By: Ricardo Montero

I would like to think that the Recording Academy, tasked with choosing the Grammy winners, would make choices that made sense. Giving the “Gold Zippy-Cup” as quoted by Jay Z, to those artist that have the best material and truly deserve the recognition that a Grammy represents.

Unfortunately, apart from few exceptions, the 56th Grammy Awards were for the most part, a preposterous popularity contest. However, before we properly bash the Grammys, let us dissect this in a chronological order. Starting with the red carpet.

Lorde performing at the 2014 Grammys Courtesy of http://www.usmagazine.com/

Lorde performing at the 2014 Grammys Courtesy of http://www.usmagazine.com/

 

Since the currently bored media has already covered all the “Best-Dressed” and all of that interesting information, I will only touch upon the people that left a true impact, whether positive and negative, in the judgemental eyes of society.

Starting with the double Grammy winner, Lorde, who awkwardly accepted her Song of The Year and Best Pop Solo Performance, both for her single “Royals”, in an outfit akin to that of Morticia Addams, or perhaps she is trying out for a character in American Horror Story. As well as a terrifying performance that had the audience worried, for it displayed concerning twitches.

Then there were the French duo Daft Punk, who left the gala with four Grammys including Record of the Year, with their iconic masks and simple but classic suits. Their performance of “Get Lucky” featuring Pharrell, Nile Rodgers, and the surprising but pleasant appearance of Stevie Wonder, who fit in well with the overplayed radio smash hit.

Lastly, Beyoncé needs to be discussed. Queen Bey was wearing sexy dresses the whole time, including a performance that had Jamie Foxx stressing and sweating on stage. She walked out of the Grammys without an award, but not

Beyonce look for the grammys. courtesy of http://www.eonline.com/

Beyonce’s look for the Grammys. courtesy of http://www.eonline.com/

empty handed, for her husband Jay-Z needed help holding his two recognitions for Best Music Video and Best Rap Collaboration with Justin Timberlake.

Now, onto the controversial decisions by the Academy. It is difficult to determine why the winners are chosen, or who even decides who wins since the “Recording Academy” seems to be filled with pre-teen girls who love mainstream morning radio.

Firstly, “Royals” by Lorde does not contain the lyrical, musical or even meaningful message to deserve a label like Song Of The Year. Inspired by a picture of 1976’s Kansas City Royals third baseman George Brett, Lorde wrote the song describing the now-generic theme of living of the rich and famous life. “Royals” simply does not have the musical content that the other nominees slightly have, “Just Give Me a Reason” by Pink could have been a better option, but the opinions of the non-famous do not really seem to matter.

Moving on to Best New Artist, a category featuring artist of such caliber as Kendrick Lamar and Ed Sheeran. This is not to say that Macklemore and Ryan Lewis aren’t great artists, because that would be false, but they are not yet to the lyrical and poetic levels of the two mentioned earlier. Macklemore and company are awesome performers and make great club music, but they still need to reach a certain level of depth and social connection to the listeners.

Now, regarding Best Rock Performance, it truly doesn’t even make any sense that a legendary band such as Led Zeppelin with their iconic song “Kashmir”, would be beaten by Imagine Dragons with their single “Radioactive,” which infected most commercials in the late 2013. Led Zeppelin, a band that has never won a Grammy until this year; Led Zeppelin, a band that defined a generation, were beaten miserably by a merely good band, with an average song. I remain speechless at this decision, and do feel bad for Led Zeppelin, which has not gotten the recognition from the Academy that they deserve. Thankfully, the Academy redeemed their strange decision by awarding Led Zeppelin Best Rock Album, for “Celebration Day”.

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, won by Jay Z with “Holy Grail” was another shocker. It seemed that “Power Trip” by J. Cole was the better choice, since the balance between the singing and the rapping in “Holy Grail” was a contrast at best. Justin Timberlake’s singing in the chorus was remarkable, while Jay Z’s rapping was dull and did not flow well.

grammy-awards-2014-un-grand-show-videos

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis with their awards. Courtesy of http://www.booska-p.com/

As a final remark, the Best Rap Album. Someone please explain how an album like Good Kid m.A.A.d City, a complex lyrical masterpiece, with so much depth yet awesome styles that appeal to all, be beaten by a barely above average album like “The Heist” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. Even Macklemore himself was in shock, sending a text message to Kendrick Lamar, saying “You got robbed. I wanted you to win. You should have. It’s weird and sucks that I robbed you. I was gonna say that during the speech.” It really does seem that the Grammy’s were based more on popularity and radio hits than true artistic abilities. Congratulations to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis for their four Grammy awards, no matter how much I believe that they truly deserve them.

Notably, there is no doubt that the 56th Grammy Awards were plenty controversial, and it is now up to the Recording Academy to evaluate their decisions and hopefully, give recognition to the artists that truly deserve it. Congratulations to the winners, and let us start a petition for Pharell to stop wearing hats inspired by the owner of Curious George.