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Fall Music Preview: Taylor Swift's 'Fearless'

The singer's new thirteen-track album is a look into her own love life

October 2, 2008
Taylor swift, fearless, relationships
Taylor Swift arrives at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards at Paramount Pictures Studios on September 7th, 2008 in Los Angeles, California.
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Taylor Swift shot to stardom by mining her real-life heartbreaks for poppy country hits, and she's not messing with the formula on her second album. "I just wrote songs about what I like to write about, which is boys," she says. Working again with producer Nathan Chapman, Swift spent nearly eight months in Nashville studios recording 50-plus new songs, from which she picked Fearless' 13 tracks. The banjo-plucked first single, "Love Story," is a modern Romeo and Juliet tale, and the uptempo "You Belong With Me" is about watching her best friend date a snobby popular girl ("It's a terrible movie that I lived a lot in high school," she says). Colbie Caillat sings on "Breathe," and Martina McBride's kids lend finger snaps to "Hey Steven," an upright-bass-propelled groove inspired by a quickie crush. The one track that isn't about the 18-year-old's love life is "Change," a spunky pop song inspired by her career: It begins with a frustrated star-to-be struggling to get her music out on a small label and ends with gorgeous, triumphant "hallelujah" choruses. "I finished the song after I won the CMA Horizon Award," Swift says. "I'm happy the song got to end the way it ended."

This is a story from the October 2, 2008 issue of Rolling Stone.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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