Taylor Swift "Fearless" Big Machine Records

When deciding on a name for the follow up to her wildly successful debut album, “Fearless” seemed a fitting title for the infinitely talented Swift. It is no secret that it takes more than talent to make it big, but also determination, faith, luck and most of all guts. With the trepidation she may have owned prior to her first album gone, Swift is now charging “headfirst, fearless” into success. The album kicked off on a positive note with the charming single “Love Story,” a sing-along version of the classic tale of Romeo and Juliet, albeit with a much happier ending. Still, success must seem like a fairy tale to the teenaged phenom, which would explain the frequency of whimsical storybook lyrics sprinkled throughout the album.

I must admit, despite my affinity for country music, I’m somewhat of a frugal music shopper, and I’ll pass up a lot of albums because radio stations will inevitably overplay all the good stuffs. Such was the case with Swift’s first album, which I didn’t purchase, because even though I liked it, all her stuff was on the air all the time. When I heard “Love Story” however, I was hooked, and the first thing I did November 11th was pick up the whole album.

I’m into about my tenth hour of listening with little interruption, and it’s still all good – in fact, I like it better than the goods from the first time around. The album isn’t carried solely by “Love Story,” though, as the whole album reeks of quality. The antithesis of “Love Story” would be “White Horse” a story where the fairy tale ends badly, a quietly sad song of love that went the other way. Also a winner is title track “Fearless.” I think everyone can identify with the feeling of freedom and release and throwing yourself headfirst into life, not knowing but trusting in the good.

Another of Swift’s forays into excellence is the song “Change,” a pulsing, rhythmic and powerful piece that kicks her credibility up yet another notch. Some of the songs are clearly geared toward a younger audience, but I don’t think it detracts from the legitimacy of the album – it’s by no means a tween-pop bubble gum wonderland. Swift has a universal appeal that will likely play well with mainstream fans as well as country folk. This album has the potential of launching her to super-stardom. It’s incredibly good, and if you for some reason you weren’t sold on her first album, give “Fearless” a shot. You’ll probably get blown away.


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