FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2015 |
Posted by: Don Saas
So, we've been listening to Heartbreaker a lot in the office lately. Specifically, we've been bumping "To Be Young Is To Be Sad (Is To Be High)." There's something about that record that represents the peak of a specific brand of Americana/alt country music. And between "To Be Young" and "Come Pick Me Up," it's not exactly shocking what that transcendent element of Ryan Adams' music is. He displays unguarded emotional vulnerability which is rare in male songwriters. There's that quiver in his voice that speaks to the depth of his nostalgia and remembrances on "To Be Young"'s chorus that sells the whole elegant simplicity of the track. And on his Taylor Swift cover album, it appears that Ryan Adams can bring the one thing Taylor Swift has always lacked: emotional authenticity.
Ryan Adams finally premiered the first take of a full song from the record, "Bad Blood," on Zane Lowe's radio show, and although I'm probably metaphysically incapable of enjoying anything associated with Taylor Swift at this point in my life, Ryan Adams does what Taylor couldn't do. He makes you feel the song. This isn't a song dripping with deep philosophical insights into the human condition or a groundswell of naked human emotion, but Ryan Adams finds those emotions through his voice and the reworked arrangement of the track. So, Ryan Adams, we tip our hats to you, sir.