Last year, Taylor Swift took the music industry by storm by releasing a beast of a pop album with “1989,” an album that actually sold pretty well in an era where album sales are in a pretty unhealthy state. It gave her such a boost that she was able to fight off the almighty Spotify from streaming it, which resulted in mixed views from music fans.
And now, in what had seemed like a bizarre idea at first, Ryan Adams — a musician who seems to do whatever the hell he wants — has released a full cover album of “1989.” And the contrast between the two is quite remarkable.
Swift’s record was a slick, well polished pop album that even jaded music fans like myself enjoyed. Adams’ version — while he claimed he was going to make it sound stylishly like The Smiths — comes off as a dark, bitter Springsteen-esque album. And it certainly shows how great of a songwriter Swift and company are in that the lyrics seem to fit both a cheery pop album and a gritty rock album.
Here is “Shake It Off” by both artists as an example:
Not to be outdone, indie artist Father John Misty has released his cover of Adams’ cover of Swift with “Welcome To New York” and “Blank Space” in the style of the Velvet Underground.
It’s really interesting to hear how different artists approach the same material, even in a more tongue-in-cheek fashion as Father John Misty has done. What do you think?