You know that feeling you get after you’ve checked into a hotel, jumped on the bed, had a little pillow fight, and have flopped down on the bed into cloud like goose-down heaven? That feeling is what listening to the Ryan Adams ‘1989’ cover album is like.
Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’ was a brilliant pop album in its own right, and Adams’ covers take it to a different place. It’s more indie, but no less radio-ready. It’s like ‘1989’ grew up, I’m tempted to say it’s the kind of album your mum would always have the CD on hand for – but that limits it too much. It’s the soundtrack for a night of scrabble and multiple bottles of wine with your girlfriends. It’s relaxed, but still up-beat enough for you to sing along to.
The seminal ‘eff the haters’ anthem for girls everywhere has been given a complete makeover by Adams. ‘Shake it off’ is slow in Adams’ version – almost unrecognisable it comes across much more aggressive when Adams growls it through your speakers. It is a far cry from Taylor’s feel good hit, but it works – just not in the way you would expect it to.
‘How you get the girl’ is turned into a tear jerker by Adams. Worthy of any first dance, the string section is phenomenal, uplifting and heartbreaking at the same time.
One of my favourite tracks from 1989 is ‘Wildest dreams’ and unfortunately, Adams really didn’t hit the mark on it for me. He took it a little too country, and the slight changes to the lyrics for his masculine view weren’t quite there.
Hitting the nail on the head however is ‘I wish you would’ which sounds almost Cranberries-esque, it goes it a place that is reminiscent of ‘Kiss Me’ and is a joy to listen to. Though if you don’t like The Cranberries, you probably won’t enjoy it much.
The rest of the album glides by with the ease that good pop songs do. Nothing stands out, it’s not ostentatious. It’s a good cover album, Ryan Adams has put himself into Taylor Swift’s songs, he sings them as if he is her – as if they are his songs. And aren’t they? We all relate to a bit of T-Swifty in one way or another, maybe we should all record ‘1989’ cover albums – then again, maybe not.
4 / 5