Ranking (and Comparing) Fearless (Taylor’s Version)

By Lila Troum

It makes me incredulously happy to say/write that Fearless (Taylor’s Version) is finally out! Swifties, like myself, have been waiting patiently since November 1st for this long time-awaited moment of the release of the re-records… and, personally, I could not be more thrilled and satisfied! After staying up until midnight the night the album came out, I was able to jot down some of my initial thoughts and reactions, and, as I mentioned in my last article about Fearless, I was able to rank them. There are a whopping 26 songs on Fearless (Taylor’s Version), to be compared to only 19 on the original, platinum edition. With six vault songs, there are some new additions that weren’t on the previous album, so those will be added in, too. Without further ado, let’s jump into it. 

A disclaimer before we go in, when ranking these, these are just my favorites on this album. Certain songs that I’m going to be ranking lower on here than on the original ranking are still my all-time favorites; this is just ranking in comparison to the other songs on this album. I still, and will always, love with my whole heart The Way I Loved You, I just don’t love it as much as I love the sound of other songs on this album. And to those of you who may think she just re-recorded music she’s already written… how is it any different? This music is VERY different from the original Fearless. With the thirteen-year difference, her vocals have matured incredibly. Some of the lyrics have been (slightly) changed and there are new interesting twists on the actual compositions of the music. Some of these songs I don’t like as much as their originals, but some I have a newfound appreciation for that I cannot stop listening to. 

Here we go,

#26 Don’t You (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)

I’m putting this one last because I haven’t really gotten the time to enjoy it yet. I probably won’t for a while, as I typically get around to lower tracks/tracks that aren’t really talked about amongst swifties a few months after they’re released. I’ve listened to this one a few times, it’s not memorable, though.

#25 Bye Bye Baby

Also far down on the list because same with Don’t You, I haven’t really listened to it all that much. I’ve spent most of my Fearless (Taylor’s Version) listening time listening to original songs that I much prefer/enjoy. 

#24 The Best Day (Taylor’s Version) 

Like the last list, I still don’t really like this song. I think the lyrics are plain and basic and not very interesting. I’ve listened to it a lot more, but I still don’t like/love it. Like most of the songs I don’t know very much about, I couldn’t really tell you its biggest change? There wouldn’t be one I could point out.

#23 Superstar (Taylor’s Version)

Again, I didn’t like the original version of this song so I don’t really like this one. I think it sounds better than the original, but it just isn’t a song I gravitate towards at all.

#22 Come in with the Rain (Taylor’s Version)

This song is very, very cute, I actually like it a lot more than I originally thought. It has moved down on my list, however, I still think it’s a nice song and I still really enjoy listening to it. Still, compared to others, a little slow for my taste, but it’s nice.

#21 The Other Side of the Door (Taylor’s Version)  

Not my favorite, but I think the re-record has made me like it a little more than initially. I don’t have much to say about this song because I think it’s fairly simple compared to other songs on this album. 

#20 You All Over Me (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault) (Featuring Marren Morris)

This song has a very long title. This was the first vault song we got to listen to, as Taylor released it on March 26, when the album was set to release two weeks later. I stayed up until midnight to listen to this song and I was fairly disappointed. It is very, very Fearless; it fits perfectly with this era and you can definitely tell it was written during this time. However, I think it’s just a little boring and I think the lyrics aren’t great. And, to be honest, this song could do without Marren Morris as she adds basically nothing other than some backing vocals for the chorus. 

#19 Tell Me Why (Taylor’s Version)

I did not like the original of this song, but I like this version. I think this song fits a lot better with Taylor’s mature vocals than her younger voice, maybe because she sounds less country? I couldn’t explain it, but I think the message of the song “Why are you being a bad person when I didn’t do anything?” gets through to you a lot faster when a 31-year-old sings it versus a 19-year-old (not to shame 19-year-old Swift).

#18 Change (Taylor’s Version)

I think this song was MADE for the re-records. I can hear such a difference, and I think, like Tell Me Why, the message of this song gets across a lot faster when someone older is singing the song. Change still isn’t necessarily one I’d put on voluntarily, but I think this song is a great re-record. 

#17 That’s When (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault) (Featuring Keith Urban)

Another long title, a vault song with Keith Urban. If I’m being honest, the lyrics don’t really make any sense to me, and I think it’s kind of a not-great song, but I’m putting it at this spot because I think Taylor sounds really good here. Keith Urban sounds okay. I think this is also one of the better vault songs that were gifted to us. 

 #16 You’re Not Sorry (Taylor’s Version)

I HATE to see the drop of this song, I really do. The fall from #3 to #16 is not a light drop, but You’re Not Sorry (Taylor’s Version) sounds identical to the original. They could honestly be the same song. I would never actually stomp on a Taylor Swift song, but you could play these for an average person and they’d ask you why you just played them the same song twice. The intro sounds a little bit different, but not enough to the point where there’s an impact. I still like this song, but it’s the exact same. 

#15 Today Was a Fairytale (Taylor’s Version)

So, this song wasn’t actually originally on Fearless. It actually was a single she released that was featured in her movie, Valentine’s Day, but it was added to the Taylor’s Version roster! This song is really good, I’m actually ashamed that I hadn’t listened to the original before listening to the re-recording. It’s such a cute song and if you are in a healthy relationship, and want to feel even better about it, give this song a try! And to all of those who want another song that’ll make them feel worse about being alone, sobbing to this one is also great. 

#14 Love Story (Taylor’s Version) 

I’ve heard this song too many times. That’s it. That’s why it’s at spot #14 because I’ve just heard it too many times. She’d released this two months before Fearless (Taylor’s Version) dropped, so this was all Swifties had to get us by before the album was released. I still like this song but I’ve heard it too often to the point where I have to skip it, I have to. 

#13 Jump Then Fall (Taylor’s Version)

Like the original, I really like this song. For some reason I think after listening to the re-record, the lyrics have stuck better with me? I can’t really explain why, but I still enjoy the song a lot and love it a whole lot more. 

#12 Untouchable (Taylor’s Version) 

I think I appreciate the re-recorded version a lot more. Now we have a cover of a cover, which is funny to think about. Something else I didn’t realize is that this is a very long song. It’s over five minutes long which is long for a track on an artist’s sophomore album. I still like it, though, and will groove to it whenever possible. 

#11 We Were Happy (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault)

Another vault song, this one is okay. The only reason it’s earned its spot here is because of its stellar bridge. Here are the lyrics to the said bridge, “Oh I hate those voices telling me I’m not in love anymore, But they don’t give me choices, And that’s what these tears are for, We were happy.” I beg you to listen to this song and skip to minute 2:40 and just listen to the ten-second bridge. It is SO good, and the first time I listened to it my jaw dropped because it’s something you don’t expect! Also, 10/10 recommend crying to this song. 

#10 White Horse (Taylor’s Version) 

White Horse (Taylor’s Version) is really good. Not that I’m going to cry to this, as intended, but her voice just sounds so good in her version! I didn’t really appreciate the original, but I definitely appreciate the re-recording. It’s a really good song!

#9 Forever & Always (Piano Version) (Taylor’s Version)  

Like the original, I looooovveee this song. Her voice sounds fairly similar, she changed a lyric or two (for better), and I think that this is a great track. My only issue is the similarity it has to the original, they sound very alike, it can almost be hard to tell there’s growth. 

#8 You Belong With Me (Taylor’s Version)

WOW, the difference between the re-recording and the original is crazy. You can hear the maturity in her voice really come out, the breath control she has is so apparent, it’s really, really good. We all have to love the original, but I urge you to listen, and prefer, the re-recordings even more.

#7 Fifteen (Taylor’s Version)

Do I maybe enjoy the original version of this better? Yes, only a little though. Fifteen is still such a great song to me and the lyric change from, “You take a deep breath,” to “Just take a deep breath, girl,” is so beautiful and I swooned the first time I heard it. 

#6 Forever & Always (Taylor’s Version) 

This song is being ranked here just because I love it so much. The overall sound of it doesn’t work as well as a young Taylor’s voice did, but it’s still one of my favorites, so I feel like I have to rank it high. 

#5 Breathe (Taylor’s Version) (Featuring Colbie Calliat) 

This was another song I didn’t appreciate enough until the re-records. I didn’t realize how beautiful this song is, lyrically and melodically. Colbie Calliat is arguably unnecessary on this track, other than doing some backing vocals she doesn’t have a large part in the song itself, but I think this is a very pretty, relatable song. 

#4 Fearless (Taylor’s Version)

The song itself, I’m in love with. Was I a huge fan of the original track? No, not in the slightest, but I think the re-recorded track is really something special. In fact, I don’t know how it gets better than this. I think this song, re-recorded, sounds better to me because of the country drop. It doesn’t sound as country as the original song did, which I like and prefer.

#3 The Way I Loved You (Taylor’s Version)

I had to put this track up here, I’ll always love this song wholely. However, this was the re-recording that, to me, sounded the most different. I’m sure it has something to do with the fact that I’ve memorized the original track like the back of my hand, but her voice sounds so different, the pronunciation of words, the instrumentals, everything sounds so different. I don’t know if it’s as good as the original to me, as it was definitely built for a younger Taylor’s vocals; however, I think 31-year-old Swift makes it work.  

#2 Mr. Perfectly Fine (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault)

I am absolutely OBSESSED with this song. It is always playing in my mind, always running in my thoughts this vault dig on Joe Jonas is pure gold and I’m ecstatic she released it. This song honestly sounds like it’s from the Red era, but I still am obsessed with it and am so glad it’s on Fearless (Taylor’s Version)

#1 Hey Stephen (Taylor’s Version) 

It feels weird that this is my #1, but I stand by my choices. I cannot stop listening to this song for whatever reason, I feel like I’m constantly playing it in my earbuds (while writing this I’m actually listening to it) but I just love this track for whatever reason, it makes me wish I knew someone named Stephen. 

FINAL RANKINGS: 

FearlessFearless (Taylor’s Version)
1The Way I Loved YouHey Stephen 
2Forever & Always Mr. Perfectly Fine
3You’re Not SorryThe Way I Loved You
4You Belong With MeFearless
5Hey Stephen Breathe
6FifteenForever & Always
7Love StoryFifteen
8Forever & Always (Piano Version)You Belong with Me
9FearlessForever and Always (Piano Version)
10BreatheWhite Horse
11White HorseWe Were Happy
12Jump Then FallUntouchable 
13UntouchableJump Then Fall
14Come in With the RainLove Story
15Tell Me WhyToday was a Fairytale
16ChangeYou’re Not Sorry
17The Other Side of the DoorThat’s When
18SuperStarChange
19The Best Day Tell Me Why
20N/AYou All Over Me
21N/AThe Other Side of the Door
22N/ACome in With the Rain
23N/ASuperStar
24N/AThe Best Day
25N/ABye Bye Baby
26N/ADon’t You

Anyways, these are my rankings! Please go stream Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and I urge you to stream her version over the original for reasons that were actually explained well in this article! My opinions are just my opinions–songs are going to mean different things to everyone. 

1 comment on “Ranking (and Comparing) Fearless (Taylor’s Version)”

  1. Atreya Reply

    I very much liked this article. It is very well written and provides wonderful insight. 14/10

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