Taylor Swift. I consistently make allowances for her because she stands as one of the few unarguably positive role models for young girls in the current musical landscape. She writes songs about appropriate for her age, and her fans, and she is a decent songwriter – if a terrible singer. But seriously, the weird mini-circus? Which has been done better by Britney, Pink and Lady Gaga? I miss the weird Appalachian musical she did a few years ago. The awkward four step attempt at a catwalk in her white boots? And as the opening? She represents the best in MUSIC? Because they are music awards. I love entertainers, and performers and think they should be respected for doing different things – but this night is about music. And then she tried to end her number with the Beyonce rape-stare! Like she’s been practicing it in the mirror since the Super Bowl. No Taylor, we are not getting back together. (PS – I also realllllllly think Hayden’s character on ABC’s Nashville is more than a little bit based on her.)
LL Cool J. Bless his heart. Seriously. Could he be any more generic? He’s like the United Colors of Benetton boring. CBS needs to stop trotting him out because he’s a “musician” who happens to be an actor on their network. The attempt to promote social media to make the Grammys not seem so out of touch, only managed to make Twitter seem uncool by its association with the awkward way he kept saying “hashtag”. With all of the rockstar personalities and performers in the room – they can’t get ONE interesting person to host? Justin Timberlake was there! And not eligible for awards! And Neil Patrick Harris! He sings, that should count! Let him host! Geeeeez.
Adele – I’m happy to forgive the sofa dress, thanks for stopping by!
Fun. They’re not so much “fun” but I think their music is kind of awesome. And who wouldn’t make it rain onstage (in the non-stripper throwing money way) if given then chance? And their speech was definitely cute.
SOMEONE BRUSHED JOHNNY DEPP’S HAIR – IT LOOKS SO WEIRD THAT WAY!
Justin Timberlake. Could Ellen and Beyonce have made that intro any more awkward? Ellen, Beyonce is not going to play with you on live TV like that. Honestly, I don’t get the Justin thing. Never have. I always would have preferred that JC Chasez be the survivor of NSync, with the far better voice. I like him best on SNL. It just all felt done before. Bruno Mars did the black and white thing, and the sepia washed out the performance. The track feels and sounds like Robin Thicke singing Bruno Mars. Forgettable and less engaging than his very first solo awards show performance after NSync.
Frank Ocean tops Chris Brown! I hope he didn’t use any lube…so it hurt. And the shot of Chris Brown as the only person in the audience not standing said everything that needs to be said about that. Sidebar though – anyone know exactly which wall attacked Chris Brown’s Porsche? I’d like to go pray at it and give my thanks. You know, like the Wailing Wall and stuff.
Alicia Keys and Maroon 5. Adam Levine has more sex appeal in his pinky than all of her weird slinky looks combined. Though she was definitely serving up lesbian realness with that awkward “I can play the drums – sort of” intro. I will not ever be able to hear this Alicia Keys song and not here “Boy Is A Bottom” the parody video. Which is fine. I was worried she was still going to be finishing the Star Spangled Banner.
Kelly Clarkson. She should win a whole other for her trip to the stage and her speech. I LOVE that also the time since she started and she is still the same girl. And just sings her face off. Every time. It always feels like the subtext of everything she says and does is, “I don’t know y’all, and I don’t really care. I just like to sing.” I am also dying to know what she said to John Mayer and Katy Perry – though I feel like it was probably about Katy’s tits.
OMG LL, STOP SAYING HASHTAG!
Rihanna. That was good – for her. It needs that qualification still. And then the shot of Chris Brown ruined it. I’m not going to get sidetracked on that…for now.
The Black Keys. I fast-forwarded.
Kelly Clarkson. Again. YES MA’AM. I still remember her singing Natural Woman on the first season of Idol. Get it girl.
Bob Marley. The fifteen seconds of Pink singing in the Target ad in the next commercial break was more exciting than that whole medley.
Hunter Hayes and Carrie Underwood. That boy is kind of great, loving his music. And Carrie, every time she opens her mouth to sing, I love it. This was no exception, and I was beyond enamored with the silver dress even before the graphics started. That was one of the cooler things I’ve seen in a while, I loved the impact it had as the images moved from the dress to the screen above. Awesome idea, great execution, perfect performance.
Gotye wins Record of the Year. Well deserved, but oh my god stop playing that song. Just for a while. So we can all breathe, and then like it again. Some-BO-DAYYYYY. Stop please.
Ryan Seacrest. Awesome tux. Seriously jealous. Still a douche.
In Memorium. I fast forwarded through it. What?! They don’t know, so they can’t possibly care. The song – you know that woman just didn’t realize the song was ending, so she just kept going. And everyone clapped cause…well, she was rocking that wig and all.
Juanes sings Elton John. A nice nod to latin artists that didn’t actually feel totally cheesy.
Frank Ocean. The piano running thing was pretty badass. The vocals were all over the place and more than a little off key in some places. Still better than Chris Brown lip-synching in order to dance on every awards show ever. (Yes, I’m biased, and perfectly fine with that. It’s definitely kind of gay that they got into a fight over a parking space. Although in fairness, it was in West Hollywood and parking really can be a bitch here.)
The closing. Oh look, LL is totally still an artist. They always seem to have a hard time deciding how to close the Grammys without looking sort of stupid. All in all, not a ton of heart-stopping moments, but actually a great deal more actual music, musical quality and great vocals than in some years and a lot of authenticity for my money. (Well, it was free, but whatever.)