Album Review: 1989 – Ryan Adams

David Ryan Adams is an american singer-songwriter, musician, poet, painter, and producer. He has been known for his solo works, but he was formerly a member of alternative country band Whiskeytown, with whom he recorded three studio albums.  He was also a former member of the rock band, The Cardinals, with whom he released 5 albums. In 2000, he released his first studio album, Heartbreaker, which was nominated for the Shortlist Music Prize. In 2001, Adams released the UK certified-gold Gold, which included the hit single, “New York, New York” In 2009, he married singer Mandy Moore, and left The Cardinals and announced that he was taking a break from music. He started performing again in 2010, and released his 13th album, Ashes & Fire, on October 11, 2011. The album peaked at No. 7 on Billboard 200.

Ryan Adams.
Ryan Adams.

1989 is the fifteenth studio album by Ryan Adams. The album is a track-by-track cover of Taylor Swift’s 1989. It debuted at number 7 on the US Billboard 200 chart, ahead of Swift’s 1989, which was in its 48th week on the chart. The first song on the cover album, Welcome To New York, has a little twist on it from Swift’s original. It starts off with an acoustic guitar and a nice drum beat. Adams sings in a different style than Swift, but, the song is stunning nonetheless. It gives the song a little more of a country-rock feeling to it. It has acoustic guitar, electric guitar, drums, and everything else just pulls it together. The second cover on the album, Blank Space, starts off with acoustic guitar, with Adams singing soft vocals. It starts off a little mellow, but magnificent. The combination of strings, acoustic guitar, soft vocals, and backing vocals make this whole song better. It is soft, mellow, and delicate, this song is beautiful. Adams took a different approach to this, but it was magnificent. The next song on the album, Style, starts off with a heavy drum beat, leading into Adams’ vocals. He utilizes guitar, heavy drums, and great vocals. The next song on the album, Out Of The Woods, begins with acoustic guitar and leads into some incredible vocals. Adams has a way of making his songs brilliant yet still his own style. His voice is sensational and remarkable. He makes the song a little more mellow, much like his version of Blank Space. This song is a little soothing and slow, but still magnificent. The next song on the album, All You Had To Do Was Stay, starts off with bass and drums, leading into guitar and Adams singing. He sings Swift’s lyrics, “People like you always want back the love they gave away/And people like me wanna believe you when you say you’ve changed.”

Album cover for Ryan Adams' cover album 1989.
Album cover for Ryan Adams’ cover album 1989.

As far as cover albums go, they can either be pretty rough or amazing. Ryan Adams’ cover of 1989 fell onto the better end of that spectrum. One of the better cover albums we’ve heard, we highly recommend 1989.

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