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Ryan Adams’ 1989 Reviewed: A Ryan Fan & A Taylor Fan Go Head To Head

Two of our writers who also happen to be opposing fans review Ryan Adams’ take on 1989!

Ryan Adams - 1989

Source: Official Album Artwork

Taylor Swift‘s 1989 was probably the biggest album to grace the world in 2014. Signifying Swift‘s poppiest era yet, her popularity soared because of it and she’s been seemingly unstoppable ever since. The 16 tracks have become almost sacred in the music world but one American singer-songwriter  who goes by the name of Ryan Adams decided to release his very own version of the album! Queen T herself is excited about it, but who really does 1989 best? We let two of our writers who also happen to be their biggest fans give their opinions on the record.


The Ryan Adams Fan – Jenna Young
Ryan Adams’ sound comes from a very ‘country’ kind of place at times, much like Taylor Swift’s career. The atmospheric emotion of his songs made this cover album a big deal before anyone had even heard it. And it doesn’t disappoint. While each track sounds very different from the original, and each other, Adams still captures the emotions of all of them in his own way.

The stand out track on the album is ‘This Love‘. It’s completely stripped back, just vocals and a piano. The piano parts aren’t even particularly complicated, mainly chords played slowly behind the singing. This gentle rhythm, however, combined with the slight echoing effect on the vocals creates the most enchanting effect. In a subtle way it just demands to be listened too, making you drop everything and just become cocooned in the beauty of the track. ‘Style‘ is the other end of the spectrum, starting instantly with fast paced drums and guitar which create a funky rhythm as the vocals kick in. Multi-layered vocals really fill out the chorus giving it a really rounded, stereo sound and making it hard to escape.

Another highlight of the album comes in the form of ‘All You Had To Do Was Stay‘. It follows the upbeat vein of ‘Style’ with a focus on the bass guitar at the beginning giving it a different twist. The chorus finds a finer line between the fun rhythm which compels you to dance and the beautiful, sombre emotion of a break-up song.

That’s the charm of a lot of Ryan Adams songs, they just draw you in and make you feel the emotion and each of the songs on this album makes you feel something. Put your headphones on and completely immerse yourself in the music. That’s the best way to enjoy this record, getting lost on the relaxing, blue seas this music conjures up.

Source: Promo

The Taylor Swift Fan – Sophie Sinclair
Now, while at first I was a bit hesitant at the thought of someone covering a Taylor Swift album – I mean, how dare they, it’s perfect to start with! – Adams impresses instantly, with the opening track ‘Welcome to New York’ offering a fresh take on Swift’s original version. This theme resonates throughout the whole of the album, as distinctive stand out songs that we’ve grown to know and love have been transformed into completely different styles.

The infectiously catchy and overplayed ‘Shake It Off’ has become stripped back to include synths and echoes, while ‘Style’ has been given a rockier edge, filled with electric guitars and lots of reverb; both have been reworked into completely different songs yet still manage to portray that Taylor essence that she intended. A favourite track though has to be his take on the magical ‘Wildest Dreams’. Turning it into a country driven song, he brings about a sense of nostalgia that’s reminiscent of Swift’s previous albums.

I have to admit that I was slightly disappointed to see that Adams missed out the three bonus tracks of ‘Wonderland’, ‘You Are In Love’ and ‘New Romantics’. These are arguably three of the best songs from Swift’s 1989 album, so it certainly would have been interesting to have seen his take on these.

Overall, Adams has transformed some of pop’s biggest hits to showcase his interpretation, allowing Swift’s strong song writing skills to shine through. This albums proves how great a musician Taylor Swift truly is, as by stripping back her pop-produced material, Adams has demonstrated how her emotional lyrics and melodies are strong enough to stand alone.

While this may have started out as an experiment for Adams, he’s gone on to produce an impressive and thoroughly enjoyable album – and this is coming from a loyal Taylor Swift admirer!

The question now is, when is Ryan Adams going to make an appearance as the special guest on Taylor Swift’s current tour, and more importantly, who’s version of the song will they perform?! Either way, we hope they don’t keep us waiting too long, and in the meantime at least we have two identical, yet at the same time totally unique albums to keep us entertained!

So there we have it, it looks like Ryan Adams’ 1989 is a hit with everyone! Let us know if you agree in the comments below.

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