‘Fearless’ jumps into iTunes
Kate Froehlich, Executive Editor
November 10, 2009
Filed under Arts & Entertainment
Taylor Swift’s album “Fearless” was the first of 2009 to sell a million copies, with more than 1,608,000 copies sold to date. To capitalize on the initial success, the pop-country crossover released the platinum edition of “Fearless” on October 26, a day earlier than scheduled, featuring six new tracks.
Already, all six were in iTunes Top 15 singles when they were first released.
The original album topped the Billboard Charts and garnered her awards from an MTV Video Music Award to Academy of Country Music Award, as well as six top-20 hits.
Personally, I, as with most high school girls, can connect quite well with Swift’s lyrics, and though sometimes cynical or emotionally distraught, the songs provide an always realistic (at least realistic for an emotional girl) perspective on the other sex. It’s almost like having my hypothetical diary sing to me.
But do her new songs achieve the success that the original album was able to? Or, more importantly, will I be singing her songs in the car and/or shower until her concert on March 18? That’s the true test of musical success.
Jump then Fall: Swift makes use of the guitar in this song, and her voice flows effectively throughout the chorus, with a more laid back tone- almost like something you would expect from Colbie Caillat. She changes up her pace throughout the song, sometimes speeding up to stress words. In the chorus, she hits a higher note when singing “jump,” which sounded slightly off to my ears. She is great in this song about not signing monotone; she even speaks some words for more emphasis. The best example of this is when Swift sings “Well I like the way your hair falls in your face/You got the keys to me, I love each freckle on your face.” She sings the way most people speak; changing their voice to reflect what they are saying. The song is about not being afraid to fall in love, just going for it, without caring about the consequences, because the one you love will be there for you. Precious. I know some guys who could take note of this… Thank you, Taylor Swift, for another life lesson – take chances.
Untouchable: From the moment the song began, I knew I was going to hate it. Swift’s voice is flat at the beginning and it is slow: two of my musical pet peeves. It doesn’t get better. She’s reaching for a high note in the chorus and can’t quite find it (“stars”). Sometimes I wonder why she tries to hit those. I mean, I’m an avid Swift fan, but I personally believe she best showcases herself by not stretching her vocal range and singing more upbeat songs. So this misses the mark.
Forever and Always (Piano version): The infamous Joe Jonas song. Really, Joe, 27-second call breakup? I’m still bitter and ordering my “Team Taylor” shirt. Anyway, that was one of my favorites off of the original album. I’ll be honest, I’m not traditionally a fan of piano covers. And this is the same. It’s much too slow, and lacks much of the personality evident in the studio-version original. It’s also much too stripped down for me; I feel that the song needs more of a kick to get the anger that is evident in the original. This has a much more downcast tone. It feels more like the vulnerable and weak side of Swift, as opposed to the fiery aspect I’ve grown to appreciate from her as an artist. This is especially evident when she sings, “Back up, baby back up” and “You didn’t mean it, baby, I don’t think so.” She can’t really hit the high notes in the chorus with just the piano to accompany her. You can tell when she sings “It rains in your bedroom, everything is wrong.” The “everything” note sounds like a major stretch for her vocal range. Taylor, please stick with the original version of this song.
Come In With the Rain: I actually enjoyed this song, although it is one of her slower tracks. She’s staying within her vocal range. I like the mix of instruments in the song, especially the touch of the violin. My only complaint is that she sound slightly monotone at times, but overall, it’s a pretty song where you can really feel the emotional defeat in her voice.
SuperStar: Her voice has a sweet quality to it, which is a great touch for the song. The lyrics are slightly stalkerish, and I’m thinking it’s about Joe Jonas again. Pretty much stressing her love affair with a “superstar” that she is “desperately” in love with, to quote Swift herself. Hmm, this is another time I think Swift goes a little far with her lyrics. But I digress. It is a slow song, but I love how she speeds up “first note played” and “you smile that beautiful smile.” I like it, but it’s not one of her greatest. It’s the type of song that improves by the third time you listen to it.
The Other Side of the Door: The final new release of the platinum edition, but my favorite. By far. As in the fact that I have been constantly listening to it for two days now. I’m the type of person that prefers Swift’s more upbeat songs (Picture to Burn or You Belong with Me, anyone?), and this fits the bill. The song focuses on a fight between a girl and her lover, and the fact that although she says she doesn’t need or want him, all she wants is him. Favorite line, “I said, ‘Leave,’ but all I really want is you/To stand outside my window, throwing pebbles; screaming, “I’m in love with you.” Perfect advice. Guys, please take note. It’s a catchy, relatable song, where the country roots are evident for much of the song.
To quote iTunes (this is not a joke), “Sophomore jinx – we’re gonna let you finish- but Taylor Swift made one the best country – pop albums of all time.” Cheesy Kanye reference and all, can I please second that? At least for the original album. A few of the new additions don’t quite fit in the category. However, overall, she’s impressed me yet again, although I am still blinded with how great the original “Fearless” was.
For now, I will be singing “Jump then Fall” and “The Other Side of the Door” in my room in front of the mirror (“You Belong with Me” video reference- watch that VMA Female Music Video of the Year with the always beautiful Lucas Till).
Kate Froehlich can be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org'Fearless' jumps into iTunes,