Yesterday was supposed to be Ryan Adam’s day to shine. After months of teasing his re-imagining of Taylor Swift’s 1989, he finally revealed his work yesterday for the world to hear. The afternoon was filled with lemming bloggers heralding Adams for his takes on Swift’s album of mundanity. Why he got patted on the back for attempting to bring authenticity to an album of manufactured, overtly polished, radio-friendly schlock is beyond me, but you have to commend him for having the foresight to cover an album by the most popular “music artist” in the world. If you want to bring in a younger demographic after a stagnantly predictable decade of music, what better way than to hop on the magical coattails of Ms. Faux-Humility.
But then, amidst Adam’s day of glory, Father John Misty came along and trolled both him and Swift with two mp3s posted to his SoundCloud page. The first clip was a cover of “Blank Space” with the note: “My reinterpretation of the classic Ryan Adams album 1989.” Ouch. As if a cover of a cover wasn’t enough of a face to Adam’s desperate grasp for a younger audience, the audio revealed that FJM opted to cover Adam’s cover of Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” in the style of The Velvet Underground (welcome to the rabbit hole, my friends).
Not only is FJM’s Lou Reed impression spot on, but the dead pan vocal approach illuminates the childlike, banality of Swift’s lyrics. It’s pretty obvious that Swift won’t ever be writing a song with lyrics as imagery-laden as “Andy’s Chest” in her time (keep your fingers crossed for “John Mayer’s Chest” though!). As if FJM’s jab at Adams wasn’t enough, an hour later he released a second track, this time a cover of Ryan Adam’s cover of Taylor Swift’s “Welcome to New York.” In the spirit of Drake’s second Meek Mills diss track, “Welcome New York” is the ultimate diss to the entire Adams/Swift debacle.
Unfortunately, the next day both tracks would be removed by FJM with the explanation that Lou Reed came to him in a dream and said,””Delete those tracks, don’t summon the dead, I am not your plaything. The collection of souls is an expensive pastime.” Thankfully, we live in the social media age where nothing ever truly disappears from the internet.
Here’s to hoping that Ryan Adam’s decides to cover Justin Bieber’s Believe so we can hear FJM cover it in the style of Roy Orbison.