“Ryan’s music helped shape my songwriting. This is surreal and dreamlike.” – Taylor Swift
Ever since word first leaked (or rather he tweeted it) that alt-country, hipster-beloved indie darling Ryan Adams was working on a cover version of Taylor Swift’s multi-platinum 1989 album (in the style of The Smiths, natch), not only has Swift herself – America’s sweetheart and reigning pop princess been breathless with anticipation, but the entire internet community has been in waiting. Here at The Garb Wire, we’ve been buzzing with the excitement of this previously unthinkable meeting of musical minds. As Adams teased us with musical bites via Twitter and Instagram (he’s very modern), the world wondered if this musical goodness would see the light of day, given that his much rumoured, never-revealed cover version of The Strokes Is This It? album never made it to iTunes. That album remains an urban legend to this day (apparently only a few of his ex-bandmates in The Cardinals have ever heard it. However, legend holds that it was gooood).
Ryan Adams’ take on 1989 is finally here. And yes, it’s just as good as you hoped. Every slice of the album that Adams has tempted us with has added to our anticipation — not least with Swift herself, who tweeted in response to Adams finishing her song Style –
“Cool I’m not gonna be able to sleep tonight or ever again and I’m going to celebrate today every year as a holiday. I’M CALM.”
We can report that this album truly delivers on our fevered expectations, from the bluegrass-tinged slow tempo beauty that is Blank Space to the sparse, metronome driven lilt of Shake It Off.
Ryan turns 40 in November and in a way it may be that milestone has allowed him to cast off the angst of his past He truly seems to be enjoying himself here. Mid life crisis writ large? Though, as Gavin Allen at the Daily Mirror brilliantly put it: “I did not suggest he was having a mid-life crisis. He’s enjoyed a whole-life crisis so far. Why limit yourself?”
This truly is the Cardinals meets Heartbreaker meets Love Is Hell album of our dreams.
Grab 1989 by Ryan Adams now on iTunes, or for the traditionalists stay tuned for the impending release on CD and vinyl.