MUSIC REVIEWS Ryan Adams and The Weeknd

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by Kevin Deegan ‘16

1989 Ryan Adams
Notable alt-country singer Ryan Adams released his highly anticipated cover of Taylor Swift’s top-charting album 1989. Adams has been working on the cover for over a year now since Taylor Swift’s release of the album in October of 2014. Adams’s version covers each of the 13 songs on Swift’s original. Popular songs like “Blank Space,” “Shake it Off,” “Bad Blood,” and “Wildest Dreams” were all anticipated by Adams and Swift fans alike.

But these aren’t just rerecordings. Adams’s country background made for a great twist on the hit pop singer’s new sound. The songs are brought down to a slower pace, with a central focus on the acoustic guitar and the pure lyrics and voice rather than catchy beats and electronic vibes. With Swift’s progression towards the pop genre and leaving her country roots in the dust of the dirt road, Adams provides a bridge back for the former Swift fans who appreciated her country albums over her newfound pop albums. The cover album has received critical acclaim from many different fans of music, and is one of the best cover albums of the year.

Beauty Behind The Weeknd
One of the best new artists of the day, Abel Tesfaye, or better known by his stage name “The
Weeknd” released his much awaited album Beauty Behind the Madness in August of 2015. After the release of his number one hit songs The Hills and Can’t Feel My Face in the summer of 2015, The Weeknd expanded its fan-base to hundreds of millions of fans. Beauty Behind the Madness is Tes- faye’s first album since 2013, and it surely made a splash. The album topped the Billboard 200 chart, which is a ranked list of music albums in the world. This great success has lead to great success for the album, having sold over 700,000 copies to this date. The album itself consists of 14 tracks, three of which are singles. Can’t Feel My Face has become the first chart topping song for The Weeknd, and The Hills followed weeks later to become the top song of the date. This album is something that many fans of music can enjoy, whether you are a fan of pop, hip hop, or R&B. However, the lyrics of some songs are viewed by many as being very dark but relatable, and they make the listener think about their own faults and shortcomings. In August The Weeknd annouced that he will be going on a tour of North America, performing in 20 cities in the US and Canada. Abel has not yet announced a concert in Cleveland anytime soon, but an extended tour could always be in the works for an artist as popular as The Weekend.