Today I am going to be ranking the vault tracks from Fearless Taylor’s Version! I am planning on doing this for 1989 and the other re-recordings to come, so stay tuned for those. If you want to check out my honorary Swiftie menu, please click here.
A Brief Note on Fearless
Fearless used to be quite high in my ranking, until it became overshadowed by her other works. I love it, but I was a bit disappointed by the lacklustre roll-out for the re-recording. I understand that it was her first and she was unsure how it would be received but compared to Red, we weren’t given much. No music videos, live performances, short-films or talk-show appearances. However, we did get Mr. Perfectly Fine and for that I thank her! I will say, Fearless has a very cohesive theme. It’s all about fairy tales, handsome princes, white horses, castles and romance. When the naysayers were telling Taylor that teenagers wouldn’t be into country music, she hit back with Love Story, Fearless (the title track) and You Belong with Me. She made the genre accessible and relatable to everybody. It’s a nostalgic period of innocence, getting swept away and dancing in a storm with our best dresses.
Fearless TV received the least hype; however, Taylor blessed us big time with these truly remarkable bonus songs. Without further ado, from my favourite to least favourite, let’s get into it!
1.) Mr. Perfectly Fine
In first place, we have Mr. Perfectly Fine, which is now in my top ten favourite Taylor Swift songs of all time. It was written about her ex-boyfriend, Joe Jonas, in response to their breakup. It’s such a relatable concept: to reflect on how much it hurts to see your former flame doing so well and happy in the wake of your relationship ending. Not only is it full of sass, there is also a lot of character progression. She starts by singing “Hello Mr. Perfectly Fine” and ends with “Goodbye Mr. Perfectly Fine”, indicating that she has now moved on, ready to let go. Furthermore, Taylor uses the phrase ‘casually cruel’ which comes up again in All Too Well. It’s undeniably the best vault track on Fearless.
2.) That’s When (ft. Keith Urban)
In second place, we have That’s When, featuring country singer legend: Keith Urban. I loved this vault track on first listen. It has such a simple premise, with a beautiful arrangement. In this song, Taylor is commenting on what it’s like to need space in a relationship. Her love interest is understanding and patient, assuring her that he will open his heart and doors to her once she’s ready to return. Their voices blend so perfectly together. I love that Keith got his own verse. I’m really hoping to get it as a secret song at the Era’s Tour in Melbourne, seeing as her feature is Australian.
3.) Bye Bye Baby
This may be a strange placement, but I’m a huge Bye Bye Baby fan. It’s not a particularly new concept when it comes to Taylor Swift’s discography, but I like how she mentions the feeling of realising you’ll never drive to your ex’s house again. It’s so relatable. I would surmise this was also about Joe Jonas and the reason it was left off the original track list, was because we already had Forever & Always. Variations of these lyrics later appeared on Last Kiss on Speak Now. For example: “feels like I’m becoming part of your past” reminds me of “and I feel you forget me like I used to feel you breathe.” The melodies are what make it such a winner for me.
4.) You All Over Me (ft. Maren Morris)
In fourth place, we have You All Over Me, featuring another famous country singer: Maren Morris. Inspired by Taylor, Maren has also started shifting musical genres and experimenting with pop after originally establishing herself as a country artist. I would liken You All Over Me to Clean, especially because she literally sings: “No amount of freedom gets you clean.” However, in this vault track, she’s still tainted by the relationship. Once again, this song is about Joe Jonas, which we can discern by the “hands in your pockets” lyrics also mentioned in Last Kiss. Additionally, there is a reference to meeting her love interest in June, which lines up with the pair beginning their relationship in the summer of 2008. I don’t love this number as much as others but it’s still an integral part of the Fearless journey.
5.) Don’t You
In second last place, we have Don’t You, which is a little bit too slow and one note for me. It’s also quite simple lyrically. There isn’t anything super profound to unpack in this track. Having said that, it’s very relatable to run into an ex and feel confused by their words. It’s cruel to hear them say they miss you or show interest, when you still have feelings. You can tell this particular event Taylor is referencing, really did a number on her. I’m going to say it’s Joe Jonas coded. Most of the vault tracks are.
6.) We Were Happy
In last place, we have We Were Happy. I typically skip it. Sorry! Similar to Don’t You, the melodies don’t resonate with me. Also, does anybody else cringe at the line: “talking about your daddy’s farm?” I feel it’s the least relatable vault track on Fearless. However, I love the lyric: “nobody could touch the way we laughed in the dark.” Just beautiful! This song appears to be about a former flame, pre-dating Joe. It gives more Debut vibes. In the nicest way possible, I can see why this didn’t make the original track list.
Thank you so much for reading! How would you order the vault tracks? What did you think of Fearless TV as a whole?
Peace & Love xoxo