Taylor Swift’s second album, Fearless, became the third highest-selling album in the United States according to Billboard.com with 2.11 million copies sold. Impressive considering it hit stores November 11, whereas top-sellers Lil Wayne and Coldplay have had their albums around since the first half of the year. Her 2006 self-titled debut album also ranked within the annual top 10 list at number 6, making her the most successful artist in terms of combined album sales.
Since her debut, the talented Swift has been enjoying a continuous stream of hits and parallel album success. Her first two singles, “Tim McGraw” and “Teardrops on My Guitar,” gained her early success, but it wasn’t until the release of “Our Song” when Swift started making significant strides into mainstream radio. A sped-up version of “Teardrops on My Guitar” released to pop radio propelled the single back up the Hot 100 when “Our Song” was still hot on the chart. Subsequent singles, “Picture to Burn” and “Should’ve Said No” continued her success, as well as “Change,” which was featured as part of the AT&T TEAM USA Soundtrack.
When the first single to Fearless (“Love Story”) finally surfaced, it made a big splash on the Billboard Hot 100–as “Change” did–at number 5. The song follows a Romeo & Juliet theme, as does its accompanying video. The hype generated by her hit singles led to expectations for a high first-week bow from her follow-up, which was met when Fearless landed at number 1 with sales of 592,304 copies, making it the best sales week for a country record since The Eagles’ Long Road out of Eden, already racking up multiple weeks at the summit.
The album has garnered many favorable reviews, with critics praising the 19-year-old’s songcraft and genuine lyrics (she revealed on Ellen that “Forever and Always” was a last minute song written about ex-boyfriend Joe Jonas of the Jonas Brothers). She even took more control over her songs this time, claiming sole writing credit on seven of the album’s thirteen tracks. The best song on the album is the charming title track, which was one of the digital singles released from the album. A full promotional single and video release would do the album much good.
With “White Horse” quickly edging up the charts and ongoing strong sales of Fearless, 2009 is projected to be another very lucrative year for the young star. Upcoming plans include breaking into the U.K. market and other foreign markets outside the U.S. and Canada, where she is much less known.