Review: The Grammys become too predictable


Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The 60th annual Grammy awards took place on January 28.


Note: This will only be covering the live TV broadcast of the 60th Grammy Awards. Nothing that was awarded pre-broadcast will be addressed.

The 60th annual Grammy awards took place Sunday night and featured performances from plenty of music’s biggest names and had more than a few questionable decisions from voters. Let’s get into it.

The Better

Kendrick starts strong

Kendrick Lamar, per usual, had a solid showing at this year’s Grammys. After a dynamic performance that opened the ceremony, Lamar went on to receive “Best Rap/Sung Performance” and “Best Rap Album,” which brought his total to four with “Best Rap Song” and “Best Rap Performance” being awarded earlier in the evening. After being awarded “Best Rap Album,” Lamar had a genuine moment during an acceptance speech that made it feel as though this was just the beginning of the night for him.

If only that momentum could have kept up.

Childish Gambino’s standout performance

Donald Glover got his chance to showcase a deep cut from his 2016 album “Awaken, My Love!” with “Terrified,” a slower, moodier cut which translated nicely to the Grammy stage. This sort of tone isn’t always seen at the big awards show, and was a nice change-of-pace when placed between the bombastic showings from Luis Fonsi and P!nk.

Most of the other performances

I was actually pleasantly surprised by this year’s group of performers. Kesha’s rendition of “Praying” was as powerful as ever, Jon Batiste and Gary Clark Jr.’s tribute to Chuck Berry and Fats Domino was about as fun as a show got that evening, Bruno Mars showcased his typical swagger with Cardi B on “Finesse” and SZA showed why she’s one of the most talked about emerging artists in the scene. Hell, even DJ Khaled, Rihanna and Bryson Tiller’s “Wild Thoughts” would have been bearable if Khaled would have closed his mouth for five seconds. Good job, all.

The Lesser

Bruno sweeps

Listen, I have no issues with Bruno Mars. I was an open fan of the singles from “24K Magic” and thought the album was one of 2016’s better pop albums. And it’s for this reason I was somewhat alright with him taking home both “Song of the Year” and “Record of the Year.” However, Mars may have been the least deserving in the “Album of the Year” category, not necessarily because of the quality of his release, but quality of all his colleagues.

Lamar’s “DAMN.” was a thinker’s banger album, full of thoughtful lyrics and concepts backed by engaging beats Lorde’s “Melodrama” was a vivid, breathtaking look at what it means to be a young woman in the 21st century. That, and the songs were just really freaking good. It’s a shame it wasn’t way more successful. Childish Gambino’s “Awaken, My Love!” was a surprisingly great re-imagining of Donald Glover’s rap persona that felt so fresh in a time of mainstream stasis. Jay-Z’s “4:44”… well, I never actually got to that one, so I don’t have words for it. “The Story of O.J.” was pretty good though.

And after all these accolades, the best thing I can say about “24K Magic” was that it had a consistent R&B and funk sound that is much more enjoyable than some of mainstreams more melodramatic (not a jab at Lorde) offerings. It had fun tracks (a reminder that the title track absolutely slaps), but that was about it.

To be fair, I can’t say I expected Mars to take the top prize over Lamar, but it’s also become annoyingly predictable when an artist wins both “Song/Record of the Year” that they’re going to win “Album,” as well. The same thing happened last year with Adele, but I’m more accepting to the idea of Mars taking home “Album of the Year” than Adele doing so with a forgettable third album.

Alessia Cara surprises early

The snubs began as early as the second televised award, with Alessia Cara being awarded “Best New Artist” over SZA and Khalid. It seems as though the young Canadian singer’s appearances on hits such as Zedd’s “Stay” and Logic’s “1-800-273-8255” brought the votes her way.

Little Big Town’s appearance

Why was Little Big Town at the Grammys this year? I know they were up for a couple nominations and had an album out last year, but Chris Stapleton didn’t even get a full-band performance, so the time could’ve easily been better utilized.


Maybe it’s because I’ve watched the Grammys annually for the better part of a decade at this point, but I actually didn’t have that many complaints about this year’s ceremony.

The Grammys will always be a little too long, always feature performances ranging from career-defining to cringe inducing, and will always have awards given to seemingly the wrong people.

But honestly, that’s part of what makes it all fun. But for real, can we go back and give “Album of the Year” to Lorde?