Taylor Swift, "Fearless"

Due this week from Big Machine, Taylor Swift's sophomore album "Fearless" begins the transition from rising country superstar -- her 2006 self-titled debut album has sold 3.4 million units, in addition to 7.5 million single downloads, according to Nielsen SoundScan -- to just plain ol' superstar.

Swift has landed partnerships for women's apparel and toys-and will attempt what to date has been almost impossible for a country artist: to make an impact overseas. It's an ambitious campaign for Swift-and for Big Machine -- a fact the singer readily acknowledges. Swift wrote a track on "Fearless" titled "Change" to celebrate her label and its success.

Indeed, those who thought Swift was a big deal after her first record should be prepared: She's about to get way bigger. Though they're written by a teenager, Swift's songs have broad appeal, and therein lies the genius and accessibility of "Fearless." The insightful "Fifteen" ("In your life you'll do greater things than dating a boy on the football team") will connect with teens looking for hope and with adult women looking back, while the sparse "White Horse" will appeal to anyone who's experienced love lost, which is to say, everyone.

"It is amazing how many people come up to me and say, 'It's strange how completely this is what I am going through right now.' That is the coolest compliment somebody can give you."