Caroline the Future Librarian

Caroline Davis | LIBR 265-10 | SJSU | Wrenn-Estes

Fearless by Taylor Swift

Title: Fearless
Artist: Taylor Swift
Label: Big Machine Records
Date: November 2008
Number of Tracks: 13
UPC: 843930001378

Summary: The top selling album of 2009, Fearless, performed by Taylor Swift, is comprised of thirteen tracks that capture the emotions and dreams of high school relationships.  The lead single, “Love Story,” tells the story of a Romeo-and-Juliet pairing that met during a summer ball – but this couple is fated for matrimony, not fatality.  While this song expresses the feelings of falling in love, the song “White Horse” describes the end of a relationship and the realization that the dreams of being with this person are over.  The song “Fifteen” is semi-autobiographical about Swift’s first year of high school and helping a friend recover from a broken heart.  The song “You Belong With Me” describes having crush on a boy who is dating a cheerleader, and the hope that he will realize they are meant to be together.  Swift wrote the song “The Best Day” as a surprise for her mother, and the title track “Fearless” can be described as a thank-you letter to her fans (the music video has clips of Swift on tour and interacting with her fans).

Critical Evaluation: Fearless is the sophomore album of mermaid-coiffed country singer and songwriter Taylor Swift, following her self-titled debut from 2006.  It’s no surprise that the singer has gained so much popularity with this release – the themes have broad appeal, not just to teens but for anyone who has experienced young love, and although Swift doesn’t have the most impressive voice she writes very catchy and relatable songs.  Many of the tracks contain fairy tale imagery, although some of her literary allusions seem a little off (why would she describe herself as The Scarlet Letter in “Love Story”?).  While there isn’t anything musically challenging here, it is evident that Swift understands her fans and knows how to write for them.  While parents of younger teens will be thrilled that there is no objectionable content, older teens that are experiencing the drama of high school relationships will also be drawn to this album.

Annotation: Taylor Swift’s sophomore album, Fearless, contains songs about first love and heartbreak.

About the Artist: Born in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania in 1989, Taylor Swift began writing songs at the tender age of 10 and started performing them in local contests.  She visited Nashville when she was 11 and passed out demo tapes to all the major labels, hoping to score a record contract.  She finally caught the attention of a record company at the age of 14 after performing at the Bluebird Café, a Nashville venue, and was signed to a newly formed label, Big Machine Records.

Her self-titled debut CD came out in 2006 and topped the country music charts.  After Fearless came out in late 2008, Swift became the youngest artist ever to win the Academy of Country Music Album of the Year.  She made her feature film acting debut in 2010’s Valentine’s Day.  Swift has been romantically linked to other teen heartthrobs such as singer Joe Jonas and actor Taylor Lautner.

Genre: Country, Pop

Curriculum Ties: N/A

Discussion Ideas:
1) Which songs do you relate to the most?
2) Do you think that most people have similar experiences in high school?

Interest Age: 12 and older

Challenge Issues: None

Challenge Defense Ideas: This CD has no apparent challenge issues, but if a challenge comes up:

• Become familiar with the CD and its content.

• Refer to the collection development policy of the library, if none, see here to develop one right away.

• Refer to reviews from Billboard Magazine, USA Today and others available for viewing on

• Try to get reviews of the CD from teens who have listened to it.

Selection: I chose to review Taylor Swift because her music exemplifies the teenage experience, particularly of first love.  While not every teen likes her music, it is certainly widely relatable.


Taylor Swift’s website and Twitter.

An interview with Taylor about Fearless.

Taylor Swift’s VEVO Channel (music videos).

Music Video for the song “Fearless” including fan and tour footage:


May 7, 2010 - Posted by | Music | ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] treble notes, was impressive, and his tone was very clear.  In the same way that Taylor Swift’s Fearless chronicles the experience of high school and first love, Bieber’s songs are a tribute to young […]

    Pingback by My World 2.0 by Justin Bieber « Caroline the Future Librarian | May 9, 2010 | Reply

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