Contrived. If I had to use one word to describe the 57th Grammy Awards last night, that would be it. It’s not unlike mainstream media to beat an idea to death. But last night there was nothing but repetition – whether it was Sam Smith winning everything, Kayne being Kanye, or young artists trying to look more serious by partnering with septuagenarian artists while the geriatric set tried to stay relevant by partnering with their younger counterparts. Everyone took themselves way too seriously and the whole process was long and painful. I was only kept entertained by the twitter audience and the peanut gallery of friends who joined me in the mocking of the bad, the worst and the awkward.
The good moments were few and far between. Nikki Minaj seemed lucid for once. Annie Lennox was kind of a cool surprise. It was nice to see Prince show his face (does that mean there will be 6 more weeks of winter?). Rihanna, Paul McCartney and Kanye put on a good show with their new song, “Four Five Seconds.” But beyond that, there were few highlights. I love Kristin Wiig and admire that she got on stage, but I was so surprised to see her. It took me most of her performance to figure out if it was supposed to be a joke or not.
T Swift got screwed out a lot of awards – I thought she was a Grammy darling? I have to say that while Sam Smith did deserve a lot of recognition, he didn’t deserve everything he got. Taylor Swift should’ve cleaned up more, as her album 1989 appealed to everyone, even an indie rock hipster like me.
Katy Perry. I used to really like Katy, my guilty pop pleasure. That is no longer the case. Her performance felt like it was in deference to a serious topic, and it didn’t come off well. Where was #LeftShark when she needed him?
ACDC. I’m gonna get some hate for this. Yes, ACDC is awesome but the song they kicked off with is not. This was just the icing on the cake for the 2015 Grammys in which the ‘G’ stands for geriatrics. I love revisiting some of the great music from the last century, but none of the performances were very good this year, and there were very few new artists recognized. It was just the same old hat, literally.
Jessie J and Tom Jones. This was just one of the many examples last night of older artists trying to stay relevant by pairing up with a younger artist who wants to look serious. It wasn’t good. One mash up would have been impactful but after about 19 it became redundant. I did, however, enjoy Paul and Rihanna (a Beatle can do no wrong) and Hozier and Annie Lennox. Where has she been since the 90s? She can still sing. It was a great performance despite it being apparent that Hozier only knows how to play one note on the guitar.
Lady Gaga’s arm. She can really sing but why wouldn’t she put her arm down? Her whole performance was odd, but then again, Gaga always has been.
Kayne. Why did he perform twice? We are not helping his ego or his crazy.
The Rock category. As an indie rock fan I know there are a ton of talented musicians deserving of a major award, so this years’ nominees for the rock music category were particularly upsetting:
– Ryan Adams
– Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
– The Black Keys
U2? I can’t even… I mean, Tom Petty is great and so is Beck and the Black Keys – but are any of them all that relevant? How indie rock can be so popular while so overlooked is beyond me.
Taking it all too seriously. The Grammys need to chill out. It’s a long performance – throwing in a joke or an upbeat tune wouldn’t have killed anyone (although considering the average age last night, maybe it would have). Madonna was the only one who didn’t sing a slow song. But why was she performing? When was the last time she had a hit album?
Disappointing night, all in all. I give it a C-.
What did you think? Favourite and most cringeworthy moments? Share below or tweet at us at @NUndergroundTO