I like to live tweet awards shows. It helped me find my little blog sis, Kati Rose, (we realized yesterday was our one year anniversary as big/little sis because our bond formed over last year's Grammys). I couldn't live tweet the Grammys this year (silly timezone differences). But, I did take a look (from my work computer) at live tweets during the show.
Last night, I watched a delayed recording. This is my personal opinion, my own recap, and my own thoughts about the Grammys 2016. According to me...without reading other recaps (besides the live tweets yesterday)...I emailed these thoughts to Kati, then I thought "what the hell, I'll post it on the blog too."
Taylor Swift opens - I really don't want to hate on Taylor. I'm happy for the success of someone who works hard, writes her own music, gets criticized and ridiculed (by some) and revered by others. But. She's NOT that great of a singer. She's a performer. A songwriter. She's beautiful and stylish. Not that great of a singer. But I saw a lot of people compliment her singing. Maybe, it's just me. AND. I don't like body shaming anyone. But, I want to feed Taylor 10 cheeseburgers and 3 deep dish pizzas.
LLCool J comes out on stage to host the show, and all I could do was stare in awe at his diamond encrusted "LL" brooch. Does this man age?
Now, I may get some things out of order from here. I'm going off the cuff by memory.
There were tributes...and this is what I thought about those -
Lionel Richie was honoured with a Music Cares recognition. It began with John Legend on the piano singing "Easy". I kinda wish it would have stayed with John Legend. A quality that he has and shares with Lionel is he makes it feel effortless. More joined him to sing more of Lionel's songs. Demi Lovato can sing. She looked stunning. But, I felt she was putting in a lot of effort to prove that she can sing. Luke Bryan - well, I know he has a lot of country fans. I appreciate that they were trying to mix up the genres to show that Lionel influenced many. And, they had to work Meghan Trainor in because she won a grammy later. Tyrese singing "Brick House" seemed to be the song the audience had the most fun dancing and singing along. But, like I said, I kinda wish it would have just been a shorter medley with just John Legend performing...and then Lionel joining him. Dave Grohl and his red solo cup dancing to "All Night Long" was indeed awesome.
The much talked about tribute to David Bowie. Here's where I wish they'd brought in the cross genres/cross generation of performers. Giving it all to Lady Gaga...well, I didn't agree with that choice. Her performances of "Fashion" and "Fame" were outstanding, and I liked the choice to look androgynous. But, overall, I felt it was too much Gaga again trying too hard to prove she is an uber talent. My opinion...Bowie's brilliance is that he crossed so-many-boundaries. Gaga does too. But, I wanted more. I wanted performances from more artists that he influenced. Nile Rodgers was a nice touch.
BB King - brilliant. So much musicianship on stage at once, and I think it didn't connect with the audience as well as it connected with me. I want Bonnie Raitt's jacket.
Glenn Frey - perfect for the man honored. Get the current Eagles together, sing a song that is quintessential Glenn Frey Eagles, "Take It Easy". Sing in perfect harmonies with perfect sound quality. Only mishap was Jackson Browne and some lyrics, but I'll let that slide. It's not his song.
Lemmy of Motorhead - Yes. I'm biased. I like rock music. That is my music of choice. Joe Perry is one of my all-time favourite guitarists. Duff McKagan is one of my all-time favourite bassists. Johnny Depp continues to surprise people with his talents and coolness. I like Matt Sorum (the drummer). Here's where rock fans may not agree with me, but Alice Cooper isn't my choice for this somewhat supergroup. I don't know what their intentions are. If they are just guys who enjoy getting together and jamming - fine. But, if they want more mass appeal, they need a more appealing vocalist. Alice Cooper is great at what he does - his shock rock extravaganza. But, his vocals weren't great at this. I think they only scanned the face of one audience member (Bruno Mars), and he was pretty blank-faced.
Kendrick Lamar was the one that had my tweeter feed going wild from someone calling it crap to others calling it brilliant. So, you know, I've got two cents. Actually, I've got more. I've got ten cents. Maybe even a quarter about this topic.
I feel like I need to admit that I am completely totally without-a-doubt out-of-touch with the rap world of today. I am aware of artists that are having success. But, I don't know their songs. I don't know their stories. I admit ignorance. I wasn't always this way. Rap has never been my top genre of choice. But, when I was in junior high, high school, college, I owned a lot of the more popular rap albums (because that was a time we bought full albums/cassettes/cds; not just singles). I owned and saw in concert Run DMC, LL Cool J, and Beastie Boys. I owned NWA, Dr Dre, and Snoop Dogg. I owned Houdini and Kool Moe Dee. I owned and saw the more pop, than rap works of MC Hammer and DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. I even saw Public Enemy in concert. They were looked at as highly protagonistic at the time. So, I did own and see my share of rap music.
As I got older, my rap fandom fell away. Call it age. Tastes change. My way of listening to music changed. I just don't listen to current rap anymore. So, that leads to Kendrick Lamar. I am aware that he is popular and successful, but until this Grammy performance, I'd never heard a song of his in its entirety (although I think his performance consisted of a couple of his songs).
First...did anyone else notice that he rapped with a feature artist coming in to sing a catchy pop chorus? He didn't have any other rapper friends join him. He rapped solid, straight, and I can't even imagine the vocal chords and stomach muscles that it takes to do that but these guys (and gals) don't get credit for that. Next...the blend of a saxophone jazz player with spoken word with African tribal sounds with r&b and modern hip-hop music is a pretty magnificent way of blending his influences with his own artistry. That's right I said artistry. It seems to me, he freshly blends the old and new. He is provocative. He forced a reaction. He is seemingly eloquent and articulate (although I admit that I didn't understand many of the lyrics, I imagine many of his fans do). I applaud his performance. Will I go out and buy his music? No. It's not my kind of music anymore. But the high school girl in me who liked a little rap now and then would've probably bought it.
Now...James Bay and Tori Kelly...pretty much everyone watching the Grammys on my twitter feed agreed that this was an amazing performance. And, it was. Because this is the kind of music I listen to, I will buy some Tori Kelly (I already own some James Bay.) A beautiful blend of voices, guitars, and good-looking people (c'mon, I'm not going to lie. It doesn't hurt.) Performance of the night.
Adele. What happened with her production team? The sound was terrible. The lighting was terrible. You know Adele was dropping some f-bombs after she got off the stage.
Bieber. I didn't need his acoustic solo performance of "Love Yourself". I like that song, but I'd rather it done like it was recorded. A fun pop song. If I'm going to talk about Bieber, I can't help myself, I have to talk about him on the red carpet with his little brother. Stop the adorableness!
I liked the inclusion of Hamilton and televising the Broadway Musical Award. Maybe because I like Broadway musicals.
Those Little Big Town folks sure can harmonize and "Girl Crush" has some clever lyrics. Plus, I like how that one female member embraces her curls.
I'm staring at the computer trying to remember any other performance...I guess that means they weren't memorable enough for this recap. No disrespect.
I questioned why the Song of the Year and the Record of the Year weren't asked to perform. (Ed Sheeran "Thinking Out Loud" & Mark Ronson with Bruno Mars "Uptown Funk") I mean, those are two BIG awards of the night/year, yet they are chosen to perform?
I was happy with the wins for Song of the Year (Thinking out Loud) and Record of the Year (Uptown Funk).
I applaud Taylor for using her win/platform to give a "classy" fuck you to Kanye douchebag West. If you don't know the back story to this, get it somewhere else, because I'm not posting that douchebag's lyrics here. Taylor said in her acceptance speech for album of the year:
"I want to say to all the young women out there, there will be people along the way who will try to undercut your success," she said. "Or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame. But if you just focus on the work … you will look around and you will know that it was you and the people who love you that put you there. That will be the greatest moment."
I know, I know...we expect Beyoncé to look beautiful when she has her 30 seconds of screen time, but she did look incredibly beautiful.
This sums up my feelings about the finale:
So......what did I miss?