Monday, January 27, 2014

The Grammy Awards: The Good, The Bad, and the Downright Ugly

So here is a quick rundown of the Grammy Awards last night, and then I can get back to the important work of Oscar blogging:

The Good

  • Unlike some years, there were no egregious winners that really ruined the rest of the night. The top four categories went to deserving artists: Lorde, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, and surprisingly Daft Punk. I know I had predicted them for Album of the Year, but I am still pleasantly surprised that the Grammys have broken another barrier by rewarding a genre in the top categories that they had usually ignored. 
  • Another winner on the telecast included a well-deserved win for Kacey Musgraves in Country Album over Taylor Swift (who is barely country anymore). 
  • Before the telecast there were some nice wins including: Kathy Griffin winning on her sixth try for Comedy Album, Stephen Colbert, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Alicia Keys, Vampire Weekend, Steve Martin, and basically just the entire pre-telecast ceremony. It moved at a nice pace, there were nice interlude performances, but mostly it was about actually rewarding the artists, producers, and songwriters of this year's music. 
  • The abundance of performances was exhausting (I'll get to that later), but some of them were enjoyable including John Legend, P!nk and Nate Ruess, Carole King and Sara Bareilles, Imagine Dragons and Kendrick Lamar, and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. 
The Bad
  • The Length of the ceremony
  • No Kendrick Lamar anywhere
  • Some of the performances did not work for me. Macklemore was great, but Madonna randomly popping out felt forced. I am so sick of Robin Thicke that not even Chicago could not fix it. The Daft Punk, Pharrell, and Stevie Wonder performance finally found its rhythm at the end, but it took a while to get there, and poor Kacey Musgraves got slotted after the epic Lamar and Imagine Dragons duo. She was fine (expect for the weird lighting scheme), but she felt drowned out. It's not here fault, it just turned into a awkward moment.
  • LL Cool J is a great rapper, and seems like a cool guy. But the whole hosting gig for the Grammys seems forced, and seems like it only added to the show's gargantuan length. 
  • I love Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr as much as the next person, but if they are going to do a whole 2-hour special on The Beatles, then why did they have to add thirty minutes to the show for two Beatles performances, and then Rock Song, which was specifically put there to get McCartney up on the stage again. It all felt forced, and it also takes away from the special in February. 
The Ugly
  • This year, for the first time in a long time, none of the winners, losers, or performances made the ugly list, and it was actually one of the better Grammy ceremonies in recent memory. Which is just kind of sad. The Oscars and Emmys can be long and present so many awards it is hard to keep up. But I would rather an awards show, present too many awards honoring the year's best, than present a total of 10 awards in four hours (especially after being able to present 72 in the four hours prior to it). They strung together performances, sometimes going long stretches without a break. More importantly, they hyped up every performance as a classic Grammy moment or classic Grammy mashup/duet. Not everything is a classic, and maybe if you just let them perform without making such a big deal they would actually be more pleasurable. The other thing that really bothered me was that they cut off winners short, yet let performances go on and on. I love live music, but that is an insult to the artists who won a prestigious award. 
  • Basically the Grammys are a long slog to get through, and there are three big ways to fix it: 1)Actually present some Grammy awards 2) Less performances 3)Stop cutting winners off, it is just insulting when you plan for an almost four hour ceremony, but don't have time to actually celebrate Grammy winners.

No comments:

Post a Comment