Sugary singer Taylor Swift’s sophomore album ‘Fearless’ once again delivers with Swift’s signature soothing harmonies and squeaky-clean subjects. With over 330,000 album sales before the holiday season, Swift reigns as sweetheart songstress at No. 1 on the Billboard top 200.
Are these skyrocketing sales directly related to a skintight fan base of hairbrush-singing, guitar-plucking preteens? A second look at the album would suggest otherwise. While Swift doesn’t hold a candle to the power-belting Carrie Underwoods and LeeAnn Rimes of her genre’s generation, the preteen pleaser offers a sweet and soul-baring selection on her second album. Coupled with Swift’s genuinely winning personality and uncanny ability to connect with a crowd, it’s no wonder ‘Fearless’ is flying off the shelves.
Swift, who writes all of her own music, again gifts her target 13-18 audience with real-life lyrics the average Facebooker is likely to relate to. ‘In your life, you’ll do things greater than dating the boy on the football team,’ she croons on freshman-year tear-jerker ‘Fifteen’.
Swift captures the essence of a teenage roller-coaster romance in ‘The Way I Loved You,’ singing that while she enjoys her emotionally stable boyfriend, she misses a ‘screaming and fighting and kissing in the rain’ kind of love. Perhaps Swift identifies with the greatest amount of listeners on ‘You Belong with Me’, a song bemoaning being the scorned second-best in an unrequited love song. ‘She wears short skirts, I wear tee shirts; she’s cheer captain and I’m on the bleachers,’ Swift laments. Whatever the track, ‘Fearless’ makes clear that Swift’s greatest talent lies in songwriting. Her catchy, cheerful, and sometimes cheeky lyrics are bound to attract legions of listeners.
Swift’s vocals on ‘Fearless’ are, while stereotypically similar, most impressive on ‘The Way I Loved You’ and ‘Change’, exhibiting a raw, sincere sound that further enforces the songs emotional undertones. Beyond that, she doesn’t employ much vocal variety; much like her debut album, ‘Fearless’ is one continuous lullaby. That said, it certainly is an enjoyable one. Swift’s album is lazy-Sunday-afternoon friendly, compelling the listener to replay it again and again.
Swift’s greatest asset to her unbridled fame is her refreshingly real persona. She’s easily a listener’s next-door-neighbor, cool older cousin, or junior varsity softball teammate. ‘Fearless’ is like a big sister’s sage advice, fried up and served hot in a down-home pop-country package too irresistible to ignore. Unburdened by the sleazy scandals of other teen starlets, Swift presents an unexpectedly edible selection, leaving the listener with a deeply satisfied ‘Aahhh.’