October 01, 2015
ALBUM LOVE | RYAN ADAMS - 1989 | 1.10.15
I've got to give it to Taylor Swift and her writing skills because I've never even considered her talent as anything more than mainstream and for that I apologise. It may of taken Ryan Adams to make me realise this but hey, I've come to my senses now. I remember when Swift was a wavy haired, doe-eyed country singer that sang straight from the heart with youth to back her up as well as her acoustic guitar strapped to her back. I think we all know that when a singer/songwriter becomes known at a young age they're bound to change pretty much every aspect of their look and sound, and that's what happened to Taylor. Now, that's not exactly a bad thing and although I'm not on the Taylor bandwagon I still appreciate why her and her songs are loved by millions. This cover of her latest album 1989 is like a flash back to the ears, a brief reminder of how good her songs are, especially with out the pop music going on in the background.
Some may think this is bias because I wont lie I am a big Ryan Adams fan but I promise it's not, this is a judgement made purely on the sound of the album, I swear. When I first heard the news of the re-make of 1989 I did shrug my shoulders more than I should of, it didn't seem like the greatest collaboration idea I'd ever heard of. I'd also love to know where and when this idea came to Adams mind, do we think he's a huge Taylor fan? Imagine him relaxing away in his studio in his Canadian tux and dirty Black Flag shirt jamming away to the sounds of Shake It Off, what a glorious yet surreal image. Seriously though, he must of agreed with the fact her songwriting is on point and although her songs may be about love and heartbreak that's completely relatable and I do love hearing Adams sing about broken hearts anyway. I do hate myself for judging this idea so quickly because I'm completely in love with this cover, It's a folk-rockers take on a pop-queens smash hit album and it's an amazing one at that.
What I've always loved about Ryan Adams is how raw his songs and sound is, he could hit a high note in a bad way but it's completely OK because he can pull it off and sound on point, it's raw and original which is uncommon these days. He's also great at covering plenty of songs too - songs that I don't even care for such as Foo Fighters - Times Like These, a song I'm not over the top about but whenever I listen to his cover I get shivers all over my arms and legs and every other inch of me too. I also can't not mention that Wonderwall cover which is one of my favourite songs to date, again, shivers all over. That's whats so good about artists that aren't afraid to take a risk and cover a song that is so many peoples favourite, risk is definitely worth taking sometimes. It was 100% worth it in this case too, I can imagine the thousands of Swift fans tweeting about this Ryan Adams character and asking about who the hell he is but it's great that even the hoards of screaming girls wont stop him and hey, they may hate this cover but I think it's refreshing and it's a chance for her younger audience to experience something other than pop culture.
I've listened to the album too many times to count now (and can I just say I'm not even close to bored yet) and a few songs certainly stick out for me. My number one is I Know Places, a song I have never even heard of before which leads me to mention that I've only ever heard about three songs off the original album to start with. It's a given that all of these songs have a folk vibe to them but this one is a little more up-beat and musical, the twang of his guitar during the entire song along with up and down tempo makes it the sort of song you can listen to in any mood. I also adore the chorus to the song as the lyrics are genius. My other favourites include Out of the Woods and Wildest Dreams - now I know I said I wasn't a Taylor fan but I have listened and sang along to this song on many occasions so the original I can relate to - side note: I really enjoy that song. But in all honesty I can't listen to it anymore without wanting to switch it back over to Adams cover. As 'epic' as the original version of Wildest Dreams is, sometimes stripping everything back works so much better.
All in all, this album does so much for me in terms of finally appreciating talent where I didn't exactly see it before and the sound, obviously. Ryan, you sure have done your fans and Taylors proud and released one very special and classic album alongside a not-so-bad chart topper.
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