Sunday, November 7, 2010

Fearless (Album)

Fearless (Album) Release date: 2008. Artist: Taylor Swift. Record Label: Big Machine Records. ASIN: B001EYGOEM.

1. Fearless
2. Fifteen
3. Love Story
4. Hey Stephen
5. White Horse
6. You Belong With Me
7. Breathe
8. Tell Me Why
9. You’re Not Sorry
10. The Way I Loved You
11. Forever & Always
12. The Best Day
13. Change

Critical evaluation: Fearless is twenty-year-old Taylor Swift’s second album, and put her on the map as an international musical sensation. Fearless won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year and Best Country Album in 2009, making Swift the youngest recipient of this award. The reasoning behind the many accolades for this album is clear after listening to it. Swift writes her own music and lyrics and plays the guitar which sets her apart from many performers her age who are more entertainers than musicians. Swift’s lyrics tell stories many teens will be able to relate to. The second track “Fifteen” talks about starting high school, meeting new friends and falling in love. In one of her most popular singles “You Belong With Me,” Swift paints the picture of a high school girl in love with a popular boy who is dating the cheer captain. Swift describes herself as wearing “t-shirts” while the other girl wears “short skirts.” Many teen girls will be able to identify with these lyrics as many likely find themselves in similar situations. What sets this album, and Swift, apart is that her songs are almost narratives, or short stories that are from Swift’s own experiences. Her popularity, and the huge success of this album, show that teens identify with her sweet and honest lyrics, and appreciate that she’s telling their stories through her music.

Listeners's annotation: International music sensation, Taylor Swift, tells stories many teens have experienced through simple, sweet lyrics and melodies.
About the artist: Born in 1989 in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, Taylor Swift’s interest in music began at a very young age. Swift pursuing a singing career at age eleven after trying unsuccessfully to market a demo tape in Nashville, Tennessee. At age twelve, a computer-repair man at her parents’ house taught her how to play a few chords on a 12-string guitar, sparking her interest in writing her own music. As she grew older, Swift began writing songs for local artists in Nashville. After getting signed to Big Machine Records at age fifteen, Swift released her first single called “Tim McGraw” which, along with her first album “Taylor Swift,” was very popular on the country music charts. Swift began touring as an opening act for Tim McGraw and Faith Hill as her album achieved more popularity and recognition. In 2008, Swift released her second album Fearless which debuted at #1 on the Billboard chart. The album became the best-selling of 2009, with over 3.2 million copies sold. The album also earned Swift the Grammy and County Music awards for Album of the Year. Swift’s latest album Speak Now was released on October 25, 2010. Due to her popularity with teens, Swift is often the subject of tabloid gossip concerning her personal life. She has been rumored to have been romantically connected with both Joe Jonas of the Jonas Brothers and Taylor Lautner of Twilight fame. Swift also achieved even further notoriety at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards when hip-hop artist Kanye West interrupted her acceptance speech for Best Female Video, stating that fellow nominee Beyonce Knowles should have won the award. Due to this incident and the popularity of her songs, Swift is one of the most recognized artists for teens worldwide. (

Genre: Country/Pop

Curriculum ties:

Booktalking ideas:
Real life experiences discussed in songs
Song lyrics teens identify with

Reading level/Interest Age:
13 and up

Challenge issues:

Reasons for inclusion:
Album has received many awards including Grammy and Country Music award for Album of the Year.
Album is critically acclaimed.   

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