I’ve been wanting to write about Ryan Adams’ cover of the entirety of Taylor Swift’s album 1989 since it came out two weeks ago, but life has kept me busy and I haven’t had a chance to do it. The speed at which the internet talks about things makes me feel like I shouldn’t bother writing about it now that it’s been two whole weeks, but I still to want to so I’m going to.
I follow Ryan Adams on Twitter and I got really excited when he started tweeting clips of the covers he was creating. Despite the fact that I never bought a copy of Taylor Swift’s version of 1989, I was super excited to hear what Ryan Adams did with it and immediately pre-ordered it as soon as it was available.
I never had much use for Taylor Swift as a country singer, but do appreciate her as a pop singer. It’s what I always thought she really was anyway, which is why I was annoyed by her pop masquerading as country. The first song of hers I can really remember liking is “Red”, which is firmly on the pop side of her final album before she went full on pop with 1989. I do like the album and have enjoyed the eight billion singles that have been released from it. However it falls firmly under my pop song feeling that the only place I really want to listen to it is the radio and thus I never bought that version of the album.
Ryan Adams on the other hand is someone whose music I adore and own many albums of. It’s not something I’m likely to hear much if anything of on the radio and thus not something I’m going to quickly tire of. This album is the best of what a cover songs can be. Ryan Adams changes up and makes the music his own and puts into a style that sounds like him while also still somehow keeping the tenor of Taylor Swift’s versions such that it is still completely recognizable as what it is. It’s a delicate balancing act and Adams pulls it off with aplomb. It especially pleases me that he sings the lyrics from “Blank Space” in the same way that Taylor Swift does such that is sounds like she’s singing about Starbucks lovers.
Of course now what I really want is for Taylor Swift to cover one of Ryan Adams’ albums. While I’m waiting for that to happen I’ll keep listening to this one. I encourage you to do the same. It is up on Spotify, which I think is a little bothersome since Taylor Swift made a big deal about pulling all her music from Spotify. Music copyright is weird y’all.