• Record Label: Republic
  • Release Date: Apr 9, 2021
Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 17 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
Buy On
  1. Apr 9, 2021
    100
    She has launched the re-recorded Fearless (Taylor’s Version), adding a mellifluous upgrade to an already remarkable album. Sure, it works as a throwback, but it’s mainly a showcase of Swift’s mature, confident vocals, with a sharper sense of musicianship and instrumentation this time around.
  2. 100
    Freed from the constrictions of slavish imitation, with production from her new and more experimentally inclined collaborators, Aaron Dessner and Jack Antonoff, these six songs offer an intriguing lens through which to view this more innocent version of the savvy star, imbued with the dreamily nostalgic ambience of an adult remembering her bright-eyed youth.
  3. Apr 9, 2021
    92
    The new album just sounds like a terrific remastering of the old — the same notes, and you’d swear the same performances, but sounding brighter and punchier just on a surface level. But on a more philosophical one, it’s not just a case of Swift playing with her back catalog like Andy Warhol played with his soup can. It’s really a triumph of self-knowledge and self-awareness.
  4. Apr 20, 2021
    83
    Fearless (Taylor’s Version) states boldly, simply and perhaps, generously, that this is a story still worth telling – and a fight worth fighting.
  5. Apr 12, 2021
    80
    She parcels out her tones more cannily now, an anachronism that is no criticism. But spending time with all this juvenilia only points up the quality of Swift’s songwriting. Fearless (Taylor’s Version) is both an art project executed serendipitously and a strategic move the industry will be poring over for some time.
  6. Apr 12, 2021
    80
    Fearless (Taylor's Version) introduces her younger audience to an iconic set of songs and feels like pure nostalgia for her older audience. This re-release signifies the beginning of Swift doing things her way, taking full control of her music and sharing it with fans who are eager to listen.
  7. Apr 9, 2021
    80
    The new versions somehow sound less slick than the original. Her voice feels lower in the mix this time around, but for the most part she’s gone to extreme lengths to mimic the polished Nashville textures and soundscapes of the first Fearless. ... The final half-dozen originals — all previously unreleased — are revelatory glimpses into Swift’s working process.
  8. Apr 9, 2021
    80
    While Fearless (Taylor’s Version) isn’t quite the essential listen that a brand-new record typically would be, it’s certainly a compelling revisitation, executed with the same rigor and attention given to all of Swift’s projects.
  9. 80
    Being given the chance to reappraise the original tracklist is a joy, too. As part of this new release, it’s a tremendous pleasure to re-hear the artistry in “White Horse”, the restraint and delicate pull of “Change”, and the heartbursting strength of power ballad “You’re Not Sorry”. ... The only downside to this new edition is that it will be virtually identical to the original to casual listeners.
  10. Apr 9, 2021
    80
    All the changes made to beloved tracks like ‘You Belong With Me’ and ‘Love Story’, simply make them shinier. Throughout the whole album, banjos are crisper, guitars are fuller, drums are heavier, and Taylor’s strong 31-year-old voice leads the music. Clearly taking care to not step over her 19-year-old self, all the changes feel totally natural, like they should’ve been that way to start with.
  11. 80
    This is the perfect moment for Fearless (Taylor’s Version): there’s no time like a pandemic to be given a dose of nostalgia, and it’s nice to have a refresher of some of the best pop songs committed to record. Even the six “from the vault” tracks that didn’t make the cut first time round feel oddly comforting.
  12. Production here is crisper and warmer than that of the original, and Swift’s vocals are, understandably, more mature.
  13. Apr 9, 2021
    80
    It is tempting to suggest that the lyrics on Fearless might take on a different hue sung by a woman now in her 30s, but the new recordings militate against it. Backed by her touring band, her voice sounding essentially the same as it did in 2008, Swift has resisted any temptation to alter the songs’ pop-country arrangements or lyrics, even when the latter could have used a nip and tuck.
  14. Apr 20, 2021
    75
    Most obviously changed is her voice, which has strengthened and deepened over the years. Her choruses are a bit less breathy, and she glides into belting without sounding strained. There are micro-changes in inflection.
  15. Apr 15, 2021
    60
    Swift largely re-creates the arrangements and feel of the original 2008 album, yet her voice and phrasing has aged, giving the music a hint of bittersweet gravity. That said, it's only a hint; Fearless (Taylor's Version) serves the purpose of offering new versions that could be substituted for the originals for licensing purposes. It's to Swift's credit that the album is an absorbing (if long) listen anyway.
  16. Apr 13, 2021
    60
    While Swift did an admirable job of re-recording Fearless, tweaking the production in subtle ways that give the album a slightly different texture (note how much more prominently the banjo figures in the mix of “Love Story”), the songs themselves are largely unchanged. ... The album’s bonus tracks—all written during the original Fearless sessions—don’t move the needle much in terms of the project’s overall quality. They all showcase Swift’s preternatural gifts for song structure and melody, but again, the lyrics are a mixed bag
  17. 60
    The most significant change is in Swift’s singing voice, a once-brittle instrument that of course has gotten deeper, huskier and more flexible since the late ’00s. But she only really takes advantage of that shift a couple of times. ... As for the lightweight bonus material, which she cut in the studio with her “Folklore” and “Evermore” collaborators Aaron Dessner and Jack Antonoff, none of it argues that it deserved a place on “Fearless,” though “Mr. Perfectly Fine” comes close.
User Score
9.5

Universal acclaim- based on 2045 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Apr 9, 2021
    10
    Amazing album. I'm in love with her voice. Good job, Taylor! I'm even more hyped for next projects.
  2. Apr 9, 2021
    10
    its beautiful, nostalgic and so soft...its definitely my comfort album and the serotonin I get when I listened to the rerecordings and theits beautiful, nostalgic and so soft...its definitely my comfort album and the serotonin I get when I listened to the rerecordings and the vault songs was just insane...gorgeous album. Taylor took a very brave step to rerecord her albums and I'm glad she's fighting for what's hers. Full Review »
  3. Apr 9, 2021
    10
    AMAZING!! this has brought me back to a much happier time when I was a little girl singing these songs at the top of my lungs