A lot of people dismiss Taylor Swift over having some pretty shallow songs about breakups, but when you really look at her music, there's quite a bit of emotion in there. Sometimes it takes a good cover to bring that out. Ryan Adams added a new depth to Taylor Swift's 1989 in his cover album, stripping away the poppier elements of the music and revealing some really good songwriting.
Ryan Adams' 1989 feels familiar yet so distant from Taylor Swift's originals that it almost feels forced to compare the two. Adams breathes his own emotion and life into the music, allowing for the depth to really show itself. Opening track 'Welcome To New York' feels like an indie U2 cover, its warm guitars and distant vocals offering up a whole new vibe. The way Adams changes up the album's big singles is brilliant. 'Style' becomes an almost glam rock track, energetic verses with heavier guitars and a more energetic look really changing the whole track. 'Bad Blood' becomes a sweet indie rock number, Adams polishing up the chorus melodies and making them sound natural. 'Shake It Off' is now a blues rock track, much more reflective than the more ambitious original. Even 'Blank Space' is now a sweet and reflective track.
It's fascinating to see these songs, previously overplayed, take on new forms. It's some of the deep cuts on the record that really show that Swift's writing really does have depth to it, and Adams brings it out in his versions. 'Out Of The Woods' is a more relaxed track to start, but has a pretty emotional build that is full of wonderful sounds that creates such a perfect atmosphere. 'I Wish You Would' feels so intimate and bittersweet, like a reflection as opposed to a ballad. 'How You Get The Girl' has this distinct taste of regret in the way Adams sings it. The atmosphere of 'This Love,' the Western touch to 'I Know Places,' and the sweetness of 'Clean all continue to showcase Adams' ability, as well as bring out Swift's writing.
Sometimes to really see the truth behind a work of art, you have to strip things down to their very core. Ryan Adams added a new depth to Taylor Swift's 1989 by making the music his own, adding a new vibe to it that makes the music come alive even when the tracks seem to be less layered.
Favorite Tracks: I Wish You Would, Bad Blood, Blank Space
Least Favorite Track: Wildest Dreams
Rating: 80 / 100
Stream or buy 1989 on Apple Music, and follow our Throwback Playlist on Spotify: