Ryan Adams is one of those doll-faced American singer/song-writers with an envied ability to poetically and sonically lull his audience into a trance.
Having first sprouted onto the music scene in 1994 as frontman and guitarist for North Carolina-based alternative country group Whiskeytown, Adams went on to claim his position in the industry as a blues-inspired hero of musical composition through his solo career.
After giving his side project, Ryan Adams & The Cardinals, a brief go between 2004 and 2009, the folk rocker announced in 2010 he would take a break from music, leaving his fans to wonder when they would ever hear from him again.
Last November, Adams released his 14th record Ryan Adams via his own label PAX-AM. Then, just this past Monday, September 21, his long-awaited cover record of pop star Taylor Swift’s platinum-selling 1989 was released to an excited and curious fan base from either artist.
Unlike Swift’s lively and high-spirited 13-track collection of songs highlighting the optimistic side to her usual pop ballads about heartbreak and mean boys, Adams brings his melancholy interpretation into play with his personal rendition of the songs.
The cover record has been causing quite the stir among fans of both Adams and Swift, but the 25-year-old songstress herself seems to be more excited than anyone, announcing via her Twitter account on September 17, “Ryan’s music helped shape my songwriting. This is surreal and dreamlike.”
But, is Adams’s 1989 a testament to how truly great Miss Swift’s songs are, or is it someone as soulful and musically profound as the soft-spoken lad from North Carolina re-shaping the bouncy pop tunes, and in turn making those of us unfamiliar with pop culture pay better attention?
Either way, the cover record is out and opinions will continue to be made. While there may be no right or wrong answer, Ryan Adams 1989 might be a taste of what is yet to come from the unique duo.