its first day of release.
Fans were quick to point out that the song’s new music production was richer and fuller than its original version, and that Taylor’s voice sounded deeper and more mature.
The single is just a taste of what fans can expect in the other songs in Fearless (Taylor’s Version), making fans excited to listen to their old favourites with a more elaborate music production.
While Love Story (Taylor’s Version) featured an updated music production, fans still found the song nostalgically familiar as it was played by the exact same band as before.
In Taylor’s older albums, she would capitalise seemingly random words to spell out “secret messages”. When announcing the release of Fearless (Taylor’s Version), Taylor also capitalised some words that spelled out “APRIL NINTH”, the date the album would be released.
Instead of releasing her re-recorded albums in chronological order, Taylor started with her second album, Fearless.
In an interview with Republic Records, she said: “Deciding on what album to re-record first was pretty easy for me. I always gravitated towards Fearless because I think that, as an album, it was a real coming-of-age.
“It was an album about hope, and lessons learned, and the effervescence of teenage youth. What more fun than to go back and explore that?”
The country-pop album was the best-selling album of 2009, and received a total of nine awards – including two Grammy awards – so it comes as no surprise that thousands of fans are looking forward to her re-recorded version.
Fearless (Taylor’s Version) is not just an album of re-recorded songs. Taylor Swift is also releasing new songs, never-before-heard tracks that didn’t make it into the original Fearless album.
She wrote: “I’ve decided I want you to have the whole story, see the entire vivid picture, and let you into the dreamscape that is my Fearless album. Written when I was between the ages of 16 and 18, these were the ones it killed me to leave behind.”
Re-recording an album can be an expensive and risky endeavour, but if anyone can pull it off, it’s Taylor Swift.
As someone who has been religiously listening to her music for 14 years, I will definitely be anticipating the release of Fearless (Taylor’s Version), as well as the re-recordings of her remaining five albums.
I can’t wait to see what else she may surprise us with.
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