The first few singles trickled out earlier this month, but now Ryan Adams’s full album cover of Taylor Swift’s 1989 album has finally come out, and it is incredible!
I would never have guessed that there was any demographic (other than me) who would flip over the cross over of these two musicians, but apparently I was wrong.
I have to confess that when I first heard about the project, I groaned. I thought the whole thing was a spoof or dig at Taylor Swift. I figured all of the songs would be puns in Radio One cover style. I was so blown away when I heard the result.
Ryan Adams can churn out some big loud pop-style hits, like “New York, New York.” But, his best work, in my opinion is his more mellow introspective acoustic guitar rock ballads like, “It Takes Two.” The 1989 cover album is much more in this vein.
It’s actually a bit like a formal exercise of taking each song out of it’s original form & genre, related to the original artist and recasting it in his own image as an artist. Listening to it makes you consider all of the different choices musicians and producers make in arranging tunes. A major chord or minor chord here, a tempo change there, etc.
It’s also pretty clear that he had a lot of fun doing it. Here are a couple of my favorites: