Tag Archives: Taylor Swift

Ryan Adams vs. Taylor Swift

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that singer-songwriter, Ryan Adams has just come out with a cover of Taylor Swift’s entire album, 1989. Ryan Adams is mostly famous for his covers of popular songs such as Oasis’ “Wonderwall”. Despite covering many artists’ songs, Adams always finds his own sound, making his covers extremely unique.

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“Despite covering many artists’ songs, Adams always finds his own sound, making his covers extremely unique.”

He made the decision to cover Swift’s newest album while going through a divorce with his spouse, Mandy Moore. Of the album, Adams said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly “there are elements that describe these situations—that describe interactions and the world of romance and the confusion of being alive and knowing how you fit in—all that stuff is there. It’s what we write about.”

While some fans were initially miffed at the prospect of their favorite songs being made over, as soon as Adams’ album dropped it became an instant success, albeit receiving mixed reviews.

Ian Crouch, in an article for The New Yorker,

describes Adams’ cover as “more sincere and sentimental than the original,” while others at Rolling Stone write it off as “melancholy”. One thing is for certain though, from his low tempo rendition of the pop hit, “Blank Space” to his chilling version of “Bad Blood,” Ryan Adams has created an album to rival the original.

While Swift’s sound is very “Top 40’s” pop, Adams’ has a much more “indie rock” meets “90’s alternative” vibe, causing the songs to sound vastly different than their originals. Ryan Adams’ versions of Swift’s songs are much less upbeat and sadder provoking many to speculate that the pain that Adams pulls from Swift’s music sets him above her talent-wise.

I, however, feel that Adams’ heartbreaking renditions of the “1989” tracks simply present Swift’s lyrics in a different light. Taylor Swift has released heart-wrenching albums before, such as “Red“. Her songs are naturally sad and full of disappointment over failed relationships.

Instead of playing up that aspect of her lyrics on “1989,” Swift instead masked the underlying pain with catchy dance beats. Adams’ take on Swift’s songs brings this hurt to light.

One twist that Adams’ takes with Swift’s songs that critics have yet to mention is the “80’s rock” feel to tracks such as, “Welcome to New York” and “I Know Places”. In fact each song on the album sounds like it’s from a different era of rock ranging from the 80’s to today. This nostalgic feel works well with the title of the album.

Both albums are truly phenomenal; Taylor Swift is a terrific performer as well as songwriter. However, Ryan Adams’ covers took an album that could’ve almost been written off as “cheesy pop” and gave it back the meaning that the lyrics demanded. While Adams’ album won’t get you amped up for a night out on the town like Swift’s original will, it’s amazing easy listening music and deserves five out of five stars.

The Dress

Recently, a Scottish musician and college student by the name of Caitlin McNeill posted a picture of a dress on her Tumblr that would spark a craze across the Internet. Time  was a bit hasty in their response, stating that “the Internet officially broke ” as everyone from your mother to Taylor Swift to politicians began taking sides on the issue.

McNeill’s infamous post was captioned “guys please help me — is this dress white and gold, or blue and black? Me and my friends can’t agree and we are freaking the fuck out.”

Too bad that the poll of public opinion couldn’t help the girl out as the hashtag #TheDress began to pop up on social media, with both confused and vehement camps for “white and gold” or “blue and black” being established.

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“guys please help me — is this dress white and gold, or blue and black? Me and my friends can’t agree and we are freaking the fuck out.”

BuzzFeed grabbed onto the trend pretty quickly and broke the latest updates and arguments with the ferocity of breaking news updates a la Fox News. Their success in garnering viewership from this was so great that #TheDress was credited in site issues, as BuzzFeed’s own Tom Gara tweeted, “Great work everyone, we broke BuzzFeed.”

Now that the buzz has died down on this whole dress debacle and we’ve got proof that the dress is indeed black and blue, why were we seeing such different colors?

According to Duje Tadin, an associate professor for brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester, it may be the variations in the number of photoreceptors in the retina of our eyes that perceive the color blue. Our eyes have about six million of these photoreceptors that are sensitive to green, red or blue and send signals to our brain that interprets them as the colors we perceive.

“It’s puzzling,” Tadin said in reference to the #TheDress. “When it comes to color, blue is always the weird one. We have the fewest number of blue cones.” He added, “If you don’t have very many blue cones, you may see it as white, or if you have plenty of blue cones, you may see more blue.”

Science Daily had their own way of interpreting the excitement, stating that “the wavelength composition of the light reflected from an object changes considerably in different conditions of illumination. Nevertheless, the color of the object remains the same.” Basically, since the offending photo was taken in lighting with a blue hue, it may have caused the blues in the dress to reflect a white color.

Makes you wonder: do you see the same colors as the next person? How much of what we see can we say for certain is the same as the next person’s perception of the same image?

VMAs= lackluster night sprinkled with a few stars

This year’s MTV Video Music Awards were much anticipated after the craziness of last year. Last year’s VMAs had so many good performances (Jay-Z and Alicia Keys singing “Empire State of Mind”) and memorable moments (Kanye West taking the microphone from Taylor Swift). This year had the makings of another show worthy of talk for weeks to come, but sadly it fell short.

The best part of the 2010 VMAs was by far the host. Chelsea Handler has such comedic chops that I considered rolling on the floor laughing. I chose to stay in my seat for fear of missing something she might do or say. She kept the night rolling along by doing or saying the exact opposite of what you would expect from a well-behaved host, but I guess that’s why she was so entertaining. She wasn’t the same old host cracking the usual jokes, but even her jokes got old after a while.

The joke of the night was taken from last year’s VMAs. Instead of focusing on this year and what exciting things could happen, MTV chose to focus on last year’s awkward incident between Taylor Swift and Kanye West. Yes, it was an inappropriate moment thanks to Kanye West, but let’s move on. It wasn’t the end all that we should be focusing on an entire year later. The night got even weirder when Taylor Swift sang a song that she wrote about the incident. No one had heard it yet, and those of us that now have probably wish we hadn’t. Her dress looked great, but she was trying to be antiquated while it just looked sloppy. The song brought out the idea that even though the character in the song was 32, they were still an innocent person trying to grow up. Taylor Swift basically was telling Kanye West that it was ok he took the microphone from her and wanted her award to go to Beyonc