Taylor Swift topped the charts with her 5th album "1989" a little over a year ago; it was the BEST ALBUM OF 2014, no doubt. It's a legendary album that even the haters can't find a reason not to love.
When I first heard that Ryan Adams would be attempting to do a cover album of "1989," I was like, "Wait, HOLD UP BRO. You can't beat perfection." Little did I know that I was about to have a new obsession. (I mean Taylor Swift was fangirling over it so much that it had to be FABULOUS.)
Ryan Adams is an American singer-songwriter, musician, producer, poet and painter. He basically does it all. He is most famous for his spectacular solo career, and as being a former member of the alternative country band "Whiskeytown." He has produced albums for bands such as Fall Out Boy, and has collaborated with countless artists and bands including Weezer. Adams can play six instruments on top of already having insane vocals. (Hmm.... who does this sound like? TAYLOR SWIFT, maybe.) He plays the guitar, piano, harmonica, bass guitar, drums and banjo. His song "Gimme Something Good" won two Grammys ('Best Rock Performance' and 'Best Rock Song') in 2014, and his self-titled solo album "Ryan Adams" won a Grammy for 'Best Rock Album' in 2014 as well. His announcement that he would be covering and releasing his own version of "1989"is his latest and greatest endeavor in the music world. In my opinion, it may be his best work yet.
I've never been a big fan of cover albums because they often are overdone, and ruin the original album. I have never seen a successful cover album that has left me wanting more. That was until I listened to this album for hours on end. Let's just say, I can see this being one of the very few "iconic cover albums" of the decade.
Adams recreated the 13-song record breaking album into a beautiful Indie-rock masterpiece. Critics have been reviewing the album, and have been raving over the new "style" he has given each song. While Taylor's original album was tied together by genius lyrics and catchy tunes, Ryan stripped the songs in a way that puts more of a focus on the breathtaking lyrics. It gives the songs a whole new meaning. I can't put into words how awesome this cover album is. You just have to listen for yourself!
1. "Welcome To New York"
When I first heard "Welcome To New York" off the original album, it was everything I could have ever dreamed of. It was a song that I saw myself listening to as I walked the streets of New York City for the first time (I still need to do this... by the way). A song that is not only focused on the idea of Taylor finding herself in a new city, but also finding her new sound. "A new soundtrack, I could dance to this beat forevermore". I never imagined that I would love a cover song even more! Ryan changes the song in a way that it no longer sounds like a typical anthem, but you find yourself feeling like you in the Big Apple walking the streets loving every minute of your adventure.
2. "Blank Space"
Taylor Swift left a _________ for a reason. It was meant for Ryan Adams to create this dazzling cover song. The original song saw its popularity because of its catchy beats, but many people didn't ever pay attention to the lyrics. If you really listen to the lyrics, any fan would realize that every word is ironic. Taylor mocks the media's made up version of herself in being a reckless heart breaker, "Darling, I'm a nightmare dressed like a daydream." When in reality, Taylor is anything but what is described in the song. Ryan's cover song forces listeners to take in every single word. This had to be a difficult song to strip down, because the beat is what makes it so catchy. He sings it in a way that makes you picture every line.
Swift creates a song that you think is about being stylish and trendy. The song has an underlying message about a past relationship that never seems to go out of style even though it probably should. "When we come crashing down, we come back every time. We never go out of style." From the very first musical intro, I honestly thought this about to be a head-banging cover song when I first listened to it. Not my favorite on the cover album, but it is good!
Ryan Adams will never go out of style! (SORRY I HAD TO.)
4. "Out Of The Woods"
Taylor Swift eloquently tells a love story through this one-of-a-kind masterpiece. While "Style" is all about being stuck in a love that turns into a dangerous cycle, "Out Of The Woods" is all about finally breaking out of that cage. Some relationships are toxic, and have to come to an end. Ryan Adams changes this masterpiece into perfection. I love this version so much more than the original. I have nothing but good things to say about "1989"because it is the best album Taylor has ever written, but this song did get annoying after I listened to it more and more from the original album. I honestly don't know what it is, but the cover song just takes on a whole new meaning that I am utterly obsessed with. I would listen to this song for days, and never get sick of it ever. Just trust me.
5. "All You Had To Do Was Stay"
Another song off of "1989" that was so catchy that you couldn't help, but love it. So catchy, in fact, that you forget sometimes to really take in the lyrics. The song is about a man who was unwilling to commit, but now he comes crawling back. "People like you always want back the love they pushed aside. But, people like me are gone forever when you say goodbye." Adams gives the song a new sound, but still allows the song to keep it's meaning. The cover song forces you, once again, to listen to the words. You'll love it.
6. "Shake It Off"
I know you're thinking... HOW IN THE WORLD CAN YOU REMAKE AN ANTHEM?! "The haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate. But, I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake it off." My thoughts exactly before I listened to the song. From the first lines to come out of Ryan's mouth, I was in awe. It gave the song a totally different feel, but it's just so perfect. You're no longer dancing around your dorm room or house shaking off your insecurities, but you're actually letting every single word sink in.
7. "I Wish You Would"
Another glimpse into Taylor's past, where she wishes a love would come back to her. It's a catchy tune that you find yourself humming in the shower. It's inevitable, honestly. Ryan slows it down, and the lyrics become the centerpiece once again. "I wish you knew that I'd never forget you as long as I live."
8. "Bad Blood"
When you take away the Taylor Swift "SQUAD" music video featuring Kendrick Lamar, and you actually listen to the deeper meaning of the lyrics, this song is everything. (I actually really enjoy the original bad-ass version.) "Did you think we'd be fine? Still got scars on my back from your knife." This is easily one of my favorites on the cover album. Ryan sings it almost all acoustically, and it is such a masterpiece. Two words: MAD LOVE.
9. "Wildest Dreams"
Like many, this was MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE SONG off of Taylor's "1989"album. The original version takes on a Lana Del Rey sound, and it is so good! Ryan's version didn't disappoint by any means. The lyrics speak for themselves courtesy of Miss Swift, and Ryan's twist on the original is so beautiful. I am still a little confused on why he still says, "She's so tall & handsome as hell..." Advice for Ryan: Gorgeous, yeah lets go with gorgeous.
10. "How You Get The Girl"
A song off the original "1989"album that seems to be a little annoying to many fans. Again, listening to the lyrics in a new form makes you love it a whole lot more. "I want you for worse or for better. I would wait forever and ever." Ryan sings it at a slower pace putting emphasis on every line, and I could listen to it for days. BEST SONG ON THE COVER ALBUM!
11. "This Love"
"This Love" is a song that is so beautiful that it should never be touched. It is all about a love that ends, but then it comes back. "This love is good. This love is bad. This love is alive back from the dead. These hands had to let it go free, but this love came back to me." But, in reality, Ryan Adam's did nothing but turn an already perfect song into something that I want to listen to over and over and over again. Every word leaves you breathless.... you are actually feeling this love, the pain & happiness, you can't stop listening. Every piano stroke. Taylor Swift, I don't know how you don't cry after listening to this cover (Confession: I have cried multiple times).
12. "I Know Places"
Everyone is trying to get in to tear a love apart. "Something happens when everybody finds out. See the vultures circling dark clouds. Love's a fragile little flame, it can burn out." Taylor's lyrics are written in a way that allows fans to figure out the deeper meaning. Ryan slows down the song, but doesn't take away from the incredible lyrics. It still retains its mysterious feel, and it's crazy good!
This was a song off the album that Taylor opened up to her fans about the difficulty of getting over someone you love. You are drowning it the heartache, but you finally move on and you are clean."10 months sober, I must admit just because you're clean don't mean you don't miss it. 10 months older, I won't give in." It leaves you heartbroken for her, but you know she's OK by the end. Ryan sticks with the same sound, but he makes it his own. Once again, it is beautiful.
All I have to say is Ryan Adams is a musical genius, and the world needs to be blessed with more cover albums!! I would vote for the "1989" cover albumfor "2015 Album Of The Year" in a heartbeat. (P.S. Ryan needs to do covers for the three BONUS "1989" tracks, please and thanks.)