We Review The Winners Of The 2013 Grammy Awards!

Come on, I'm not the only one who sees the resemblance, am I?
As it doesn't actually have anything to do with music - plus, I break out in hives at the sight of Taylor Swift being overly earnest - I skipped the televised Grammy ceremony.  Having said that, I felt the list of Grammy winners was worth mentioning.

For anyone as old as I am (none of your business), the Grammy awards have always stood as a representation of just how out-of-touch the industry is at any given time.  And the few times they've tried to be hip have been miserable debacles.  Remember when "Jethro Tull" won for Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Performance in 1989 over Metallica, Jane's Addiction, Iggy Pop, and AC/DC?  Sigh.

So, without further adieu, we critique this year's Grammy winners: 

Record of the Year:

Album of the Year: "Babel" by Mumford and Sons

Every time I see Mumford And Songs, I can't help think that Denver's Sixteen Horsepower did it first and, arguably, better, yet they languished in relative obscurity.  Leave it to the industry to embrace a band who plays "old timey" music.

Song of the Year: "We Are Young," (Jack Antonoff, Jeff Bhasker, Andrew Dost and Nate Reuss, songwriters (Fun. feat. Janelle Monae)

As a huge fan of his previous band, The Format, it's great hearing Nate Reuss on the radio, and the internet, and on TV.  All these years, I've wished that his music found a massive audience and here it's happened.  Good guys do occasionally finish first.  Plus, the song itself is just an amazing slice of "Pro Tools" pop.

Best New Artist: fun.  

Yep, life is good for Nate Reuss, and the rest of the band, but, minor quibble, this is their second major label album.  Just because nobody - and I mean nobody - gave a shit about the first one (produced by Redd Kross bass player Steven Shane McDonald) doesn't mean the band suddenly burst forth fully formed the day "We Are Young" was released.  Like we said, minor quibble, glad they won.

Best Pop Solo Performance: "Set Fire to the Rain" (Live), Adele

Adele's best talent is picking great material, or being smart enough to let her handlers do so.  Either way, what made her 21 album so great was that it didn't sound like her voice had merely been pasted onto the same cookie-cutter albums that Kelly Clarkson, Katy Perry, and Pink keeping putting out.

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: "Somebody That I Used to Know," Gotye feat. Kimbra

Such a great song, but I also fear it'sthe albatross that will render Gotye as the answer to a trivia question, never to be heard from again.  I said the same thing about James Blunt and I was right.  James Blunt, meet Gotye.  You two will be spending a lot of time together in music triva hell.

Best Pop Vocal Album: Stronger, Kelly Clarkson

Sigh.  You just knew some faceless pop glop had to squeeze through the cracks.  I found it both sad and fitting that the only way Clarkson has been able to generate any press as of late is to announce her engagement to, gasp, her manager.  Which means this was a strategy that he probably came up with when nothing else was working.

Best Dance/Electronica Album: Bangarang, Skrillex

Zzzz.  Not impressed.  Sadly, electronica/dance has fallen on hard times.  When faced with the prospect of listening to Skrillex, I suddenly find myself missing Digital Underground, who I thought were a complete fraud at the time.  Compared to this ear-banging calamity, DU's Sex Packets sounds like Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album: Kisses on the Bottom, Paul McCartney

Wow, "traditional pop"?  Why not just call it what it is, "Obligatory Award Given To Paul McCartney For Still Looking Relatively Good For His Age"?  The album itself was pretty forgettable.  Unfortunately, his last truly great album had the horrible title of Chaos And Creativity In The Tree Fort, or some such nonsense.

Best Rock Performance: "Lonely Boy," Black Keys

Never mind that they're White Stripes, Mk II, the Black Keys are just flat-out great for the mainstream.  The more they show up on shows like this, the less time can be devoted to Justin Timberlake's latest desperate attempt to be both Michael Buble and Bruno Mars.  I hate to say it, but stick to acting, J-Dawg.

Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance: "Love Bites (So Do I)," Halestorm

Well, at least Jethro Tull didn't win.  Halestorm is the newest kid on this block, beating out veterans Megadeth, Maiden, Marilyn Manson and Anthrax.

Best Rock Song: "Lonely Boy," Dan Auerbach, Brian Burton and Patrick Carney (Black Keys)

Black Keys FTW!.

Best Rock Album: El Camino, Black Keys

Boom!  Black Keys take their third Grammy!  What planet am I on?

Best Alternative Music Album: Making Mirrors, Gotye

James Blunt's new neighbor goes home with two Grammys, winning out over M83, Fiona Apple, Bjork and Tom Waits.

Best R&B Performance: "Climax," Usher

Meh.

Best Traditional R&B Performance: "Love on Top," Beyoncé

Did she just lip-sync her acceptance speech?!

Best R&B Song: "Adorn," Miguel

Zzz.

Best Blues Album: Locked Down, Dr. John

Seriously, why do they bother making new blues albums?  May as well just give this one to Dr. John anytime he releases a new album.

Best Reggae Album: Rebirth, Jimmy Cliff

Seriously, why do they bother making new reggae albums?  May as well just give this one to Jimmy Cliff anytime he releases a new album.

Best Comedy Album: Blow Your Pants Off, Jimmy Fallon

We'd have preferred to see Tenacious D win this one, but Fallon's record was occasionally brilliant.  At least Margaret Cho didn't win, there we said it.

Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

A dark and ambitious effort that most people never even noticed during the film.  Of course, that's almost the point when it comes to scoring for film.  The less the viewer notices the music, the better, after all.  Even so, Reznor succeeded in matching the film's intensity without overstepping his bounds.

Best Historical Album: The Smile Sessions (Deluxe Boxed Set), Beach Boys

It's a better world just knowing an album such as this is commercially available at all, and even better to see it properly recognized.  McCartney's deluxe re-issue of Ram was also nominated.

Producer of the Year, Non-Classical: Dan Auerbach

Dan Auerback (of the Black Keys) wins for Producer.  What else can I say, the Keys have the Midas touch.  Can they stay at this level, or will they be kicked back down to the Double-A, so to speak.  We shall see, I guess.

All in all, this is a very respectable list of winners for an organization that I never thought could get within five years of cool.

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