The 2009 Grammy Awards Recap

February 10, 2009

grammy2009

So I’m actually doing an article about the 2009 Grammy Awards Show. A bit odd, I suppose, since the Grammy’s try their hardest to lose credibility and this year had plenty of moments to reinforce that position. Yet, compared to the MTV Awards or the Peoples Choice Awards, the Grammy’s are gospel. I guess they’re actually the only official televised music awards program even approaching credibility, yet they still fall miles short of a simple year end round-up article in Rolling Stone, Paste, Mojo, Spin or even Entertainment Weekly.
Yet there were quite a few entertaining and worthwhile moments during the broadcast Sunday night. Of course for every terrific moment there was an equally horrendous moment– – and as for the actual results? Ha. Well, I’ll deal with a little of all of it briefly.
First off, great moments. U2 opened the show with the live premiere of their new single, “Get on Your Boots.” A great performance and fairly exciting. Paul McCartney performed the early Beatles hit, “I Saw Her Standing There” backed by Dave Grohl on drums– – great time, but why does McCartney get limited to a 2 and a half minute Beatles classic and not get to play a single song off of his new acclaimed solo album while Kid Rock performs sections of 3 crap songs during his performance? Hmm. Well, Coldplay gave a nice performance with a dazzling cameo by Jay Z.. Due-that-day Mother to be M.I.A. accompanied the Queen Latifah proclaimed “Hip Hop summit” of Jay Z, Lil Wayne, T.I. and Kanye West for their performance of “Swagga Like Us,” a truly electrifying performance. Adele gave a notable performance of “Chasing Pavements,” and I will sheepishly admit to truly digging the Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus performance of “15,” a song that I am far too old to relate to yet can’t help but find oddly beautiful. Lil Wayne performed “Tie My Hands Down” with Robin Thicke and it segued into a performance by Herbie Hancock in a tribute to New Orleans which was great. But….there were some bad performances as well. The above-mentioned Kid Rock set was far too long, Carrie Underwood vomited up her “Don’t Even Know My Last Name,” in which she gave us her best Reba McEntire in a truly unoriginal pop country performance,” and call Kenny Chesney the best selling artist of any genre and a poet all you want but every song he sings sounds the same and lays sadly in the middle of the road to challenge absolutely nothing. The Jonas Brothers did just fine, yet sharing the stage with Stevie Wonder isn’t quite where they should be yet. T.I. has no stage presence, which he showed by choking in ‘Swagga’ when compared with the other 3, yet he did regain a bit of cred with his Justin Timberlake duo track. Sugarland won an award and performed a very skipable “Stay.”
On to the awards, where the show really dropped the ball on several occasions. First of all, the Grammy’s plays by its own rules. Whereas every 2008 best of music recap from every credible critical review considered every album released in the 2008 calendar year, the Grammy’s judges albums released from fall 2007 to fall 2008. So, great albums released since September in 2008 are ignored and great albums released before January 2008 are available to complicate things long after they’ve received their credit elsewhere. The first upset was that Jennifer Hudson beat out Al Green for best R & B album. Apparently Rev. Green won oddball awards for two excellent “Lay it Down’ tracks, “”You’ve Got the Love I Need,” and “Stay With Me (By the Sea)” yet viewers wouldn’t know it because those awards were given out before the broadcast began. Yet when it came down to the award he rightfully deserved for one of the best soul and R&B albums released in years he missed out. He did give a tremendous performance later on, but he deserved the Grammy. Later, Coldplay won “Best Rock Album” for a low-key World Pop album, beating Kings of Leon who delivered the most consistently great pure Rock album up for nomination from 2008 with “By the Night.” When it came time for best Rap Album, surprisingly the best were up for consideration. Since 2007 fall albums were up for consideration the excellent “American Gangster” by Jay Z and the perfect “The Cool” by Lupe Fiasco were up against 2008s best rap discs from Nas and Lil Wayne; T.I.s sub par “Paper Tail was up as well. Here the voters truly dropped the ball. If we were going just by 2008 released albums, Nas’ untitled was the unquestionable best. Lil Wayne wasn’t too far behind. But, Jay-Z’s 2007 album beat out Wayne’s in quality terms, and better than all combined was “The Cool” by Lupe Fiasco. Lupe was simply too hip and intelligent to win, I suppose. Lil Wayne did release a great album with “The Carter III,” but when compared with the socially conscious and boundary pushing Lupe disc, it should have had been no contest and the fact that it won tells me the voters really didn’t actually fully listen to and digest the complete albums before casting their votes. Other mistakes? Adele has a great voice but M.I.A. should have beaten her in terms of originality, talent, hip-ness and credibility. The best album of the year went to Robert Plant and Allison Kraus’ “Rising Sand,” a very good album yet it’s questionable that it was the absolute best album of the year.
Oh well, what can we expect. It did entertain for a few hours, and it was better than the average radio hour from Clear Channel. But did we really need to hear “I Kissed a Girl” by Katy Perry again? Or did we really need to hear the embarrassingly flat and cheesy monologue by the actor formerly known as The Rock, aka Duane Johnson? I actually felt sorry for him for being so bad and cracking a joke about the Beatles in which Paul McCartney failed to even fake a smile too.
That’s all, next time I’ll be back to intelligent subject matter…hopefully.

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One Response to “The 2009 Grammy Awards Recap”

  1. coffee said

    it looks like Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus are officially BFF’s now

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