Taylor Swift: Fearless (Taylor’s Version) review – a labour of revenge, but also of love

Taylor Swift: Fearless (Taylor’s Version) review – a labour of revenge, but also of love

The Guardian

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(Republic)
Painstakingly re-recording her breakthrough 2008 album to hit back at her music business enemies proves a fruitful endeavour for the songwriter

Since about 2018, Taylor Swift has been at the centre of arguably the most riveting contract dispute in music business history since Prince wrote “slave” on his cheek. It has been a conflict fought in public, in detail. No precis does the nuances justice, but the crux of Swift’s unhappiness is that the rights to her first six albums were sold out from under her nose when her former label, Big Machine, was acquired by a man she regards as an enemy: Scooter Braun.

Braun is Justin Bieber’s manager; more pertinently, he also managed the rapper Kanye West at a time when West was tormenting Swift – another vexed tale wrapped around this one in a double helix. The antagonism between Swift and West began when he interrupted her acceptance speech for best female video at the VMAs in 2009. The video in question was You Belong With Me – a hit from Swift’s hugely successful 2008 album Fearless. That album has now been totally re-recorded by Swift and was released on Friday.

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