Re: The 60th Annual Grammy Awards
Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 4:27 pm
I loved the Kesha and PInk performances, but hated just about every other performance on the show. I continue to be unimpressed with Sam Smith, a nice voice, but hardly a creative one. The winners were so-so with Bruno Mars being a particularly mediocre choice. As the Onion astutely observed, he won the award for least threatening artist of the year.
I think the most emblematic choice to go with your observations, Franz, was that they selected Ben Platt (his redition was strong, sure, but...), to sing a song that's supposed to be sung by a Puerto Rican woman.
The 60th Annual Grammy Awards
Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 1:47 pm
Anybody watch the show last night and had thoughts?
My corner of the internet is pretty incensed, but apathetically accepting, of the results of the awards.
Yet another example of the Grammys utilizing the black community's contributions to music, using their performances to bolster the Academy's credibility without awarding them any meaningful awards. Another Grammys with an outstanding Kendrick Lamar performance to add to his continued ghettoization in the Rap categories while losing AOTY to Daft Punk, then Taylor Swift, and now Bruno Mars.
The endless blather about being back in NYC, and padding the already numbing running time with music barely tangentially related to the city, let alone to current trends - the Broadway/showtunes segment (aren't the Tony's for this specific purpose?); the double shot of Sting and Shaggy (an execrable Subway Karaoke segment - because NYC - and a performance of a 31-year-old semi-hit); a U2 performance in the Harbor because NYC (their quick cameo during Kendrick's performance should have sufficed) - it all added up to so much hot air.
The performances in general. Yes, Ke$ha has had a nightmarish situation in recent years stemming from abuse of power, but without any context to fill in the layman, her caustic performance was just another goopy ballad in a telecast that already saw Sam Smith bore us in a lab coat, and Pink emoting and signing in a frumpy mom outfit. They trotted out three country stars I couldn't identify to sing an Eric Clapton ballad (which suited exactly none of their voices), but could not find time to give Lorde (in hindsight a token female nominee for AOTY) a solo spot as they offered all the male nominees in that category. Correction: Lorde would only have been good enough to sing a Tom Petty cover in a collaboration with others. Melodrama indeed.
Vital new voices like SZA were shut out; old guard voices with vital work like Jay Z likewise; a Spanish-language hit which was undisputedly the biggest hit of recent years by any quantifiable metric (if not artistic quality) was sent home empty handed. Women won 17% of the awards.
In the meantime, a retro throwback artist of mixed heritage and peerless entertainment value - lab designed for Grammy tastes - did the inevitable and swept the boards. Don't get me wrong: in this streaming age where albums get longer to meet the bottom line (consider: Migos' Culture II at an unfathomable 24 tracks and 105 minutes), it is refreshing to get Mars' 9-track, 34-minute pop craft. In a year where so many of the nominees seemed to reflect a growing sophistication and attention to the critically acclaimed (Metacritic's compendium of the critics' top 10 list had Kendrick, Lorde and SZA as the top 3 albums of the year) ended in cruel regression. Not a surprise.
It's unfortunately the pabulum craft that the Grammys reward rather than the challenging, uncompromising (yet still platinum-selling mainstream successful) craft of a Kendrick Lamar. Yet again, and probably not for the last time. I would not be surprised if the forever-spurned rap and R&B artists - arguably the most vital of mainstream genres in the past two decades - who are permanently relegated to their niche awards, yet trotted out on display to give stellar performances, refuse to perform in coming years. It would be nothing less than the Grammys deserve.