Soundbite: 1989 by Ryan Adams

Interested in independent music, emerging artists and new album releases? DJ Marie, music director at Radio X, will keep you updated every week in The Current on what’s new in the world of music. You can catch her on Monday nights from 6 to 9 p.m. on 88.5FM, bringing you new music you’re sure to love.

Taylor Swift’s “1989” record was released over a year ago, selling over 5 million copies, breaking various records held not only by other artists, but by Swift herself, so it’s no shock that Ryan Adams was so fascinated by her. While Adam’s album, also named “1989,” is a collection of Swift covers from Swift’s most recent album, Adams manages to give his album a whole new set of feelings through his indie singing style and his full-on band sound. Adams is no stranger to the industry; being an active musician since the early 90s, this North Carolina native has released 15 albums, including “1989.” There has been an enormous amount of controversy revolving this cover record ― was it a way for Swift to make more money, did Adams want the attention, or was it something else? The actual context of the songs was not changed, just the singer and genre, removing Swift’s big name from the songs and changing the sound from bubblegum pop to Americana. It’s as if its hype, genre and origin were the reasons many critics did not find Adam’s rendition, put bluntly, any good. Not to pick a winner, but while Swift is an honest and deep lyrical genius, it’s hard to jam out to something that’s actually about heartbreak, just because it includes a sick beat. While Swift’s tracks are catchy, the overall sound and the messages tied to the sound don’t match up because of those energetic pop vibes. So, essentially, Adams took the same piece of art, added in his own sound and personality and simply explained Swift’s music in a different way, bringing in an even better perspective that sonically matches the lyrics.


You can find Adam’s version of “1989” on Spotify.

Perfect if you like: Bruce Springsteen and Pete Yorn

Favorite Tracks: “How You Get the Girl,” “This Love,” “All You Had To Do Was Stay” and “Wildest Dreams”



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