The 2014 GRAMMYs took place this past Sunday. I’m not really an awards show person. Unless it’s the Tony Awards, and let’s be honest, I watch that because Neil Patrick Harris usually hosts it and he’s just pure talent.
I remember catching bits of the GRAMMYs last year and thinking that they were absolutely horrible. I might’ve snarkily even likened them to the MTV Awards (You know, the kind of quality show that makes twerking a thing). This year’s GRAMMYs felt like an odd celebrity edition of Glee; lots of mashups, lots of dramatics. But it kinda worked for me.
One thing I love about music is that you can give the same chord progression and lyrics to two different people and end up with two completely different takes on the work. Interpretation can make a huge difference in music and collaboration (usually) only makes things better.
So speaking of the music, let’s get to it; my review of my favourite GRAMMY performances:
P!nk’s Acrobatic ‘Try’ and ‘Just Give Me A Reason’ featuring Nate Ruess
P!nk’s performance of Try was equal parts amazing and terrifying. There’s something about acrobatics that really stress me out, I’ve always worried for the artist’s safety. There is no doubt that P!nk is super fit. She managed to sing and move like that? I’ve always loved the choreography of Try, it’s very Mia Michaels-ish, but I believe it was choreographed by the Golden Boyz (Internet, I know you’ll correct me if I’m wrong).
The transition into Just Give Me a Reason is flawless and I love the big stupid grin on Nate’s face. Clearly, he’s having Fun (See what I did there?). He has such a unique-sounding voice and works so well with P!nk’s voice. A+ for this performance.
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, featuring Mary Lambert & Special Guests Perform Same Love
I honestly did not know Same Love was Macklemore’s song. Apparently I’ve been living under a rock. It shifted my whole perspective of Macklemore and now I’ve got to check out his music more seriously. Anyway. I was really digging this performance, then it seemed to just end abruptly. Turns out it wasn’t an end at all. We’d come to the marriage ceremony part of the performance. To be honest, I found it a little odd when I was watching the awards show and a lot confusing. Latifah’s explanation was quick and I clearly missed the point at first. Now that I’ve had some time to read up on the intention of their mass 33-couple wedding during the GRAMMYs, I’m a lot more onboard now that I get it.
And speaking of confusing, can we talk about Madonna for a minute? Yes, her fashion choice was unfortunate and I didn’t understand her need for the cane, I don’t believe it was serving a practical purpose. I wasn’t overly impressed with her contribution to this collab. It worked, but if I’m completely honest, I would take Mary Lambert’s voice over Madonna’s any day. Yes, Madonna’s an iconic musician and she’s had her share of eyebrow-raising controversies. She just leaves me cold. A-
Carole King and Sara Bareilles Perform Beautiful Brave
This was hands down my favourite performance. I might’ve done a bit of fangirling all over, because I just love, love, love Carole King. I was very jealous of Sara Bareilles, what an amazing opportunity to duet with your musical inspiration. King’s my kind of piano player, she’s a plunker. I love how happy and healthy King looked and how thrilled Bareilles looked. They seemed to have such a fantastic time performing this mashup of King’s Beautiful and Bareilles’s Brave. The two songs worked really well together. A+++ for this one.
Daft Punk, Pharrell Williams & Stevie Wonder’s Get Lucky Performance
While Pharrell’s hat threatened to steal the show for this performance (Which is saying something as Daft Punk are known for their helmets), it was a fantastic, fun show. At the very start, it sounded as if Pharrell couldn’t hear himself or his playback, he seemed a little off the mark, but he quickly recovered. I love Stevie Wonder, he’s amazing, no matter what role he’s playing in a performance, he’s always spot on. The cameramen catching video of Paul McCartney dancing during this performance was probably one of the best moments. A++
I’m not done with my GRAMMYs Tunes Tuesday post without mentioning Lorde’s performance of Royals and Katy Perry’s for Dark Horse. I know Lorde’s stage presence tends to put some people off, but let’s keep in mind she’s seventeen and that her work has some pretty heavy undertones. I think it works for her, and her talent is very unique. As for Katy Perry, whereas she’s not as musically inclined as Lorde, she certainly gets the spectacle part of the business, she is most definitely a performer. And she seems to have done a better job at this ‘live’ performance than others I have heard.
Not every perfomance from Sunday is worth mentioning, and Taylor Swift’s performance was one of them. I love Taylor Swift, I do. She really gets a bad rap from the media sometimes (ZOMG, a girl in her twenties? WITH MULTIPLE EXBOYFRIENDS?), but I found her performance of ‘All Too Well’ boring. Speaking of boring… This feels like a good time to mention Robin Thicke. I was not a huge fan of his performance, even though I do enjoy Chicago. I guess I’m mostly just confused that we’re still letting this Z-list musician perform at all these huge award shows, especially after the Miley Cyrus trainwreck of a performance back in the fall. If I never hear the song Blurred Lines again, it will be too soon.
Did you watch the GRAMMYs this year? Who were your hits and misses?