Woe is Me, The Grammys 2010

February 1, 2010

Dropping the ball, making bad choices, and a few bright spots……

Expecting worse than I got, I remember writing a fairly moderate appraisal of the Grammys last year. I never expect much, so anything good is a plus—but I’m still amazed at the results sometimes.

No offense to Taylor Swift, who seems like a perfectly nice young girl, but “Fearless” is not album-of-the-year material by any respectable measure.  She shows promise, and she has obvious talent and massive appeal for a target audience. Giving her the top honors at the CMAs was too much considering she’s more truly a pop star, but giving her full album of the year is puffing up a young artist far too much, far too soon. She needs to grow a bit, broaden the scope of her diary-penned lyrics and show us what she really has. She’s a good 5 to 10 years away from a best album, but she will get there if she keeps it up; I just think she’s getting too much too soon, which hopefully won’t result in burn-out. The only nominee for best album worth its nomination was “Groo Grux King” (sadly mispronounced by John Legend in the reading of nominees), and it truly deserved the award; at least DMB got to give a good performance.

Best New Artist is always a joke—whoever wins usually disappears, never to be heard from again, so I guess I shouldn’t be too upset that MGMT lost to Zac Brown Band; MGMT was the only artist on the list of nominees with a near-perfect debut album, but I guess they were simply too hip for the middle-of-the-road Grammy’s. Zac Brown cheesed it up for the cameras, unfurling the American flag in a song shouting out to the troops, the veterans, cold beer, a mother’s love and “jeans that fit just right,” in a song penned strictly for middle-American success, but OMIGOD, is that Leon Russell, assisting them straight from brain surgery! A true rock-country icon enhanced their performance and probably went unrecognized by most viewers.

Best Rock Album went to Green Day for “21st Century Breakdown.” A fine enough album, but maybe they got the award belatedly for their true masterpiece “American Idiot.” Sadly, DMB didn’t get even this for “Groo,” and the amazing “No Line on the Horizon,” U2’s best in almost 20 years, didn’t either.
Best Rap Album, an award we didn’t even see given, apparently went to Eminem’s “Relapse,” an album so atrocious Eminem has even publicly disavowed it, stating that he had still been “getting the drugs out of [his] system.” In years past, yes, he would have deserved this award. But for a rehashed album of serial killing and pop star-baiting, no. At least the true best hip hop album of the year, “The Ecstatic,” by Mos Def, got a nomination.

Taylor Swift won the country award, over real country legend George Strait. Dylan lost the award for Americana album (which is like Jordan losing an award for basketball); other great nominees in that category (Lucinda Williams, Wilco, and Willie Nelson) lost as well. The winner? Levon Helm.

Tragedy of tragedies, the regrouped Spinal Tap lost to…Stephen Colbert (for comedy album).

The Black Eyed Peas gave a god-awful performance. How is this band this huge? It boggles my mind. I blame it all on Fergie—the rest of the group has talent. They added Fergie, dropped the talent and then they began to sell records. Fergie raps and talks about “I’ma be blingin” and I cringe— I get physically embarrassed for her and for her fans in light of her horrendous attempt at hip hop, her flow is horrid. BEP have become the hip hop version of Creed.

What was with Quentin Tarantino? Talking about a blues legend and then announcing the Hip Hop performance, Quentin proved once again that despite being a great filmmaker, he’s a moronic douche sometimes. Was that a faux urban, hip hopish accent he was going for? It reminds me of when he fought with Spike Lee and told Lee that he “knew black people and culture” better than him…hmmm….

Let’s move on, shall we? Bright spots?
Beyonce. I admit it, she’s crazy good. Big, fun, silly pop songs that are insanely catchy and that don’t quickly grow to grate on your nerves are her specialty. She makes fun songs, dances great, looks great and deserved the clean-up she made with her six awards. The performance by Drake, Lil Wayne and Eminem was pretty fantastic—or at least it would have been had it not been bleeped out to protect our sensitive ears resulting in us missing half of each verse. It was nice to see Em back, free of his Rehab fat and really spitting—here’s hoping Rehab 2 is actually good. Lil Wayne can cool off in jail and hopefully learn to write about more than pot and BJs, and Drake can continue his ascent to hip hop superstardom. Elton and Gaga together was entertaining—Jeff Beck on stage was cool. Kings of Leon won Record of the Year, Phoenix won alternative album of the year.

Okay, next year—let the winners give their speech, actually show their acceptance, and hire a more diverse group of voters. Please, Grammy’s?

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2 Responses to “Woe is Me, The Grammys 2010”

  1. dmhamby2 said

    I have to recant a bit. I love The Band, and ignorantly I didn’t know Levon Helm was the singer from The Band. Sad to admit, but true; I guess Robbie Robertson is the only name that had stuck in my memory. That being said, I can see how he may have crafted a truly remarkable Americana album that may have deserved to beat the other wonderful nominations in the category. I will have to check it out. I spoke too soon, based just on loving all of the nominees in that category without listening to the one I hadn’t heard.

  2. […] wrote this review last year, bemoaning the tragedy that was the Grammy’s yet acknowledging the few right turns that […]

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