2014 Grammy’s- Hits and Misses

From last year’s Grammy’s, I remember Taylor Swift opening with “We are never ever ever getting back together” with a Wonderland twist. Everyone joked that she was doing it to poke fun at Harry from One Direction.
Rihanna did “Stay,” which would be one of the biggest songs of the year, but back then, everyone hated it and couldn’t seem to grasp that the dude she was singing with was part of the duet.
Justin Timberlake blew my mind with “Suit & Tie,” which would have been the best thing I’d see him do… until Jay-Z came on stage and ruined the whole thing.
Then there was Prince giving a Grammy to Gotye for “Somebody that I used to know,” saying how he loved the song and the two of them saying how much they appreciated him… therefore there was a standing ovation in response.

Although my memories from the previous year’s Grammy’s are still fresh in my head, I’ll go out on a limb and said I really had a good time watching the show this year.
There were only 3-4 moments I wish had worked out differently.

The only time I skipped out entirely was when Robin Thicke was performing with Chicago… if I can absolutely help it, I’ll never listen to “Blurred Lines” ever again. I didn’t like it the first time and since then, it’s been a constant announcement.
It made it all the more sweeter that my pick for “The Song of the Summer [2013]” beat out “Blurred Lines” every single time. Sure, either way, it’d have been a Grammy for Pharrell Williams, but still…

Daft Punk was having an amazing night. I described their “Get Lucky” performance with Stevie Wonder with the 70’s recording studio back-drop as my mind experiencing a “Supernova”… probably will be one of my favorite Grammy performances ever.
Unfortunately, their success steamrolled my happiness when they won Album of the Year over Taylor Swift. Everyone that wrote their predictions practically guaranteed she would win everything she was up for. She didn’t win anything at all… which I’m still trying to comprehend. “Fearless” was great as a whole, something I can’t say about every album I’ve gotten and yeah, “Red” doesn’t have as steady a track record (I can listen to “Fearless” all the way through… “Red,” I have to skip two songs), but she hasn’t sounded more mature or just better in her songwriting. It makes me even more furious how the Twitterverse and Yahoo! comments seem hell-bent against her, saying how terrible she is, how she isn’t country, how she’s just breaking up with guys to write songs about them… they don’t know anything about her. They just want to tear her down because they don’t get what she does.

Lady Gaga is a beacon of hope to all us weirdoes and Taylor Swift is a beacon for all the broken-hearted young girls who want to make sense of the world of romance.
That’s my personal take and I don’t want to hear anyone try to mess with that.

All that being said, “Get Lucky” is a great song. It’s like a second-coming of the 70’s and 80’s done by French robots from the future. Of course, Stephen Colbert got me hooked when he did an impromptu music video to the song just to get back at Daft Punk for backing out of their commitment to be on his show. Instead, it gave them all the press they could possibly want and then some.
They may be a novelty, a here-today-gone-tomorrow act, but I don’t care. They can rock it. And for the record, the first time I heard of them was when they did the soundtrack for “Tron: Legacy”… too bad the rest of the movie couldn’t live up to the kick-ass music and graphics.

The show began, as I read to be rumored online, with Beyoncé performing “Drunken Love.” She was practically dressed as a hooker, getting into a number of positions on a revolving chair. I didn’t mind it because that set-up looked like something I could use for a story I’d been writing. Then Jay-Z came up and it became a duet. Makes sense, since they’re one of music’s power couples. What I didn’t care for was the fact the song had cursing in it and the audio stops altogether for 3-4 seconds.
Is it really so hard for people to change lyrics or just do another song? I find it very jarring, especially if the breaks are frequent or it’s 10 seconds instead of 5. I say the same thing about Pink’s song “One Last Kiss,” why not record a radio-friendly edit instead? It made singing along to it in the car so hard. Thank God “Glee” did it and gave me a word to insert where the [bleep] is on the radio.

We previously saw Macklemore & Ryan Lewis on New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. I think I saw them do their gay-friendly track “Same Love” on Ellen and couldn’t help but appreciate it. My folks didn’t get them, but in a weird sort of way, I kinda did. They went on to win Best New Artist and bring about one of the most touching moments of the night. They performed “Same Love” with their friend (and the song’s writer) Mary Lambert, leading into a couple dozen couples (straight and gay) renewed their vows or got married. Then Madonna sang “Open your heart” in the key of “Same Love”.
Another touching moment was Hunter Hayes premiering his new song about overcoming bullying as quotes from John Lennon, Lady Gaga and Johnny Depp showed on a screen behind him. It coulda been better if not him not sounding as good live as he might have on record. I’ll have to YouTube his song to hear it done justice.

Before getting on with the rest of the highlights, there were only two performances I didn’t care for.
1. Kendrick Lamar with Imagine Dragons. Imagine Dragons was doing their hit “Radioactive” (which won earlier that night). The rapper, who I hadn’t heard of before tonight, took over after they sang one verse and monopolized 3 minutes of the performance with utter nonsense. The two just didn’t fit together for me and I really wanted the focus to be on the actual musicians.
2. Having said that, I wasn’t crazy for the Metallica performance (I’m not big on heavy metal)
3. the final number with Dave Grohl, Queens of the Stone Age… again, a rock number, but it didn’t come off as good as some of the other performance that night.

Katy Perry, whose last Grammy performance was the jaw-dropping “Part of Me,” which people speculated was a reference to her break-up with Russell Brand… she’d given me another reason to consider overturning my refusal to look into her new album. Her “Dark Horse” performance has such a cool look to it, reminding me a little bit of the “What does the fox say?” video, including cool back-up dancers and witches’ brooms that doubled as props for pole dancing. Haunting and edgy all at the same time. I wasn’t listening to the lyrics, but I absolutely loved the visuals.

Ringo performed twice. Liked his first song a lot (yeah, I may have heard it before, don’t remember where), but his reunion with Paul McCartney, playing at the drums like it was old times. That was a mind-blowing mind (then I had to call “Get Lucky” a Supernova to instill a difference in degrees).

Blake Shelton performed with his heroes, Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson. I kinda tuned out for the performance, but I still liked it. Not as great as Maroon 5 mashing up “Daylight” with Alicia Key’s “Girl on Fire” last year, but decent.

Hands down, the performance that won my heart was Taylor Swift. With her new hairstyle and playing at the piano, I felt like I was seeing an artist who’s seen more of life and is a more mature, composed person. Her song was the lengthy post-break-up anthem “All Too Well,” which her other fans have expressed interest in it being noticed. I don’t know how she kept her composure because I was becoming more of a hot mess as it progressed. Afterwards, I tried to recall my first reaction to it. I believe I really felt how strong, raw and emotional it was, but it didn’t end quite the way I would have liked. That criticism has since gone out the window.
How anyone could have said anything negative about that performance is beyond me. They must not understand heartbreak. Heck, they probably don’t even have hearts to begin with.

Lorde was a big winner for her song “Royals.” She also performed it, albeit with a backing track with back-up vocals attached… I didn’t know she was from New Zealand, just that she was 17 and this was one of the surprise successes of the year.
Also, her real name is Ella something or other. Why the pen name? Ella is a perfectly fine name by itself. Do people need an off-the-wall name just to stand out? Her song kinda did that by itself with its lyrics.

Also liked the duo of pianos with Sara Barielles and Carole King. And Pink brought with her Nate from the band F.U.N. and a return of acrobatics. Everyone, including me, remembered her jaw-dropping performance of “Glitter in the Air” where she was suspended from the air, dipped into a pool of water and came out dripping. I hated the song and thought the acrobatics were just to grab attention. Then I learned that’s something she just does.
“Try” is still a better song than “Glitter in the Air” and the transition was super smooth into the 2nd verse of “Just give me a reason” with Nate.

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