Monday, January 27, 2014

Grammy Recap 2014-- Cause there's so much on my mind....

I just finished watching the Grammy's, and overall I wasn't as impressed with performances as I thought I would be. The show itself evoked so many thoughts and feelings that when all was said and done with the show that ran over by about 45 minutes, I decided I needed to get everything done on paper.

It all started with an intoxicating performance of Drunkin' Love by Beyonce and her love Jay Z (they've been dubbed Jayonce online by fans). What more can I say, the voice, the body, Beyonce was ridiculous and in a good way. I loved the chemistry onstage between the two of them... I loved this performance, one of my overall favorites of the night.

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis won for Best New Artist. This award is always a toss up and by no means does winning it secure your career. However they also won Best Rap Album, Best Rap Performance, and Best Rap Song. I can deal with them winning Best Rap Song and if I must, Best Rap Performance, but I cannot deal with them winning Best Rap Album. I strongly believe that award belonged to Drake's Nothing Was the Same. That album was aggressive and vulnerable from start to finish.

I thought Lorde's performance of Royals was anemic at best. I was looking forward to seeing her perform live and it was disappointing, the vocals just weren't there, and therefore every award she picked up tonight just annoyed me.

Hunter Haye's debuted his new single Invisible inspired by the fact that he was bullied as a child. The vocals were strong, the performance was strong, and so was the message.

Best Pop Duo Performance was an award that I wish could have been given to everyone in the category, what an amazing group of performances. Each of them perfectly details what 2013 was all about-- Just Give Me a Reason by Pink and Nate Ruess, Stay by Rihanna and Mikky Ekko, Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke, Pharrell, and T.I., Suit & Tie by Justin Timberlake and Jay Z, and winners in this category Daft Punk and Pharrell for the song Get Lucky.

Katy Perry gave a bewitching performance of Dark Horse that was only enhanced with Juicy J from Three 6 Mafia. The song is a little bit frivolous but it's fun nonetheless.

Keith Urban performed his hit Cop Car with help from newcomer Gary Clark Jr.; this was an awesome performance.  The guitar parts were particularly well done. I think what highlighted it was that it was preceded by a rather boring performance by Chicago and Robin Thicke (he's just not as good live as he sounds on a recording).

John Legend gave a classy performance of the song All of Me which he says he wrote for his fiance. The performance received a standing ovation. I didn't see many of those over the course of the night. (standing ovations= Pink, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis... did I miss any?)

Best Rock Song-- Cut Me Some Slack (cut me some... cause I am moving on, never heard the song.....) Paul McCartney and Dave Grohl

Taylor Swift gave a strong performance of All Too Well off her Red album (which should have won for album of the year, we'll talk more about that later). I loved seeing her sit at the piano and commit so fully to the performance as she always does. She connected with the audience, loved it.

I love Pink, no lie, but I didn't get why she replayed the acrobats of flying above the crowd, she did this before and now doing it again, it just didn't seem special to me anymore. She should have just come out and sang Try and then Nate Ruess could have come out and joined her as he did for Just Give Me a Reason. Their vocals soared when they started singing together.

Then.... powerhouse Arianna Grande and soulful Miguel presented a shy Lorde with her Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Performance.

Ringo Starr gave a forgettable performance of Photograph. I enjoyed his performance with Paul McCartney more.

Jamie Foxx came onstage and talked about how amazing Beyonce was and told Jay Z how lucky he was before presenting him and Justin Timberlake (not present) with the award for Best Rap/ Sung Collaboration for Holy Grail.

Kendrick Lemar and Imagine Dragons did one of those famous Grammy mash-ups with their songs M.A.A.D. City and Radioactive. This was one of the most well like performances of the night and although I enjoy both of these artists individually, I did not enjoy them together. I like the idea, but I would have preferred for each artist to perform separately.

This was followed by two quick performances...

One by Kacey Musgraves who seems to be taking Country music by storm.....

And then Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr proved that age is nothing but a number, and that real talent never dies.

Following these two performances, something amazing happened! Gloria Estefan and Marc Anthony came out to present the award for Best Pop Vocal Album, and wouldn't you know it, the person who won actually did deserve it. Bruno Mars won for Unorthodox Jukebox.

One of the best performances of the night came from four men who sing country music and they brought down the house with a medley of songs-- Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard, and Blake Shelton showed some of these other performers how it perform on Grammy night.

Remember how I just said Kacey Musgraves is taking country by storm? Well she won Best Country Album for Same Trailer Different Park.

Daft Punk, Pharrell Williams, Nile Rodgers, and Stevie Wonder gave a disappointing performance of Get Lucky. The vocals were shaky and it lacked the inspiration from the original, I was impressed, especially considering that they won several awards on Grammy night.

Also a disappointment to me was the duet between Carole King and Sara Bareilles of her song Brave. The two just didn't seem believe and therefore I didn't believe.

Song of the Year went to Royals by Lorde which should have been in this category, but I don't think it should have necessarily won. The real winner here should have been Same Love by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.

Thumbs down to Metallica for a lackluster performance; at this point, they're outdated.

Steven Tyler and Smokey Robinson presented a surprised Daft Punk and Pharrell with their Record of the Year Grammy for Get Lucky.

Perhaps the most thought evoking, inspirational, and emotional performance of the night went to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis for Same Love. How beautiful it was to listen to the words and understand and feel through the lyrics what others go through. Their reality is not always great, but we can rise above as individuals and as a society if we so choose. By the time that the 30+ couples were married by Queen Latifah there was not a dry eye in the house, and people were holding hands believing all this could be a reality.

When Will I Be Loved by The Everly Brothers served as the "In Memoriam" song for this year and was sung by Billie Joe Armstrong and Miranda Lambert, an unlikely pairing.

Alicia Keys, Yoko Ono, and Olivia Harrison present Album of the Year to Daft Punk for Random Access Memories. To me, this was an unjustified win though. Album of the Year indicates the whole body of work from start to finish and while Daft Punk had perhaps the song of  the year along with Blurred Lines, they did not produce a body of work that was equally as stunning. Taylor Swift should have won for reinventing herself in Red and producing track after track that displayed falling in love, the bad break up, having fun with friends, and imagining the future. An argument could have also been made for Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' breakout album The Heist and Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City by rap genius Kendrick Lemar.

Closing with show with a performance I don't even remember anymore was Queens of the Stone Age, Nine Inch Nails, Lindsey Buckingham, and Dave Grohl. How good could it have been?

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