The Grammys: What Are They Good For?

Since 1989, when Jethro Tull won a Grammy for Best Metal Performance for the song ‘Crest of a Knave’, the Grammys have never redeemed themselves. It seems that when each year rolls around the corner, the awards panel look over the top of what’s happened in music over the past year, but don’t delve any deeper into what makes it that way. This year was no different.

The main award of the evening is, of course, the album of the year. Nominees included Justin Bieber, Drake and Beyoncé. For a lot of people, the main prediction for the win was Beyoncé’s Lemonade, if you’ve not heard about it, you must have spent most of 2017 in a cave. Lemonade was unlike anything Beyoncé had done in her career, combining video and audio that it felt more like a short film rather than an album.  However, to many people’s dismay, Adele won for 25, an album that seemed like just another album in her discography. Honourably, Adele split the award in half and gave the piece to Beyoncé defying the Grammy awards panel.  This was just the tip of the iceberg.

Most of the rest of the awards went how you’d expect, Chance the Rapper winning Best New Artist was a huge deal and should never be taken lightly. David Bowie won more Grammys that night than he won whilst he was alive, which says a lot for the awards ceremony. However, the real kick in the teeth was the rock album awards. Nominated to some of the best albums of the past year. From the comeback album by Weezer, to the outstanding Magma by Gojira, it seemed this year that the Grammy’s had gone a bit further in deciding the best rock album. Unfortunately, Cage the Elephant (Yes, that band that loads of people liked about 5 years ago,) picked up the award this year for their album, ‘Tell Me I’m Pretty’ that had gone under the radar a fair bit, showing once again, how The Grammys had picked the safe indie option.

One of the main collaboration performances of the night came from Metallica and Lady Gaga, an unusual combination in some eyes, but the potential for greatness was just there. That was until vocalist, James Hetfield’s Microphone was silenced from the start of the performance, meaning what should have been an active merging of the two genres made instead to another mockery of the genre. Similarly, to Adele, Lady Gaga stepped up and shared her microphone with Hetfield salvaging the performance, but the angry tone that this blunder had created was palpable on social media and certainly on Hetfield’s face. Let’s just not mention the fact that Metallica’s ‘Master of Puppets’ was played when former-rival band Megadeth came on to accept their award for best Metal performance.

Words by Charlie Hill

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