Monday, November 23, 2009

American Music Awards 2009 Recap: A night of Taylor, The King of Pop, and comebacks...

Taylor Swift is having the year of her life, but was noticeably absent from last night's American Music Awards. Michael Jackson collected awards posthumously via his brother Jermaine who told us that love is the answer. Janet, Whitney, and J. Lo made comebacks of sorts; some were more shining than others.

But at the end of the night, it was a handful of divas and a group of alternative rockers that ruled.

Janet Jackson opened the show with a medley of her hits and her new single "Make Me" which she has said was inspired by Michael and takes her back to what she loves: happy, dance music.

Although I love Daughtry, their performance was forgettable at best. I didn't recognize the song either which I am guessing is a new single from their sophomore album.

Shakira's performance was also a miss, yes it was sexy, but the song made no sense, why didn't she sing "She Wolf" or "Gypsey"?

Keith Urban gave a safe, but rather boring performance of "Kiss a Girl"; yawn.

Reba McEntire introduced Kelly Clarkson who gave a moving performance of "Already Gone". Kelly, in my opinion, is someone who is here to stay and has natural musical abilities; her voice really is something to behold. The performance wasn't over the top like so many of her peers; she may not be a "performer", but she is a damn good vocalist.

Yankee's player Alex Rodriguez introduced Jay Z and Alicia Keys who sang New York anthem, "Empire State of Mind". Jay looked classy in a tux and Alicia looked lovely as she played the piano and crooned about the "concrete jungle where dreams are made of". The entire audience was on their feet and even Reba was rockin to the beat; this was one of a few true highlights of the night for me.

Two film stars, Nicole Kidman (a.k.a. Keith Urban's wife) and Kate Hudson (A. Rod's girlfriend) introduced their co-star (Stacey Ferguson) in the upcoming movie "Nine" along with her group, The Black Eyed Peas. I loved the energy of this performance which was a fusion of their new single "Meet Me Halfway" and summer hit "Boom Boom Pow"; Fergie proved once again why she is the duchess. The audience was dancing in the aisles courtesy of the Peas.

Rihanna's mish mosh of new songs from her album didn't really impress me, her performance was more about the special effects and her costume than it was about her singing. I was disappointed since I love almost all the songs I have heard from her album; she should have focused more on her unique voice than giving us a laser show.

Carrie Underwood was the breath of fresh air for the night. Her performance of her new single, "Cowboy Casanova" was cute and hot at the same time, and the song is just yet another awesome country single that is climbing the charts. As always, Carrie's voice was so right on; I am waiting to be disappointed but I don't think I ever will be. I think Carrie' only worry was performing right before Lady Gaga.

Lady Gaga gave a decent performance despite weird costumes and a piano that went up in flames. I especially liked her performance of "Bad Romance"; the outfits were actually kind of Madonna-esque, and thank goodness there was no fake blood involved (VMA style!)

Mary J. Blige sang another power ballad, but this was not up to par with what she usually does; by the time it was over all I could think about was "I'm Goin' Down", "No More Drama", and "Be Without You".

I think the award for worst performance of the night has to go to Jennifer Lopez for "Louboutins"; the first single off her upcoming album. She fell on her butt, and I still have no idea what the song is supposed to be about, or maybe I just don't like it.

Alicia Keys performance of her new single "Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart" was my favorite of the night. Just when I thought she couldn't impress me anymore; she did. The performance highlighted all of Keys' different talents: singing, dancing, playing the piano, songwriting, and conveying a story.

Eminem and 50 Cent's cuss filled performance of "Crack A Bottle" made me wonder if Slim Shady is really back. I wanted to hear something new from Eminem and I wanted him to utilize having 50 there.

Timbaland, Nelly Furtado, and So Shy singing "Morning After" had high points and low points. I thought Nelly walking out onto the stage was a high point and her singing was a high point. The low point was when the two ladies started to have a singing battle on stage; it was strange.

Green Day's performance of "21 Guns" reminded me why this group has staying power. They are one of the few alternative groups that are still around and popular. Their music is fresh, original, and it has a lot of meaning which is more than I can say for most artists these days.

I have to give props to Whitney Houston; she has been off the radar for the past six or seven years and she is back now. She is not the Whitney of old, but I think with everything she has been through she never will be. I am just happy she is ok; her performance wasn't great, but it was respectable. The song, "I Didn't Know My Own Strength" is basically her story from the past few years. I do love her song "Million Dollar Bill" though, that's a fun single, could definitely be made into a club single.

I have no idea what the closing number by Adam Lambert was; I am still trying to figure it out, and I will get back to all of you when I know. Enough said; case closed.

My American Music Awards Playlist for 2009

Janet Jackson "Make Me"

Taylor Swift "You Belong With Me"

Kelly Clarkson "Already Gone"

Jay Z and Alicia Keys "Empire State of Mind"

The Black Eyed Peas "Meet Me Halfway"

Carrie Underwood "Cowboy Casanova"

Lady Gaga "Bad Romance"

Alicia Keys "Try Sleeping With a Broken Heart"

Green Day "21 Guns"

Whitney Houston "Million Dollar Bill"

Michael Jackson "Thriller"

Beyonce "Sweet Dreams" (and while you're there check out "Video Phone")

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