Okay, first the obvious: How did Herbie Hancock win album of the year?! I know that he is a jazz legend and everything and I’m sure that the album is good, but how does he beat any of the other four albums? I’m not a Vince Gill fan, but when you put out a 4-disc set of all new material that is as good, if not better than anything else he’s done, that’s saying something. Or how about my beloved Foo Fighters? I’m a die-hard Foo fan and I love their new album. It’s their best work since “The Colour and the Shape” and rightfully belonged in the top five. I would have been all right with them losing to any of the others, but not Hancock. And what does Kanye West have to do to win Album of the Year. He is the only artist to have his first three albums nominated for the award and he hasn’t won yet. He continues to get other awards, but at some point the acadamy has to give him the top prize. He may have a bigger ego than Bono and Shaq put together, but you can’t tell me that he doesn’t deserve that award. (And his performance was one of the best of the show, as usual.)
And then there is Amy Winehouse. Yes, she has issues. A lot of issues. But she’s a great artist. I bought “Back to Black” strictly based on all of the buzz and I love it. She was nominated for six awards and won all, but the coveted Album of the Year award. Honestly, out of the five nominated, I would’ve voted for Winehouse (even though I love the Foo Fighters and Kanye is more than deserving). Her album does for soul what Norah Jones did for lite jazz and Lauryn Hill did for hip/hop. Now let’s hope she can keep her head on straight.
I got to thinking about Winehouse when she was performing and comparing her to Britney Spears. Both are troubled and in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. Britney performed at the MTV VMA’s and was terrible. It started her downward spiral that has captivated the douche bags who actually give a crap. Winehouse performed on the Grammys and knocked it out of the park. She was dynamite. She looked healthy, on top of her game and like she was having fun. But the highlight was her reaction when she found out that she won Record of the Year for “Rehab.” She was flabbergasted. She looked like a deer in headlights. She didn’t know what to do with herself. It was the same reaction Christina Aguilera had when she won Best New Artist. But I’m happy for her. I hope that Winehouse uses this to boost her career and become a bonafide superstar. Don’t go the way of the Britneys.
As for Herbie Hancock, this seemed more like a lifetime achievement award (just like when Steely Dan won for “Two Against Nature” and Bob Dylan won for “Time Out of Mind”). He’s undoubtedly a jazz legend, but the other four albums were more deserving.
As for the other performances: What was the deal with will.i.am’s little mash-up? That was just strange and should have been scrapped. Fergie actually sounded really good with John Legend. I’m not a Fergie fan, but she nailed it. The string interlude during the Foo Fighters’ “The Pretender” took all the steam away from the song, but it still rocked. Aretha still has it. John Fogerty does not. At all. And there is no way that Little Richard is three years older than Jerry Lee Lewis. Lewis looked like my grandpa and Little Richard looked like he was teleported straight from the 60’s. Alecia Keys is extraordinarily talented, so why does she think that she needs to dress like a skank and strut around the stage. Yes, you’re beautiful, but keep to doing what you do best…singing and playing your heart out.
That’s all for my Grammy thoughts, please feel free to comment.