For Christmas last year, some of my co-workers bought me Taylor Swifts “1989” as a joke. After months of hearing about Swifts album and all my colleagues singing “Haters gonna hate hate hate”, I wanted to jump out the window of my 48th floor. Instead I brought the album home to my wife (who is a huge fan), and she would blast it in the car while my kids would shake their heads to “Shake it Off”. Every time I got in the car myself, it would be there, haunting me. After about 25 times or so, I started to leave the album on. I was starting to actually enjoy it and I hated myself for it. Consistently I found myself playing “I Wish You Would” over and over again. If “1989” wasn’t playing in my car when I got in to drive, I would put it on. I was slowly becoming a Swifty.
So you can imagine when I heard that Ryan Adams (one of my favorite artists) was covering the album, I was as happy as can be. However as a big DRA fan, we know he could be a jokester, and that maybe this wasn’t to be taken seriously. Then when he released “Bad Blood” last week I knew this wasn’t just some joke. It was real, and it was gorgeous.
Listening to the album in full and what transpires is a thoughtful, emotional, and powerful rendition of Swifts music. The subtly of “Blank Space” and the slow stick beat to “Shake It Off” might be some of the best things I have heard all year.
There is a creative genius at work here on a pop icon, and we wonder how this even transpired. In truth this is a great move for both parties. On one side you have Swift converting old farts like me into liking and APPRECIATING her music. On the other, you have Adams showcasing his talent to a younger generation, hopefully sparking an appreciation for independent artists. Lastly you have the stream game. Swifts “1989” is only on Apple Music, while Adams “1989” is streaming on Spotify. This allows the album in general to get more exposure across multiple platforms.
So is this Genius or Joke? I think you know how we feel: Ryan Adams has done it again. Furthermore, and more importantly, I have come out of this respecting Taylor Swift more than ever. I will be listening to both albums for some time, and no longer am I ashamed to say it!!