Last night’s show wrapped up another year for the GRAMMY Awards. The protagonists of the night were french robots, Daft Punk; managing to take home all of the five awards they were nominated for. Pharrell Williams followed up with four wins, bringing his tally up to 7.
Overall, the show was entertaining as it always is. However, the producers seem to be running out of ideas. Three key signs of these were: LL Cool J adapting his 2013 welcoming message to this year; Lorde performing the exact same number from the nominations concert; and P!nk repeating her acrobatic skills. On the other hand, nostalgia was present all throughout the event. Now, let’s take a look at each of the 20 performances, embedding the videos to those that worth another-watching.
Beyoncé and Jay-Z: Husband and wife developed a very clever ‘quiet-storm’ opening number, as they sang together “Drunk in Love”. The only annoying aspect of it; was all the bleeping that CityTV Canada (or maybe CBS) put to it, preventing the entry to run smoothly. It was an excellent opening, whatsoever. Score: 4/5
Lorde: As mentioned above, the kiwi singer simply repeated her “Royals” performance from the ‘Grammy Nominations Concert!’ back in December. It was as brilliant as it was also a failure. She could have easily sang another song, or a mash-up. The Academy is deliberately treating her as a one-hit wonder. 4/5
Hunter Hayes: The country heartbreaker boy is simply trying to join the ‘cool kids’ club out-speaking about bravery and self-esteem’. Right on the same shallow lines as Lady Gaga’s or Katy Perry. 1/5
Katy Perry: Putting aside her rather weak vocal abilities as well as the cheesiness of her songs. Katy Perry does know how to entertain on-stage. Her goth-inspired number worked out very well. And, Juicy J’s last-minute appearance was a great addition. 3/5
Robin Thicke and Chicago: The collaboration was going classy until Thicke threw up “Blurred Lines”. If he was trying to redeem himself. He clearly failed to do so. Nonetheless, it was a fine performance. 3/5
Keith Urban and Gary Clark, Jr.: These two guys nailed-on the simple yet effective act that true music lovers want to hear in an award’s show. Maybe they didn’t catch the eye of the general audience. But, they sure know how to rock. The guitar solos were superb. 5/5
John Legend: His medley performance went down just fine. Nothing too impressive but neither yawning-to. 3/5
Taylor Swift: And then we got another Taylor Swift’s facet: An angry pop/rock ballad ala Avril Lavigne, with a delicate princess dress instead of the punky outfit. There was actually nothing very assuming as the announcers were first foreshadowing. The standing ovation she got was more to her name, than to the actual performance. She did sing well, thought. 3/5
P!nk and Nate Ruess: Yet another retrospective with P!nk’s acrobatic rendition to “Try”. It was just a revised version of her 2010 “Glitter in the Air” act and the “Try” music video itself. It was marvelous, but she could have done something newer. Nevertheless, she never stop surprising and managed to match the number as Nate Ruess joined her on stage. A very powerful performance, guaranteeing us a pleasant GRAMMY moment. 4/5
Ringo Starr: Nostalgia hit the stage once again as Ringo Starr got in to tribute George Harrison with “Photograph”, a song they wrote together back in 1973. The concept surrounding it was great; but the performance itself could have been better. 3/5
Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons: The rap/rock featured collaboration worked out very well this year (not like the infamous LL Cool J’s closing number last year). It was an outstanding mash-up between the rock megahit “Radioactive” and the socially-charged rap “m.A.A.d. City”. This year’s groundbreaking performance. But once again, the bleeps disturbed it. 5/5
Kacey Musgraves: She did gave a wonderful performance of her roughly radical song “Follow Your Arrow”. Too bad, her sense of fashion was just trashy. Good thing that City TV/CBS did not censor “joint” as ABC did so for the CMAs. 4/5
Paul McCartney (and Ringo Starr): Out of the nostalgic sphere; Paul McCartney sang “Queenie Eye” from his latest album, New. It was just O.K. 3/5
Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson and Blake Shelton: Less than 15-mins ago, we heard country singer Kacey Musgraves’ pro-marihuana number. And then, we have this country quartet advising us not to do so (did Willie Nelson actually agreed on that?). It was a solid number, at all. The most awkward part from it; was actually off-stage with Yoko Ono dancing to it. 3/5
Daft Punk, Pharrell Williams, Stevie Wonder and Nile Rodgers: A perfect presentation. The groovy atmosphere that resembled a late 1970s disco lounge; later joined by the futuristic mash-ups from Daft Punk. Very genuine. It was, not only the best performance of the night, but also one of the greatest of the award’s history. 5/5
Carole King and Sara Barailles: Carole King literally redeemed “Brave”. It sounded much more better with her singing to it, off course alongside Bareilles. It was another clever moment. 4/5
Metallica and Lang Lang: Metallica sounded splendid; Lang Lang was a rather-interesting addition. Maybe not the best rendition you will get from the iconic “One”. But they sure delivered a descent performance. The background photography was excellent, though. 4/5
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Mary Lambert, Madonna and Trombone Shorty: This was definitely the greatest version you will get from “Same Love”. The LGBT-anthem never sounded much better. Another emotive aspect about this particular performance; was having indie singers like Macklemore and Mary Lambert performing next to a global superstar like Madonna. On the other hand, Madonna’s last-minute appearance resembled to that of Jennifer Hudson’s at the VMAs last summer. Still brilliant, thought. 5/5
Miranda Lambert and Billie Joe Armstrong: This was an odd number. Billie Joe Armstrong just buried his youth. He just crossed the border to country music by singing with Miranda. This is not to ditch country music, at all. This is about a recent trend of former rockers turning into country –e.g. Dave Grohl, Sheryl Crow. 2/5
Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age, Dave Grohl and Lindsey Buckingham: It’s been quite a while since alternative rock was not present at the GRAMMYs. Glad that Queens of the Stone Age and Nine Inch Nails –with the help of masterminds Grohl and Buckingham killed it for an earthshaking performance like this. 5/5
- The Daft Punk’s robots showing human emotions while hugging each other upon winning Album of the Year.
- Ryan Lewis tossing away Queen Latifah for Madonna to take the stage during the “Same Love” performance.
- Jamie Foxx’s awkward apologies to Beyonce and J.Lo while presenting Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.
- Marc Anthony, either forgetting his lines (or having the teleprompter crashed) while presenting Best Pop Vocal Album.
- Kacey Musgraves once again looked pissed-off for losing an award, Best New Artist to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.
- For the third year in a row, a foreign act takes home Album of the Year. However Random Access Memories has a lot of American input.
- Lorde becomes the youngest person to win a songwriter’s award at the GRAMMYs. At 17, she is also the third youngest winner overall right behind Luis Miguel and LeAnn Rimes, who were both 14.
- At last, Bruno Mars received his second GRAMMY. This time for Pop Vocal Album. The voters didn’t really like Justin Timberlake’s 20/20 Experience.
- Kacey Musgraves beat Taylor Swift’s Red at Best Country Album. Hopefully, she won’t get hate messages from hardcore Taylor Swift’s fans (remember Esperanza Spalding four years ago?)
I correctly predicted 23 out of the 35 categories I bet on. Totally missed the whole R&B field, thought. But got all the general field right. Click here to see all of the predictions. And here for a full list of winners.