By: The Busted Amp Staff
JOSEPH: Well, they did it. They snubbed Queen Bey once more. As much as I was rooting for Sturgill Simpson to upset everyone just to see his acceptance speech, I was shocked to hear Adele's name called. This moment was unexpected, but it is (and rightfully so) dominating the talk of the Grammys, as Beyonce is now an unprecedented 0 for 4 when it comes to AotY nominations/wins. But it looked like Adele was just as shocked as I was, and she proceeded to deliver one of the most humble acceptance speeches I have ever heard, during which she proclaimed Queen Bey the deserving winner. Adele's transcendence into legend didn't stop there. After the ceremony she split the award in two and gave the other half to Queen Bey in what has to be one of the best disses ever towards the Academy. This to me highlighted what was a mixed bag from this year's Grammy's.
On the one hand and for the most part....the Grammy's were pretty good with the winners. David Bowie swept all of his categories, including the stacked Alternative AotY category, and Chance the Rapper made a YUGE splash as well.
Sturgill did get his Best Country Album award, which is still a pretty strong statement to Nashville's Bro Country scene, and Megadeth even won it's first (and incredibly overdue) Grammy. Overall the performances were solid, with my highlights surprisingly being the two hip-hop performances from A Tribe Called Quest and Chance the Rapper, as well as Katy Perry's stunning Grammy-esque performance. But it seemed for every great thing the Grammy's did, there was an equally crappy thing to boot.
There were several lowlights, but to me the low point was, once again, the heavy rock performance. It's amazing how it seems every year the problems with the Grammy's lie in their one heavy rock performance, and their Lady Gaga/Metallica performance was marred by sound issues and the presenter actually forgetting to mention that Metallica was even a part of the performance. About the only thing that could've made it worse was if CBS had cut to black randomly during it. Additionally, what the heck was going on with that Keith Urban/Carrie Underwood duet? Really don't understand how the Academy thought it was a good idea to put two of the biggest names in country right now for the most generic 80s pop song ever. I mean I get that Bro Country is bad right now, but c'mon. It's not that bad. Also, and I think Derek may disagree with me on this, but I was not a huge fan of James Corden. He had a few moments that were alright, but they were sprinkled in between shameless and obvious CBS plugs for his Late Late Show, which were completely unnecessary. I fear that the Oscars will suffer the same fate in this regard in a few weeks, as they are on ABC and are being hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.
Derek: Ah yes, the 2017 Grammy's.
I'd agree with Joseph. For an awards show that has a history of making some head scratching decisions, I was pleased to see just how many they got right. If you were keeping track at home, we were right 50% of the time for our "who will win" predictions but 67% right for who we thought should win. Maybe we should have a little more faith in the Grammy voters next year? Not a chance. Adele winning Album of the Year for 25 over Beyonce is almost as bad as Taylor Swift winning over Kendrick Lamar last year.
There's going to be a lot of speculation into why Beyonce lost, so I'll throw a few thoughts into the ring. Frankly, I think TIDAL killed her chances. By streaming her album exclusively on TIDAL, a service that has only 1% of the global streaming subscriptions and no free tier, she cut off an impressively large audience for her music. Yes, Adele did the same thing for a few months, but eventually she came around and added her catalog to the major streaming services. I'd argue that enough voters were cut off from hearing her album, especially the older Grammy voters, that Adele was able to win out.
In terms of performances, the highlight for me was Sturgill Simpson's brilliant rendition of "All Around You" with the Dap-Kings, who helped him record his newly crowned Best Country Album. While he didn't pull off a dramatic upset for Album of the Year, he can be extremely proud of the showing. He also had a noteworthy post-Grammy celebration.
Bruno Mars had a stellar tribute for Prince, much better than the unwatchable David Bowie tribute that Lady Gaga put on last year. Speaking of Gaga, her performance with Metallica this year wasn't much better. Putting on her best 80's hair metal stripper impression while James Hetfield battled microphone issues, she definitely won the "trainwreck performance I can't turn away from" award for the night, but she wasn't the only one. James Corden, riding the success of his Carpool Karaoke bit into a hosting gig, was a mess the whole night, as was the production. Can someone please get a bigger teleprompter so the presenters can actually read what they're supposed to say? I feel bad for John Travolta, who suffered another awards show blunder when he couldn't make out his speech, so he just winged it. It wasn't his fault, and he wasn't the only one affected by it either. Travolta was at the Grammys to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Saturday Night Fever and The Bee Gees, which had a fun medley tribute from Devi Levato, Tori Kelly, Little Big Town, and Andra Day. I was very surprised that they didn't do a tribute for Leonard Cohen or Merle Haggard, and if it were my show, I'd have cut the Bee Gees tribute in favor of giving Cohen and Haggard the tributes they deserved. Or at least cut a little off of Beyonce's nearly 10 minute performance, which granted will probably be one of the night's most watched clips. But goodness was that production excruciatingly long.
Jospeh: In conclusion, I think the biggest highlight for me tonight was Adele. I have never truly understood why people revere her as much as they do, but after watching her stop a tribute to George Michael mid-song so she could get it perfect for him, and after breaking down because she thought Beyonce deserved the highest profile award of the night, I can see why. However, both of these moments were accidental #GrammyMoments, and there were far too many attempts to "manufacture" #GrammyMoments for me to enjoy the show too much. Maybe it's just cause I'm cynical, but I just can't get the crappy parts of the night out of my head. Sure, there were great moments with Sturgill Simpson making even his ballads sound awesome and Bruno Mars delivering the Prince tribute to end all Prince tributes, but....I don't know. Hopefully as time goes on we'll just remember the good parts of this year's show, but right now I just can't shake the bad. And, of course, it all starts with yet another snubbing of Queen Bey.