Ryan Adams spent much of August teasing his forthcoming Taylor Swift cover album on social media. Now Adams’ 1989 finally has a release date—mark your calendars for noon Eastern on Monday, Sept. 21—and he has shared the first full track: his rueful rendition of “Bad Blood,” which premiered on Beats 1 Radio today.
Lest you thought of Adams’ 1989 as an extended practical joke or a confusing piece of performance art, his cover of “Bad Blood” proves otherwise: This is a thoughtful, fully realized, lovingly produced recording. With instrumentals reminiscent of Oasis and an emotionally raw vocal performance, Adams makes “Bad Blood” a far more nuanced-sounding meditation on betrayal and loss than Swift’s vengeful kiss-off of an original. And grammar nerds who shuddered at lines like “Take a look what you’ve done” will be happy to hear that Adams has taken some liberties with the lyrics and rhythms, making “Bad Blood” sound less confrontational and more conversational.