Dear Grammys, I'm Breaking Up With You

JT 0211.jpg
tvline.com via creative commons
Justin Timberlake did look sharp, we'll give him that.
Dear Stupid Grammys,

I have a bone to pick with you.

I sat through Taylor Swift's uninspired opening act while she half-sung/half-yodeled at a guy on a spinning bullseye. It was complete with an insulting and transparent Alice in Wonderland costume ripoff (which I'm not getting, by the way... is she supposed to be more hardcore now?), and she still can't sing live worth a shit.

I suffered along with the rest of the audience through fun.'s "cat howling in the rain" performance (does anyone else think he sounds a little like the singer from Yes?), and I didn't even change the channel during the Dierks Bentley/Miranda Lambert mash-up under a giant naked winter tree, despite my loathing of their music.

I saw Wiz Khalifa sans shirt (someone owes me new corneas), and I listened to Maroon 5 and Alicia Keys warble off-key. They sounded like bleating sheep at times, but I stayed glued to the TV, determined to give you the benefit of the doubt.

There was that ill-timed Bob Marley tribute, led by Bruno Mars, Sting and Rihanna's underboob tattoo, but it had the Marley brothers, so there was a bit of redemption there. That was all undone, though, when you forced me to listen to more than ten seconds of Hunter Hayes. I don't know who he is, but his piano graffiti was definitely not legit.

Frank Ocean disappointed me, but I'm going to give him a pass. The poor guy has had so much hype to live up to, but that weird "Forrest Gump" performance was so... off. Something felt way too forced with that. However, dear Grammys, you are not Frank Ocean and you do not get a pass.

You gave me a couple of good performances, mind you. Jay-Z jumping out of his chair directly to the stage was pretty awesome, and surprisingly low-key for an entrance with a hip-hop artist of his ego size, while Justin Timberlake's vocals and performance were flawless, whether or not you're a fan of his music.

The Black Keys killed it with Dr. John and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. The gospel-inspired choruses fit right in, and Dr. John finally gave us something more interesting to watch than the bland, saltless performances that were its predecessors.

Oh, and the Levon Helm tribute was pretty rockin', but how could it not be, given the magnitude of artists that you chose? I mean, Elton John was ripping the keys off the damn piano, and the Zac Brown Band along with the dudes from Mumford and Sons seemed freakin' overjoyed to be onstage with Mavis Staples and Brittany Howard from the Alabama Shakes.

In those moments, Grammys, you came close to pulling off an okay show. But then, right when I felt like I might not have much to complain about, you ruined things for me.



Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
29 comments
Jww Weghorst
Jww Weghorst

Musical competition is lame. I like music because I like it, not because someone else does.

Jimi Austin
Jimi Austin

They need to go away already. Its obvious they know nothing about the nominations or music in general.

Lyndsey Stang
Lyndsey Stang

I never watch it but there is no point in criticizing it if you can't even offer a way to make it better in your opinion. She sounded like a ranting unhappy child who needs help.

Dave Flick
Dave Flick

If you could make it through the Frank Ocean Gump tune without changing the channel, you are far stronger than I am.

Sheena Williams
Sheena Williams

I liked that Mumford & Sons won atleast one Grammy. They're an awesome band. As for the rest of the show...it was mediocre and lackluster.

Jerise Harris-Henson
Jerise Harris-Henson

Ugh, some of you need to lighten up. I actually enjoyed most of it. I think the worst parts were Taylor Swift and that awful Bob Marley tribute but most of the rest were good. Jack White was awesome and so was Mumford & Sons. I was glad to see them win Album of the Year. The Grammys aren't perfect but this year I think they did a much better job than previous years. Of course it's going to be who is popular and who sells records. There are plenty of indie awards for all the ~cool~ kids to care about. Sheesh.

Calvin Perry Goforth
Calvin Perry Goforth

True John. I have felt that way as well until recently. Maybe we are just getting old and set in our ways......lol.

Lisa Williams Broomas
Lisa Williams Broomas

i liked most of the winners, but why is taylor swift still allowed to sing live on tv? Ugh

John Chance McKay
John Chance McKay

there is not a single song made in the last 10 years, I actually look forward to listening to. I have not bought new music in 20 years. and I love music. I actually hate the radio any more, due to the crap they think I want to hear.

John Chance McKay
John Chance McKay

I never watch that stuff---I never heard of any of the people on them, nor do I care.---One big Stroke fest, to make up for any lack of real talent.

Mars-Hall Forse Walker
Mars-Hall Forse Walker

Was Dr. John even alive last night? It was kind of sad watching sit on stage not really playing & nodding to sleep

jeffbalke
jeffbalke topcommenter

I would have liked the Black Keys with Dr. John if: 1. You could actually hear the Preservation Hall band playing (arrange something for the Grammy's, don't just jam!) and 2. if the damn drummer actually hit his stupid drums -- this isn't a jazz band, it's rock and roll.

Frank Ocean was a complete and utter train wreck. I don't care how much buzz he has or how cool he is, he blew chunks in front of millions of people.

Jack White, who I don't really like that much, was very good. Jay-Z is basically great at everything he does, including comedy ("I'd like to thank the swap meet for that hat."). Bruno Mars's band was sickly talented. The Levon Helm thing was very good, though I'm with you on Elton John.

Unfortunately, perhaps the best and coolest performance of the night was the super abbreviated Brubeck tribute by Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke and Kenny Garrett, but no one tunes in to watch a bunch of old guys play jazz despite the fact that they destroyed every other musician in the place.

On the whole though, I broke up with the Grammy's a long time ago. They have RARELY gotten in right in their half-century-plus lifespan. For a long time, they were WAY behind the times to the point that they didn't even realize what great records were out that year. Now, the pendulum has swung and they are trying to turn "music's biggest night" into a quick-edit free for all short on awards and long on mostly bland performances and stupid social networking pandering (you are better than that, LL). 

For years now, I've watched for the humor, not the gravitas. It's much more entertaining as a result.

cosmopolitician
cosmopolitician

I agree with almost every single point you make here. Actually probably every point. :-) But overall, didn't think it was that bad. Was elated to not have to experience Gaga or Nicky Minaj this year. What did you think about Rihanna? while my stomach turned every time the camera panned to her and Chris Brown, I thought her performance was great. 

Julia Olivarez
Julia Olivarez

Hahaha. I thought the Fun lead singer sounded like Jon Anderson too, then went, "Nah. Just my imagination."

cosmopolitician
cosmopolitician

@jeffbalke good point. i don't think any serious music fans, or journalists, watch the grammys anymore with any weight. just really monday morning water cooler fodder at this point. Although it's worth mentioning that the only thing that felt overly-produced or commercial to me was freaking LL reminding us to USE HASHTAGS every 3 minutes. Curious what you thought about JT, Jeff. :-) You knew I was gonna ask! 

conebaby
conebaby topcommenter

@cosmopolitician I'm not sure what's more offensive--her getting back w/ that kid or the show exploiting it for ratings.

I found it painful, how often they showed the two of them--especially considering he beat the shit out of her and couldn't perform AT THE GRAMMYS because of it, four years ago.

annaleicht
annaleicht

@cosmopolitician Her performance was great. She's at her best when she pulls back from the edgy dominatrix persona. It does seem she's lost some support from the general public over the whole reuniting with Chris Brown debacle, though. She's going to have a hard time separating her music from her personal life at this point.

deneyterrio
deneyterrio

@cosmopolitician @jeffbalke fun. wins song of the year. Any argument for the validity of the Grammys is laughable. This is the same awards show that gave BEP an award for 'My Humps' and Milli Vanilli for best new artist

Having said that Dr John's album Locked Down is solid but NOT a blues album.

Grammys < turd sandwich

jeffbalke
jeffbalke topcommenter

@cosmopolitician I missed it last night, but caught it today. I thought he was very good as usual. I think Jay-Z is pretty much brilliant at everything he does even though I'm not a HUGE fan of his music. Great is great.

It does bring up something that has bugged me for the longest time. I liked JT's performance of his song about 1000 times better than the recorded version. This is typically the problem for me with modern R&B music. I am drawn to the live band, and I hate the overdone production and canned drums. It's probably the single biggest reason I struggle to get into modern R&B yet the 60s and 70s versions of it are some of my favorite music of all time.

cosmopolitician
cosmopolitician

@annaleicht agreed. leave that crazy shit for dumb nicky minaj. rihanna can actually sing. agreed on the chris brown thing. just don't see people every getting over that. 

cosmopolitician
cosmopolitician

@jeffbalke yes, i've heard this a lot after last night's performance. i have to admit, i wasn't totally sold on Suit & Tie, but hearing it live with horns really pushed me over the edge. Also, the 2nd song he did, totally new to me, I loved. Although, i agreed with another review that I read last night, that he needs to lay off the over-analogized "love is a drug" theme. this is the 2nd song of his that compares love to a drug (Lovestoned, the first, is an amazing song from Future sex/Love sounds), but I lose a little respect for the songwriting when it's the same analogy. But stil thoroughly enjoyed the performance and i WILL be seeing him as soon as he takes to the road! :-) 

Now Trending

Houston Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...