Thursday, February 16, 2012

54th Grammy Awards: Highs and Lows

I'm sure by now you've heard various opinions about Sunday night's Grammy awards, or formed your own by watching the show. Here's some of my personal music fan-girl opinions about this year's "awards." I say that in quotations because the first thing I noticed is there are hardly any awards actually given during the show anymore. I feel like I saw perhaps 4 acceptance speeches. I warn you now if you are waiting to catch it on the DVR later....*SOME SPOILERS AHEAD!*

Let's face it-we ALL knew Adele would be a big winner, and deservedly so. I loved her first album, 19, and this last one, 21, was a triumph. Rolling in the Deep, Someone Like You, Set Fire to the Rain, Turning Tables-these are songs you like, your mom likes, hell, your grandma's been jamming this album in her Towncar. Face it. Good voices and heartbreak translate to a massive audience.

Her performance affirmed that her throat surgery didn't affect her voice. I was hopeful she didn't have a setback from it like Julie Andrews did, and I was assured as soon as she opened her mouth on the first note, that she's here to stay a while. Might I add-she looked beautiful, as always. For those who say "she's fat," I say to you-"fat" but talented have sold her 6 million copies of her album, so suck it. Her presence and domination of this year's awards was a high for me.

Another high was Jennifer Hudson's tribute to the recently departed Whitney Houston. Jennifer even looked like Whitney from a distance. She started in on "I Will Always Love You," and affirmed that if anyone can take Whitney's gospel-inspired pop throne, she has the pipes to do it. I admire her composure, only seeming to get choked up once during her song. Obviously, Whitney was a huge influence on J-Hud, she name dropped her back in her Idol audition days, and it comes through in the same way for me. Watching Whitney sing the national anthem at 1991's Super Bowl gives me the same chills as when I sat in the theater and watched Jennifer sing "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going," in the movie version of Dreamgirls.  She's an absolute star, and proves it to me over and over again. 

Now to the lows-and there were many.

Most of the awards weren't televised, so I didn't get to see a lot of people accept any awards-like Skrillex, who apparently won 3 (Best Dance Album, Best Dance Recording for 'Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites' and Best Remix for his 'Cinema' collaboration with Benny Benassi). I find that sad. But, the Grammys are trying to be like the MTV Video Music Awards more and more every year.

They took appropriate time to "shout out" the past with the original Beach Boys lineup, although Mike Love kept pointing right at me, and I felt like I was getting scolded.

There were "comebacks" by Chris Brown, but I'll get to that later. The real comeback in my opinion was seeing Brian Wilson sing "Good Vibrations." Considering he had a legendary hermit phase where he spent the better part of two years depressed, in his bedroom, doing drugs, sleeping, and overeating. The fact that he ever came out of it impresses me and makes every time I see him feel like a comeback.

Now to the so-called comeback by Chris Brown. Let me make one point clear: Beating your pop star girlfriend half to death 3 years ago, then performing on the Grammys and even winning one, does NOT constitute a comeback. It means we're all supposed to have national amnesia and not remember the photo of Rihanna with her face so bruised and battered I couldn't hardly recognize her. The first time I saw that photo taken by police when she finally got away from the woman beating ass who did it to her, I cried. I have issues with a society who welcomes someone like that back into the fold with open arms, like he's not a monster. Try as you might, Chris, there's not one moment when I see or hear you and don't think of you as a punk who punches and chokes women. Just like when I think of Michael Vick, I'll associate him with cruelty to animals. Knowing women who have been in emotionally and physically abusive relationships-I have no sympathy for men like this. They need help, or better yet, to face a man who's bigger and badder than they are to put them in their place.

Brown tweeted, "HATE ALL U WANT BECUZ I GOT A GRAMMY Now! That’s the ultimate [BLEEP] OFF!”The tweet was later deleted from Brown’s account, though it lives on in this publicly viewable tweet graveyard,
along with a couple of other gems that also disappeared from Brown’s feed.

Anyway-that a-hole won a grammy for best R&B album, when it was a techno-inspired rap-cameo having mess. Luther Vandross was R&B. Stevie Wonder is R&B. Chris Brown is just a woman-beater. I call shenanigans.

Lady Antebellum won Best Country Album. I have no idea how. I think none of the Grammy voters bothered to listen to it, because I have 100 country albums I'd rather see win over that one-and I don't listen to that much figure that one out. It's bad. In any genre. Also, their lead singer was a dead ringer for Khloe Kardashian at the show.

Paul McCartney performed twice (as it should be) doing one new song and coming back later for Beatles classics. I find myself disturbed at the "who is this old white guy?" tweets too numerous to believe. Please! My mother still refers to Paul McCartney as "the cute Beatle." Shoot yourself in the face for not knowing who he is, or the songs he sang.

Foo Fighters brought the rock, but were relegated to a tent outside. "A woman beating dick gets center stage, but they're stuck outside the Staples Center!" (was what I was screaming at the TV). Later they played alongside Deadmau5 in an attempt to show how "edgy" the Grammys are.

The Civil Wars were given just enough screen time for me to say "who are they? I could be interested in their sound," and Bon Iver won "Best New Artist" 4 years after I first heard them.

That's it in a nutshell-there were some highs, but mainly it was a boring show with no surprises. You can do better Grammys. You just need to fire your whole production staff and start fresh.


CommunionNimrod said...

"Who is that old white guy?"

That...disgusts me. That is a shame. Like the Beatles or not, they are unbelievably iconic and kind of a big deal in the music industry, even now.

Christopher John (@Christopher2814) said...

I enjoy a lot of Beatles music, and I recognize them for the innovative icons that they are, but I'll admit I don't listen to their stuff all that often. In a similar vein, I'm a little ashamed to say that I've never listened to one of Paul McCartney's solo efforts. I think that is going to change after listening to his new song.

I didn't see it live, instead I watched it on YouTube and I was AMAZED at how much I enjoyed it. I probably shouldn't be surprised but I was. He sounded great, the arrangement was perfect, that songs a hit. Period. You have to admire a guy who at the age of 69 can walk away with my favorite performance of the night, and release a song that didn't sound dated at all.

Anonymous said...

The only thing I wish I'd seen is Sir Paul. And I am raising my kids up right. THEY will know their Beatles damn it. They can already quote Yellow Submarine on Command, and soon they will be ready for Hard Day's Night. These parents today are letting their children get off without any real EDUCATION I tell you....

Becky said...

Me too Christopher. I haven't gotten a chance to dive into his newest album, but that song and the arrangement were perfect. Also, it was great to see how much fun Dave Grohl was having at the end rocking out with Paul. He was obviously having an "I can't believe I'm here doing this right now" moment.

ice princess said...

I don't think not being a hardcore Beatles fan is terrible. It just means your flavor for music is just that different. The music industry is too busy making hits with catchy beats and blah, blah. So I am not surprised that Chris Brown won a Grammy. I agree with Becky that women beaters and hurting animals are not easily forgiven in my book. I need to see him donate money to women shelters, therapy sessions on battering not anger management, and community service. I am just saying. I am really disappointed Bruno Mars did not win one award. His album is awesome to my ears.

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