I don’t enjoy watching these award shows as much as I used to. When I sing better than Katy Perry who has been nominated the last four years, and Rihanna still manages to get nominated despite half her discography containing repetitive, barely audible English and sexual phrases, I am left mostly speechless. I mean, do no other artists exist in this universe? Can we even call the likes of Katy and Rihanna “artists”?
Apart from the ‘Rock’ and ‘Best New Artist’ categories that try and squeeze in anything that isn’t pop, the Grammys leave a lot to be desired. There is no flavor; there is no variety. It seems everything these days has to have a dance beat otherwise it struggles to find its way to radio. I can only think of one word to describe the current state of music: grim.
Taylor Swift… I feared that one day you would leave your good-girl nest and become just another tart lost in the sea of pop. It took about six years, but it’s finally happened. And I weep. She is such a talented young songwriter, having written nearly all her last three records, and doing it in an original, soft pop-country style which proved to be a successful recipe. She calls her latest album Red, the most adventurous record she’s made, but it sounds like you could have thrown any teen (and Swift is twenty-three) into the studio and recorded this awful rubbish. We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together is one of the only good ones, but even that quickly grows old, and when paired with that horrid circus theme from last night, Swift has managed to ruin circuses for me for like, ever. That ringmaster costume she had on was so ill-fitting on her tall figure, and she just doesn't suit the overdone, dramatic entourage at all. I miss last year’s sickeningly sweet Taylor prancing around with her banjo. This new image all seems so unnatural.
|Grammys 2012: Will the real Taylor Swift please stand up?|
First award of the night for Pop Solo Performance goes to Adele, who seems annoyingly ungrateful and blasé whenever she wins something. You would think she would at least try and act like an English lady, but she just comes off as kind of crass. Last year she rudely chewed gum while making her acceptance speech, and this year she showed up looking like a fat piece of fruit, or my grandmother’s couch. Come on, this woman must have some kind of stylist?! Someone should also tell her there is a fine line between personable and obnoxious. Please tell me, is there anyone left on the planet that isn't blindly kissing her butt?
|Adele (shockingly) wins (again)|
Neil Patrick Harris is too cool and funny to introduce Fun., a band who makes themselves seem even more pretentious by having a period at the end of their name. Aren't you actually setting people up for disappointment when in your very band name, you make some grand proclamation that you’re going to provide nonstop amusement? Sure I had that We Are Young song stuck in my head for a night or two until I realized how annoyingly trendy it was attempting to be, and that Some Nights song is just dang irritating! I’m sorry but I find this hipster band just plain Boring. I will admit that their Grammy performance of Carry On was semi-watchable, especially with that impressive rain display. I was only hoping the torrential downpour would carry the band members away with it. Unfortunately it did not.
Holy moly, Johnny Depp is looking worse for wear these days… I swear I almost thought that was an impersonator! Is anyone else tired of his raggedy weird-accented self? As a former Depp defender and lover, I’m just not sure I can do it anymore. And how predictable that he would introduce folk band Mumford & Sons. Johnny Depp used to be cool and hip. It seemed natural once upon a time. Now he’s just becoming a mockery of himself, and it’s kind of cringe-worthy.
|Is that Johnny Depp or a lost homeless man invading the Grammy stage?|
Thank the Lord Jessica Biel fired up JT's mojo again and he's returned to what he does best. This means we don't have to watch him act horribly in awful films. No one on the scene today can do the suave R&B thing as well as Justin can, and have respect from every black man while doing so. He has that smooth silky voice and moves to match, without it being overdone and tacky. It’s refreshing that he’s making a comeback with an old school vibe rather than meaninglessly churning out any old crap dance songs. I admire the fact that although JT does take a long time to put out a record, when he finally does, it’s actually something worthwhile. He releases new material only when he’s got something new to offer the world of music and I respect that. His performance medley of Pusher Love Girl and Suit & Tie (with a really great Jay-Z rap halfway through) shows off exactly what Justin does best – marrying old and new sounds to create something funky, fresh, and modernly retro. Thank goodness the original Justin is bringing swagger back.
|JT & Jay-Z rockin' out their suits & ties|
Anyone else annoyed with Maroon 5? What once was an enjoyable indie band has now turned into just another hot generic mess. Lead singer Adam Levine gets a judging gig on The Voice, takes his shirt off a bunch of times, and now I’m supposed to sing the praises of Adam Levine and the Maroon 5s? No thanks. All the new songs sound the same, Adam’s voice could not be more nasally and whiny if he tried, and his arrogant cockiness makes my stomach churn. Alicia Keys’ appearance did save the stage, though we get it Alicia – you can sing and play instruments. You don’t need to bang huge drums while showing your underboob to further prove you’re talented. Funnily enough, both Adam and Alicia sounded better when they exchanged verses from each other’s songs.
|Alicia, singing & swinging|
Rihanna performing a straight-up non-sex ballad fully clothed?! Is it a holiday or do I need to get my eyesight and hearing checked? My jaw hit the floor when Rihanna proceeded to actually sing, rather beautifully, her heartfelt new song Stay. This is the type of material Rihanna should attempt to gain fans with. This is the type of music that will resonate with people in the long run. This is a side of Rihanna that may actually convince me that there is some talent behind that gyrating punani.
|Rihanna shows elegant emotion instead of skin|
Everyone’s favourite estranged musical uncle, Jack White, always manages to bring some mayhem to the party! Whether you love him or hate him, you have to admit; he knows how to get a rise out of people. To the average person it may just seem like pointless noise, but try to look away… I dare you. He’s like the best car crash you’ll ever witness. He’s captivating. He’s dirty. He’s musical madness at it’s finest.
I was thrilled when the sweet and humble Gotye and duet partner Kimbra won Record of the Year for Somebody That I Used To Know. Not only was it undoubtedly one of the greatest song revelations of the year, but they both looked so genuinely surprised and delighted they had won, that it was really just refreshingly cute. Gotye went on to unintentionally summarize what the Grammys should really be all about. He praised music listeners, as well as all those artists never nominated or publicly recognized for what they do - an incredibly fitting speech to end the night, and a bit of a subtle jab at the mainstream music market.
|Modest Grammy darlings Gotye & Kimbra|
With solid performances from The Black Keys, Frank Ocean, and a really uplifting tribute to Bob Marley, I actually for the first time in a long time, felt that the Grammys were attempting to bring more versatility to their program. They even brought a bit of fun 80s cheese, getting host LL Cool J to perform his new song Whaddup as the show-closer. Don’t get me wrong – Grammy organizers still have some work to do. But in allowing new artist Miguel to take the stage in a breathtakingly sexy performance, and giving virtually unknown Spanish artist Juanes the chance to show off his chops by singing a few seconds of Elton's Your Song, it seems to me like the Grammys may be picking on the fact that variety is the spice of life, and that in order to change the face of the music scene, we need to look beyond what is spoon-fed to us through mainstream media. I’m not bitter, I’m just not easily pleased. And I think that’s okay. I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with wanting more from the people I’m spending my hard-earned money on. There is so much great music out there that deserves the chance to shine and shouldn't be hidden behind Bieber’s ego or Katy’s tatas.