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1989 Image
Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 122 Ratings

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  • Summary: The alt-country singer-songwriter covers every song on Taylor Swift's 2014 pop album.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. Sep 22, 2015
    100
    By re-recording the whole of Taylor Swift's 1989, the maverick alt country star has turned a world beating chart smash album into a tender masterpiece of bruised Americana, in the process emphasising the perfect songcraft and exposing the dark heart of emotion beating beneath Swift's gleaming surfaces.
  2. Taylor's original 1989 is made even more interesting and worthy of discussion by Ryan's overtly classic rock-ified version, while Ryan's version is intriguing as both a personal expression and a reaction to one of the biggest albums we're likely to see come along in our lifetimes.
  3. 80
    What’s most impressive about Adams’ 1989 is the experienced troubadour’s eye and ear with which he brings out the material’s underlying strengths, finding melancholy currents lurking beneath supposedly upbeat, celebratory songs.
  4. Sep 24, 2015
    70
    He can sound awkward navigating Swift’s vernacular of haters and mad love, but when he plays up his strengths--the fingerpicking and strings on “Blank Space,” or changing the “Style” lyric “James Dean daydream” to “Daydream Nation,” a nod to Sonic Youth--the universality of great songwriting shines through.
  5. 60
    The result: an album with zero purpose but worth a listen.
  6. Sep 25, 2015
    60
    It’s just a shame that as entertaining as such popular revisionism can be, his 1989 will be remembered more as a curiosity than it does a full-bore artistic statement.
  7. Sep 25, 2015
    40
    Adams' 1989, for all its sincerity and technical execution, is ultimately hollow because it's nothing but context.

See all 25 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. Jun 11, 2017
    10
    This is such a good album Taylor Swift is a queen. Congrats Ryan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Kisses, swifties!!!
  2. Sep 22, 2015
    10
    Ryan gave a new molding for the songs of Taylor and I love it. I can tell that this album cover is better than the original 1989. No tea, noRyan gave a new molding for the songs of Taylor and I love it. I can tell that this album cover is better than the original 1989. No tea, no the shade, no pink lemonade, but it's the truth. Expand
  3. Sep 22, 2015
    10
    A record of this nature has no right, or even reason to be this real, this pristine, or this spellbinding. And yet, it is all of this andA record of this nature has no right, or even reason to be this real, this pristine, or this spellbinding. And yet, it is all of this and more. Ryan Adams lovingly strips down the source material, and builds a spacious, rapturous, soul-piercing shell around Taylor Swift's songwriting, elevating 1989 into something magnificent. Expand
  4. Oct 7, 2015
    9
    This is a better album than the original. There should be more cover albums like this in the world! Ryan Adams is one of theThis is a better album than the original. There should be more cover albums like this in the world! Ryan Adams is one of the greatest-underrated artists out there ATM. Expand
  5. Nov 14, 2016
    8
    One of Ryan Adam's more interesting releases, a track for track take on the world conquering Taylor Swift album. It's a ballsy move from a manOne of Ryan Adam's more interesting releases, a track for track take on the world conquering Taylor Swift album. It's a ballsy move from a man of his standing in indie circles and one that for the most part pays off. This record has encouraged me to listen to Swift's original closely and what Adams has done more than anything is highlight how strong the basic songs present are beneath the production treatment. "1989" Ryan Adam's style is reminiscent mostly of Springsteen (stripped down - say Nebraska era) or downbeat Smiths stuff. I can't decide whether or not Adams' treatment of "1989" has improved the record. The highlights on this version are the same as on Swift's which proves the point that the best songs are transferable across genres. Ironically the main strengths and weaknesses of this album are its complete faithfulness to the original. At 13 tracks, it's slightly drawn out. Best moments are "Style", "All You Had To Do Was Stay" and "Bad Blood". I think the maudlin delivery of the likes of "Shake It Off" and "Blank Space" take away from the end product of the songs. As a whole, this album is to be commended in what it attempts to do and is a great listen for fans of Ryan Adams. For anyone who enjoys the record, I'd strongly recommend checking out the original, a pop masterpiece. Expand
  6. Sep 21, 2015
    7
    This is such a good album. I can easily say that it is almost better than the original body of work. He has twisted the lyrics andThis is such a good album. I can easily say that it is almost better than the original body of work. He has twisted the lyrics and production into a compleatly new album, one the feels more personal, emotional and above all, more original. Expand
  7. Sep 26, 2015
    4
    I am really quite shocked by the high marks this album is getting. Most fans of Taylor Swift, such as my daughters and wife, and absolutelyI am really quite shocked by the high marks this album is getting. Most fans of Taylor Swift, such as my daughters and wife, and absolutely no interest in hearing a reinterpretation of their favorite songs done in a Springsteen-esque fashion by a guy they've never heard of. From comments I have read elsewhere, it almost seems that middle aged guys into the Ryan Adams and his style of music are so happy their guy can take contemporary chart toppers and take the melody and lyrics and play it with a guitar-driven and. (Full disclosure: I am a certainly a fan of most of Ryan Adams' work, and similar artists). Songs such as Badblood sound like it's done by bar band you might hear covering Taylor Swift, where you would quickly exit and find another bar.

    I can't imagine this being anything other than a novelty and those giving this 9's and 10's won't be listening to this in near future. Seriously, it's kind of embarrassing guys that you're singing rock versions of your 10 year old daughter's tunes.
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See all 22 User Reviews