After the success of Taylor Swift’s self-titled 2006 debut album, expectations are high for her new CD. The much-anticipated album Fearless finally dropped Tuesday. At 18, Swift is already on her way to becoming one of the most prominent female singers in country music.
The new album’s theme centers on the struggle between the naivete of young love and the harsh reality that relationships aren’t perfect. Swift also attempts to fill a void in her listeners’ lives by fulfilling the romantic dreams and fairy tales they believed in as children. She reassures them that finding Prince Charming and riding off into the sunset with him is not a lost hope. The first single off the album, titled “Love Story,” based on “Romeo and Juliet,” has the potential to become a classic wedding song. With lyrics like “Romeo take me somewhere we can be alone/ I’ll be waiting all there’s left to do is run/ You’ll be the prince and I’ll be the princess/ It’s a love story baby just say yes,” Swift, a true hopeless romantic, writes her own alternative ending to “Romeo and Juliet” and gives the lovers the happy ending they would have wanted.
Contrasting such an optimistic view on love is the song “White Horse.” “‘Cause I’m not your princess/ This ain’t a fairy tale/ I’m gonna find someone someday who might actually treat me well.” It may possibly be the song Swift is singing to herself after her recent breakup with Joe Jonas of the Jonas Brothers.
So if it’s possible to find the perfect guy, Swift’s lyrics warn listeners about getting stuck in the friend zone with songs like “You Belong With Me.” “If you could see that I’m the one who understands you/ Been here all along/ So why can’t you see/ You belong with me.” This song is lyrically reminiscent of “Teardrops on My Guitar” from her first album and illuminates Swift’s lack of diverse content. Yet because this is only her second album, Swift can get away with singing about the same topics. But she eventually needs to find something else to sing about besides being a crush’s best friend.
One of the few songs on the album that does not focus specifically on love, princes or fairy tales is “Change.” Although that word might currently belong to Barack Obama, she was able to make it her own this summer during the Beijing Olympics when it was played during daily highlight videos of the 2008 games on NBC. Besides the country twang in Swift’s voice, this song strays slightly into the realm of pop much like “You’re Not Sorry” and “Forever and Always” and appeals to a broader audience.
This album focuses on the same concepts about love and love lost much like her first, leaving listeners with a sense of d?j? vu. Such a repeat would seem mundane especially with simple, clean melodies that all begin to sound the same. Yet Swift is able to keep the songs different enough by making them personal. In a recent interview with The Morning Call, Swift said she views her songs as a “musical diary that’s out there for everyone to read.” By using real events and real people as her inspiration, Swift keeps her music in Fearless fresh and relatable.
4 stars out of 5