At first, I was going to go all anti-Grammys with this post, but I think it’s better to remain somewhat neutral. And for the sake of length, here are only some of my thoughts (one long attempt at a cohesive post would result in pages upon pages of rambling):
i) The Grammys will never get it right. Music is such a polarizing entity. The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) puts on this awards show to celebrate a wide range of artists from an insane amount of music genres. Why does it exist? It’s mainly a scheme to drive up record sales, let’s be real. At least artists, like A Tribe Called Quest, used it to voice their political and societal displeasure.
ii) Lady Gaga and Metallica perform… and then Sturgill Simpson is supposed to follow it up? What is going on? Sturgill Simpson deserves more than having to perform immediately after that stunt. Music as a spectacle is fine, but c’mon Grammys, is Lady Gaga crowd surfing in jean booty shorts as a metalhead really necessary?
iii) I know it’s a live event and needs to keep moving, but let Greg Kirstin (Adele’s main producer) talk! Give the producers and composers who work ridiculously hard behind the scenes and all year round speak for their musical creations. They deserve more of the spotlight, and unfortunately, the Grammys is one of the only events where this is ‘given’.
iv) It was refreshing to hear Chance the Rapper give a salute to independent music and artists. He even gave SoundCloud a shout-out. Respect. What a night for Chance, who won the Grammy for Best Rap Album, Best Rap Performance, and Best New Artist.
v) When Adele began her tribute to George Michael, I cringed. Her pitch was completely flat. Shockingly, she stopped her performance and restarted it out of respect for George Michael. Wow. That took a lot of guts and she stepped up and rectified her performance. She can really do no wrong (even if she does lay down some curses live on-air). The story will be spun negatively and positively. She’ll be a scapegoat for swearing and having to restart, but she’ll also come out of it as a heroine for doing so because it needed to be done.
vi) On a night that feels like a messed up music spectacle, it was nice to see Adele and Chance the Rapper, two genuine artists, clean up. The fact that Adele dedicated more than half her Album-of-the-Year speech to Beyoncé says it all: unselfish. She’s a true, humble fan of music.
My Grammys highlights:
- Adele’s do-over tribute to George Michael.
- A Tribe Called Quest’s “We the People….” performance.
- The Bee Gees medley performance.
- Chance the Rapper’s performance.
- Bruno Mars’s tribute to Prince.
- Adele giving Greg Kirstin the speech time he deserved during the acceptance of the Grammy for Record of the Year.
Oh and Adele is an immovable force. Let it be known that every fifth year will from now on be the year of the G.O.A.T. aka Adele (first in 2012 and now 2017… we’ll have to wait and see what she has up her sleeve for the 2020s):
Adele is the first person to sweep album, record and song of the year twice. #GRAMMYs
— billboard (@billboard) February 13, 2017
Let me know what you thought of the 59th Grammys.