At ease: Ryan Adams makes it cool to like Taylor Swift now

Indie songwriter, Ryan Adams, has “re-imagined” Taylor Swift’s entire last album, 1989, and now has seven tracks on Billboard Hot Rock Tracks, all Taylor Swift material. He has landed on the chart only three times in his entire 20-year career. Oh, by the way, he’s a big fan.

Arthouse music critics are hopping on board the Ryan Adams’ 1989 bandwagon. Spencer Kornhaber recently wrote in Atlantic Monthly. “Adams has, blessedly, done more than simply transpose Swift’s songs into the genre of acoustic grizzled seriousness. There’s an intelligence and point of view to these reworkings.”

The album got a boost when Ryan Adams performed several songs from it on Trevor Noah’s The Daily Show last night. Taylor Swift, herself, has never appeared on The Daily Show.

In an interview with Shad on CBC’s q radio on Friday morning, Adams felt Taylor Swift “accelerated” with her work on 1989. So much so that he wanted to re-do the album his way. “I know as a songwriter that, if those songs were acoustic, they would slay,” he told Shad.

I don’t recall anything of much interest that q radio has ever done on Taylor Swift’s music. But now her album, “re-interpreted” by a middle-of-the-pack alt rocker whose claim to fame at one time was leaving a ranting message on music critic, Jim DeRogatis’ phone, is suddenly palatable to the hipster.

Ick. Poo.

The interview ended with an Adams’ version of Swift’s Wildest Dreams.

If you’d like to hear the full q interview, click here.

If you’d like to hear my favourite song from 1989click here.


Author Photo 01 Sandy Tam PhotographyGail Picco is a strategist who has worked in the nonprofit sector for 25 years. She is the author of What the Enemy Thinks, a recent novel set in the nonprofit sector, and is Chair of the Board of the Regent Park Film Festival. She also writes about baseball and F1 racing.

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