You guys, it actually happened. I listened to a Taylor Swift album in it’s entirety. This hasn’t happened since 2009. What? I guess I should be honest and admit it was through a loophole and not actually Taylor Swift. It was just her music, but it was performed by someone else. I’m talking Ryan Adams and his version of 1989. (I’ll still count it as a victory.)
Only one of my all time favorite artists could make this accomplishment a reality. When Adams teased clips on twitter of the project I felt a bit weird. Curiosity got the better of me and I gave it a listen. Plus, I could listen to it on Spotify – oh the irony. After spending my day at work having it in one earbud on repeat I can say I approve. If you put both Adams and Swift’s versions side by side you’d never be able to tell they originated from the same piece of music.
Formulated while Adams was going through a divorce and experiencing his first solo holiday season, the musician admitted he needed a project to keep him busy. The album is more re-imaginings of the popular songs than covers. Adams took amped up pop, strips away the embellishments, and adds a heaping dose of rawness to make something known completely his own. There’s the standard growling vocals that come across as half talking and half singing that Adams is known for. Many of the songs from 1989 have been released as singles and been popular, but Adams provides a new twist for them. Upbeat is now aching, sadness, and longing.
Kati Rose’s 5 Must Listen Tracks
- Shake It Off
- Bad Blood
- I Wish You Would
- All You Had to Do Was Stay
- Welcome to New York (Taylor’s version received the honor of one of my least favorite songs of 2014)
The entire album is actually worth a listen. I’ll definitely be adding some of these tracks to my iPod and playlists. Although there are a few songs that I still can’t stand and gave me a visceral negative reaction, but that’s more than simply Taylor or Ryan’s music and a whole other story. (Let’s just say understanding celebrity PR makes me have stronger opinions than most.)
While folk/indie rock takeover of songs is not a new phenomenon, but Adams does it better than most. It’s not your subpar coffee shop acoustic cover. There’s a warmth and a depth that makes it have substance. It could’ve easily been it’s own LP.
It’s not my favorite Adams album by far, I can say I pleasantly enjoyed his version of 1989. I’m hoping it gives a whole new audience of people an urge to look deeper into his discography. I do have a few lingering questions though. Mainly, does this mean Adams is officially member no. 1 of the squad?
The entire album is available on Apple Music, Spotify, and Youtube.
Which version do you prefer? What cover of Ryan Adams was your favorite?
P.S. – This isn’t the first time I’ve preferred a Taylor Swift cover over the original.
Until next time,