Thursday, 4 February 2010

Girl Power Grammys

I flicked over to the Grammy Awards on Wednesday night and I couldn't stop watching. The award presentations felt like dull delays between each epic performance, and it must be said that the fabulous females of the music industry totally stole the show. Every time I thought I had been wowed by one pop princess, another came out and completely eclipsed them.

Lady Gaga was her usual level of extra-strength crazy, with an explosive hint at her upcoming tour in her performance of Poker Face and Speechless. They've taken the video off of YouTube now, but it was absolutely phenomenal. The girl has boundless energy and can really sing live, not to mention another geometric hit on the costume front. I loved the creepy ringleader guy and the faceless Gaga-esque dancers, and adored the Terence Koh-designed double grand piano, with sinister clawed hands reaching out of it. Mud-covered Elton John seemed like a genuine Gaga fan and let her outshine him as they duetted on a mix of Speechless and Your Song, even changing his lyrics to say 'how wonderful life is while Gaga's in the world.' Amazing.

Beyoncé came out in killer heels, leather dress and heavy eyeliner and blasted out If I Were a Boy in the theatrical style she uses on tour. I would have preferred the hair to be a little bigger than the ironed-flat look she went for, but I loved the ghetto-fabulous gold armour dress and hoop earrings she wore to pick up her (count 'em) SIX awards. She also slipped into her performance a version of You Oughta Know by Alanis Morrissette, a song I have loved since my angry teenage years, and an ingenious choice which was a perfect match for her huge voice. More power to the girls.

Just when I thought my popstar dreams had all come true, out walked Pink. I always forget how much I love Pink's sultry voice, as she's not a such a strong cultural presence as G and B, but her stunning performance of 'Glitter in the Air' was spellbinding. It was the first time that night that I put down all other distractions and just stopped to watch and listen. She twirled from the ceiling on with acrobatic ease and managed to keep her voice smooth and serene while spinning upside down with water cascading over her. If the 2010 Grammys was like the Diva Olympics, Pink definitely stole the gold. Unknown song, daring performance and understated vocals, but utterly beautiful to behold.

The only lame duck of the night was the unbearably bland Taylor Swift, who not only stole four epic awards from competitors like Beyoncé and Gaga, but quacked out irritating 'OhmyGod' speeches and gave a seriously below-par performance of her already forgettable songs. Organisers even had the gall to ask Fleetwood Mac legend Stevie Nicks to sing with her, who looked completely thrown at having to take part in this shoddy karaoke performance of the teen wonder's hits. I'm with Kanye, she must be stopped.*

The Michael Jackson tribute was a little cringey - Earth Song isn't even good when it's him doing it, who thought adding Celine Dion to the mix was the solution?! - and his kids looked horribly uncomfortable, as well as like little sedated zombies who have as much biological connection to him as cat food. Still, RIP and all that. Generally the live stuff was genius (the Dave Matthews band and Green Day with guests were also highlights), Jay-Z and Beyoncé's support of each other warmed my frosty heart and it just reminded me how slick and powerful the US music industry is. With Pixie Lott, JLS and Cheryl Cole topping the nomination list, I'm not holding my breath for the Brits to top it.

*Edit: After writing this, it popped up on that after poor wittle Taylor got a lot of flack for her 'singing' at the Grammys, the CEO of her record label decided to wade in with this defence:

"This is not American Idol. This is not a competition of getting up and seeing who can sing the highest note... This is about a true artist and writer and communicator. It's not about that technically perfect performance."

To my great amusement, original Idol Kelly Clarkson retaliated on her blog by writing:

"Thank you for that ‘Captain Obvious', because you know what, we not only hit the high notes, you forgot to mention we generally hit the ‘right' notes as well."
She signed the post,
"One of those contestants from American Idol who only made it because of her high notes."


No comments:

Post a Comment