Album Review: Taylor Swift "Fearless: Platinum Edition"

Thumbing through the sleeve for Taylor Swift's Fearless: Platinum Edition is sort of like thumbing through your fifteen year old sister's journal. The confessional lyrics portray a hopeless romantic, a girl who wants nothing more than to fall in love with the man of her dreams and live happily ever after. And all the boys who broke her heart? Screw them.

Fearless has already been certified more than five times platinum. It debuted No. 1 on the Billboard album chart and notched up eleven weeks there, the longest run at the top in nearly ten years. Five tracks from the album have landed in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, and thirteen more appeared further down on the chart. Fearless? More like peer-less.

Swift's key to success is her crossover appeal. Her country base loves her, and she's got enough pop that mainstream radio plays her too. Swift, along with Carrie Underwood, is able to get consumers who usually don't buy or listen to country music, to take interest. The results are remarkable considering we are in a recession and the record industry is imploding. Her music, written all or in part by her, resonates with her listeners.

"Romeo save me, they're trying to tell me how to feel. This love is difficult, but its real," she protests in "Love Story". "When you're fifteen and somebody tells you they love you, you're gonna believe them," she warns in "Fifteen". "If you can see that I'm the one who understands you...why can't you see you belong with me?" she wonders in "You Belong With Me". For anyone who has ever been in love, or thought you were, there is a lyric in Fearless that makes you stop and say, "Finally! Somebody knows what I'm going through!" I'm sure countless high school girls who in the past twelve months have felt like Swift was the only person who knew what they were going through. Its probably because she does.

Unlike the songs of teen stars of ten years ago, Swift's songs aren't Swedish tunes designed to go great with a synchronized dance routine, they're real. "Hey Stephen"...its about a guy named Stephen. In "Fifteen", Swift talks about a character named Abigail, singing, "Abigail gave everything she had to a boy who changed his mind and we both cried." Her best friend? A girl named Abigail. It would sure suck to be the cheating boyfriend she sings about in "White Horse".

"You Belong With Me" might not have one of the best music videos of all time, but Fearless is one of the greatest albums by a teenager, and one of the best country crossover albums ever. The platinum edition packs in six new songs, all the album's music videos, and special features, just in time for Christmas so you can get your fifteen year old sister a copy...or one for yourself.

Rating: 9/10
Must download tracks: "Love Story", "White Horse", and "Forever & Always (Piano Version)"


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