If there’s one thing that characterizes Taylor Swift, it’s her penchant for sharing the limelight. I don’t think we need to remind anyone of the dozens of performers, comedians, artists, musicians, actors, and athletes she has invited onstage with her, on a whim, during her 1989 World Tour.
So when Ryan Adams announced that he was working on a cover album of the whole of Swift’s smash multiple-platinum hit album 1989, not only did Swift fangirl all over the Internet, but she also was extremely dedicated to sharing the news, as well as Adams’ frequent Instagram videos detailing the process. She also shared her personal countdown to the release of the album, and this morning, she retweeted in a frenzy, sharing news and reviews of the album.
The consensus? Taylor really likes it. Here’s a sampling of her retweeting marathon:
— DALES. (@brianlogandales) September 21, 2015
— Paul Gale (@ImPaulGale) September 21, 2015
— PBTT (@pianosband) September 21, 2015
— Access Hollywood (@accesshollywood) September 21, 2015
— Jake Updegraff (@OnAirJake) September 21, 2015
It’s honestly easy to see why Swift and literally everyone else is responding with such enthusiasm. Ryan Adams has stripped down the songs to their very cores, and made them into very characteristic Ryan Adams-style tunes. He channels The Smiths, Tom Petty and The Grateful Dead, turning Swift’s synth-pop sounds into something strikingly more melancholic.
Adams has definitely gotten Swift’s share of the limelight for this endeavor. Not only has he been met with overwhelming love and approval from Taylor herself, but he has also unlocked the attention of her fervent, sometimes obsessive, fanbase (like me). Ryan Adams has a habit of covering hit songs so well that they become even better loved than the originals. “Wonderwall” and “Times Like These” come immediately to mind. So Adams covering 1989 places him even more deeply embedded into music culture, and also gives him some of Swift’s spotlight.
And you know what? The album itself, as a work of art, is nearly flawless, even if it relies oh-so heavily on minor keys.
The highlights of the album are “Shake It Off,” “Wish You Would,” and “Style,” in which Adams rephrases some of the lyrics to suit both his gender and his sensibilities. The end result is a tribute to the songwriting prowess of Swift, and an enduring testament to quality pop music, enhanced with an alternative flair.
Swift is known for her blind approval of other artists’ work, and her unconditional support for other talent. Clearly, Adams’s 1989 is no different.