Rihanna and Bruno Mars – Bob Marley Tribute
Electrifying. Out of touch. Stunning. Safe. All of these words have been used to describe the Grammys. And I think all of them apply.
I remember a time when onstage, they would announce the awards for obscure categories like Best Native American Album. Nothing against Native American music, but it just wasn’t what the masses wanted to see.
In the past couple decades, the producers of the Grammy Awards have finally perfected the art of putting on a good show. Many of the performances last night were indeed electrifying.
While Rihanna’s individual performance of “Stay” was horrifically drab, she redeemed herself later, stealing the show when she sang alongside Sting, Bruno Mars and Ziggy Marley in the absolutely amazing Bob Marley tribute. The song was “Could You Be Loved” and it was the best performance of the night.
Justin Timberlake Performs 2 New Songs
Welcome back Justin Timberlake! The former boy-band-member-turned-true-artist wowed us with an art-deco-themed, sepia toned performance of two brand new songs. It was the mass media debut of “Suit & Tie” (featuring Jay-Z) and “Little Pusher Love Girl” both from his upcoming third solo record “The 20/20.”
In fact the performances were so stunning that it was easy to forget the reason why all those musicians were gathering there at all – to be honored for their exceptional recordings.
Mumford & Sons Win Album Of The Year
Mumford & Sons won Album of the Year for “Babel” and deservedly so. The folk-rock record was the most musically competent of the bunch, which also included competition by The Black Keys (boring in my book). Fun. (would’ve been worthy because they are so different), Frank Ocean (overrated) and Jack White (also overrated).
However, sometimes the performances were style over substance. Taylor Swift had the honor of opening the show with “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” a rendition that took on a bizarre Alice in Wonderland motif. Adele’s performance will only be remembered for the weird and colorful animated projections on her huge white dress. Unfortunate because she was last year’s Album of the Year winner.
Like I said, the Grammys have been called irrelevant and behind-the-times. They are. Mumford & Sons probably should’ve won for their first album – 2009’s “Sigh No More.” Canadian indie-rockers the Arcade Fire won Album of the Year for 2010’s “The Suburbs” – an avant-garde choice – but they should’ve won for their masterpiece of a debut – 2004’s “Funeral.”
PS: M83 got robbed for Best Alternative Performance. “Hurry Up We’re Dreaming” was one of the best records that year and it was bested by Gotye.
OTHER BIG WINNERS
Record of the Year: “Nobody That I Used To Know” – Gotye featuring Kimbra
Song of the Year: “We Are Young” by fun.
Best New Artist: fun.
Best Rock Album: “El Camino” – The Black Keys
Best Rock Performance: “Lonely Boy” – The Black Keys
Best Rock Song: “Lonely Boy” – The Black Keys
Best Alternative Music Album: “Making Mirrors” – Gotye
Best Pop Solo Performance: “Set Fire To The Rain (Live)” – Adele
Best Pop Duo / Group Performance: “Somebody That I Used To Know” – Gotye featuring Kimbra
Best Pop Vocal Album: “Stronger” – Kelly Clarkson
Best Rap Performance: “N****s In Paris” – Jay-Z and Kanye West
Best Rap / Sung Collaboration: “No Church in the Wild” – Jay-Z & Kanye West featuring Frank Ocean and The Dream
Best Rap Song: “N****s In Paris” – Jay-Z and Kanye West
Best Rap Album: “Take Care” – Drake
Best R&B Performance: “Climax” – Usher
Best R&B Song: “Adorn” – Miguel
Best Urban Contemporary Album: “Channel Orange” – Frank Ocean
Best R&B Album: “Black Radio” – Robert Glasper Experiment
For country, latin, jazz, blues and more winners go to grammy.com.