It's an odd object to engage with. Adams is entertaining, always has been, and he's carved out what is by now a fascinating career, filled with a few widely beloved heartland rock albums and a great many weird one-offs that have won him a devoted cult.
He throws himself into the album completely—the arrangements are fully realized and he sings with care and precision, revealing his admiration.
But he also reveals some fairly crucial points about how good songs are put together. Every recorded song is the end point of a long road with many possible forks in it—a series of small decisions about chord changes, melody lines, lyrics, and arrangements. Swift's songs are written for a specific kind of production—the melodies are clipped, percussive, and designed to hit with force at very specific times.
They are written to be electro-pop songs, which rely more on big dynamic changes and repeating cells of melody. At its best, Swift's crackles with life, and highlights what it feels like to be young and looking at the world from a very specific moment; Adams transforms those feelings into a wistful and generic feeling of weariness. To put it in the context of an artist to whom Adams is often compared, shows why Springsteen went synth-pop on Born in the U.
The songs that sound like anthems were meant to be anthems; Springsteen's stark demos of the songs are instructive but they weren't the finished product. Remember, too, that he tried to turn his dark folk masterpiece Nebraska into a full band album but realized it needed to come out as an acoustic demo. She brings the joy. He brings the heartache.
And why is he so upset at his rave reviews? L ast Christmas, bored and needing a break from his own music, Ryan Adams found an old four-track cassette recorder and got an idea. The cassette tape broke while I was doing it, so all of that was abandoned. But I kept the idea. Looking somewhere between bewildered boy and volatile imp, he speaks in long bursts, with the urgency of someone who considers himself frequently misunderstood.
I remember feeling shocked by her voice, shocked at how clean that song was. Her voice does this thing. It just goes through all my bullshit detectors and right into my heart and soul. By stripping away the instrumentation on Blank Space and omitting the line about making the bad guys good for a weekend, Adams also removes the song's dark humor, turning into a plea of almost predestined sadness.
If was an '80s-era shopping mall, Swift and Adams would be hanging out in different wings. Penney side, where the record store and arcade were," Adams says. By emphasizing the sadder aspect of Swift's songs, Adams' has the feel of a break-up album, certainly more than Swift's version does.
Though he says the end of his marriage of nearly six years had a greater bearing on the songs he wrote for a pair of albums recorded before but being released afterward, "there's some residual energy left over from that in this record, definitely. More than that, though, Adams found the project to be cathartic. Somehow, it let me say some stuff I really needed to say that I didn't even know I needed to say. In addition, he says, "It felt like I had given this person this cool gift: "Hey, here's your songs from this different perspective.
That's totally what music is. The navigation could not be loaded.