Taylor Swift’s, 1989 gets a makeover by Ryan Adams. Hipsters rejoice! They can now listen to a Taylor Swift album un-ironically!
1989 is Taylor Swift’s most recent album and in my humble opinion, her crowning achievement. It is a collection of songs that aid in establishing her as a feminist icon with strong lyrics and contagious musicality. It is no surprise that fellow musicians constantly proclaim their respect for Swift, as she has proven herself among the pantheon of singer-songwriters.
Indie darling, Ryan Adams, took to social media to declare his own admiration for Taylor Swift. Known for his gritty guitar stylings and live tributes, Adams broadcasted that he would be releasing a full album covering Swifts 1989 in its entirety, in the style of The Smiths. As a Morrissey obsessed Smiths fan, I couldn’t help but be intrigued by his announcement. After releasing a demo clip on Instagram, I was doubtful of Adam’s being able to fulfill his intentions, but upon the album’s full release, I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised.
Opening with, “Welcome to New York”, you can’t help but feel as if Adams is channeling The Boss. Using a husky growl similar to that of Springsteen, the arrangements tread deeply in E-Street territory, relying heavily on acoustic guitar. These songs, when originally sung by Swift, inspire a sense of optimism, but Adams’ versions, including, “How You Get the Girl” and “This Love”, reveal an inherent sadness that may have otherwise gone unrecognized. Other highlights of the album include covers of Swift’s hit singles, “Wildest Dreams” and “Style”.
Although Adams performs 1989 with such conviction and heartbreak that you can’t help but imagine that he had written the words, himself, this album also allows you to discover a deeper appreciation for Swift’s brilliant song writing. This album serves a higher purpose than to reintroduce Swift’s music to a new audience; it seems to offer an olive branch between musical genres that helps to break down the industry’s intrinsic snobbery. Here’s to the hope that this will set a precedent for future musical artists to feel free to express their admiration for contemporaries without the fear of being blacklisted by the musical hipster collective.