Ryan Adams - 1989
When Ryan Adams announced he was going to release 1989, an album of Taylor Swift covers, people thought he'd lost his mind. Taylor Swift? Really? He added fuel to the flames by making public comments about how much he admired her songwriting. All the hipsters went bug-eyed. But let's be fair, she's been recognized by many groups in Nashville for her songwriting talents. So it's not so much a stretch for Ryan to say these things. Now that the album is out, here's what I can say about it. There's absolutely nothing wrong with any of Swift's songs. There's never an awkward line, they are narrative and cohesive. They are mostly pure pop. And that's OK. Now the question is, what has Ryan Adams done with them? He's turned in an album full of power-pop goodness. Lots of sonic landscapes, lots of atmosphere, lots of drum machine. But plenty of rock & roll vibe too.
My theory is that 1989 is a deliberate attempt to drive away the crust of hipsters that have accreted around him over the years. And he's done it with a perfectly enjoyable and respectable power-pop record.
In any case, I'm adding "Welcome To New York" and "Wildest Dreams" to rotation.