Still Ingenue But With A Sharp Wit and A Keen Eye for Observing Her Generation’s Love Affairs
For someone who writes and sings her own songs, Taylor Swift’s second album, Fearless aptly describes her approach to songwriting. Only barely 18 years old when she was writing songs for this album, one can see that even at a young age, she already has that keen sense and intuition needed by a successful songwriter. She understands fully the current structure of songwriting, knowing how the verses tell the story, and then swiftly bringing everything into a crescendo through a catchy chorus. She wrote all the 13 songs in this album, sharing co-writing credits in six of them. She also produced this album along with Nathan Chapman. When this album came out, there was a dearth of female representation in country music, least of all – a very young female performer – so her entrance into the country scene was really a breath of fresh air in a milieu dominated by adult male singers in their 30s and 40s. I am also not surprised why she named this album Fearless because she tackles subject matters which younger females are drawn to and she does not hold back in telling their stories, including her own. Much later, Taylor would gain a reputation of writing about her ex-boyfriends and guys she dated, much to the chagrin of those poor fellows. Some of them retaliate through song, the others prefer to be gentlemanly about it and just keep their mouths shut. Even this early in her career, Taylor is already naming names. She’s not subtle at all in “Hey Stephen” and names a girl called Abigail in “Fifteen”. In this album, Taylor Swift is still an ingenue but with a sharp wit and a keen eye for observing her generation’s love affairs. She will do more damage soon but for now, her songs seem to be extensions of her own personal diary – and her stories are interwoven into this Fearless compilation.
Taylor Swift Pens A Bevy of Hits That Are So Emotionally Moving, True, and Sincere
This album contains several hits which further strengthened Taylor Swift’s cred as a singer songwriter. Even though she already had one top 10 song and five other songs which hit the US Top 40 before this album was released, it was only when she marketed “Love Story” did Taylor Swift achieve worldwide stardom. Incidentally, “Love Story” is still one of my all-time favorite Taylor Swift songs. The song went to #1 in Australia and reached the top 10 in many other countries. Here in the Philippines, it became a staple in MTV and it was ubiquitous, as it was being played on the radio at different time of the day. In the song, Taylor Swift uses Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet as a story device. Unlike the tragic ending of that tale though, in this song, Taylor gives both of them a happy ending – “"Marry me, Juliet, you'll never have to be alone / I love you and that's all I really know / I talked to your dad, go pick out a white dress
It's a love story, baby just say yes." Coming close at its heels is “Fifteen” – another story-based song where Taylor encapsulates how young people feel at that age – “'Cause when you're fifteen, / Somebody tells you they love you / You're gonna believe them / And when you're fifteen.” As I said earlier, Taylor does not hesitate to talk about her friend Abigail in this song – making it a cautionary tale to teenagers who dare to cross into doing supposedly adult things. As Taylor sings in the song, “I didn’t know who I was supposed to be at fifteen”. Another big hit from this album is “You Belong With Me”, a cute song where Taylor pines for a guy that she likes but always goes to the competition – since the competition looks prettier, sexier, and is in the A-group of the high school – while the other girl – which is Taylor, we presume, is more ordinary, simple, and is in band, instead of the cheerleading team. The song is written in a very direct manner and there’s a part there which I like particularly – “And you've got a smile that could light up this whole town / I haven't seen it in a while since she brought you down / You say your fine / I know you better then that / Hey what you doing with a girl like that”. Often, in relationships, people forget how destructive their supposed lovers can be – putting them down, not supporting them emotionally in their dreams, continuously berating their skills – these should be warning signs, especially to young people – to avoid these toxic kind of people. If your boyfriend or girlfriend can’t support you in your dreams – then it would be better to leave them – instead of suffering in silence.
Taylor Sings Songs That Give Praise to the Strong Woman of Today
Although there is a certain poignancy in some of Taylor Swift’s songs, she makes sure that each of them empowers women. I only realize that now. Even at a young age, Taylor has seen how reckless dating can destroy one’s outlook on people and relationships. I can find it especially in the song “White Horse”, where Taylor sings “That I'm not a princess, this ain't a fairy tale / I'm not the one you'll sweep off her feet, / Lead her up the stairwell / This ain't Hollywood, this is a small town.” Not that being in a small town wouldn’t lead you to finding true love, I think what Taylor Swift is driving at is that not all girls are going to be princesses and need saving by a man. A woman can be independent in her own right and a man on a white horse is not necessarily the answer to their problems. Such words of wisdom from a young girl! In “Tell Me Why”, Taylor once again writes maturely about a problem most young girls encounter with their boyfriends. In the song, Taylor talks about a boyfriend who has a temper and always puts down the dreams of his girlfriend. In the end of the song, Taylor does the most sensible thing. She sings “I take a step back, let you go / I told you I'm not bulletproof / Now you know”. Taylor shows some degree of maturity in some of her songs, as she decides that breaking up is a much better solution rather than being routinely disrespected and savaged by someone who is supposedly important in one’s life.