Swift’s ‘Fearless’ remains a nostalgic classic

Swift's 'Fearless' remains a nostalgic classic

Ali Smith, Roundtable Editor

For this week’s review, I wanted to take a step back and reminisce on an album from my childhood that the majority of today’s college students have some sort of relationship with – especially the women.   

“Fearless” by Taylor Swift was released in 2008 when I was 7. This was arguably the first album that introduced me to the concept of love and heartbreak. The album went on to win Grammy awards for Album of the Year and Best Country Album in 2010.  

On this album, there is not one song that I find invaluable, which is rare for even the most famous of albums. 

The album opens up with the song, “Fearless,” which has a country twang yet a romantic pop feel. The climax of the song, “capture it, remember it,” is a line that always floods me back to 2010 when the “Journey to Fearless” series was released, and this was the hook of the show.  

“Fifteen,” the second track, is a song that almost every young girl can relate to. It relays the message of the innocence, purity and fragility a young teenage girl faces. This is a beautiful song that helps Swift form a relationship with her young listeners and support them through their early teen years in a musical way.  

“Love Story” is a romantic song that utilizes Shakespeare’s classic Romeo and Juliet. This is doubtlessly one of Swift’s most famous songs, and for good reason. By bringing the play into the modern day and ending it in a happy rather than tragic way, she in a way rewrites it and offers an alternate ending, which I will admit I thought was the true ending until I reached ninth grade English.  

The fourth track, “Hey Stephen,” is one that I did not have much of a relationship with until recently when I rediscovered my love for the album. This is a playful and flirty song that contributes to the upbeat theme of “Fearless.” 

To undercut cheerfulness, however, the fifth song, “White Horse,” slows down the tempo, backed with only a guitar, and describes an emotional breakup. It is one of my favorites.  

After the heartbreak, Swift moves forward with jealousy in “You Belong With Me.” I have always enjoyed this song, and I remember singing along as it played on my iHome thinking, “I sound just like her!” There is a reason this is her second biggest hit, following “Shake It Off” — all of us get jealous sometimes. 

To take a break from the dancing brought on by “You Belong With Me,” “Breathe” featuring Colbie Caillat is a soothing song that is, of course, about a breakup. This time, however, it is initiated by Swift , and the long notes symbolize her letting go of her ex-lover.  

“Tell Me Why” is the eighth track and is a justification as to why Swift is no longer with this person, and she is asking why they are playing mind games with her. Although this anger-toned song is not her most popular, it is significant to the album.  

“You’re Not Sorry” is another song that contrasts with the bright majority. This is by far the most depressing song she has ever released, topping “Teardrops on My Guitar” from her first album. The line, “You don’t have to call anymore, I won’t pick up the phone,” is quite savage of her. YesTaylor! 

The most insignificant song on the album comes 10th and is titled “The Way I Loved You.” It is by no means a bad song; it just does not carry any emotional weight.  

Eleventh is “Forever & Always,” which revives the album after the previous song. This song, somehow, is about both love and breakups, two things that Swift is most infamous for. “Forever and Always,” is the most pop-like song for Swift, foreshadowing to her genre change in 2014. 

Second to last is “The Best Day,” which I can still remember dancing to under the bleachers while my brother practiced wrestling. The song revisits the concepts of innocence and purity and also emphasizes the importance of family. It is a sweet song that reminds listeners Swift is human.  

Finally comes “Change.” In this track, Swift alludes to the impermanence of our struggles, heartbreaks and hopeless situations. This is a great way to end this award-winning album: on a note of hope.  

 

ALI SMITH

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