Grammys: There’s hope for music

By Cecily Arambula

The 53rd Grammy Awards proved there is still a glimmer of hope
left for the music industry ” Arcade Fire took the biggest award of
the night, and Justin Bieber didn’t win any.

The night was jam-packed full of performances from musicians of
every genre, including a number of nominees.

Not only were viewers cheated out of televised awards, but the
time allotted for acceptance speeches were unfairly shorter than
ever.

Although the night was dedicated to music, the celebration
focused on nominees rather than winners. Only a handful of more
than 100 categories were announced during the telecast itself.

What was once an awards ceremony for artists who had achieved
musical excellence, has now turned into little more than a
star-studded concert featuring performers to bring in good ratings
” cue Bieber, Drake, Rihanna and Gwyneth Paltrow.

This isn’t to say the show didn’t showcase a number of
outstanding performances.

The best of the night were Bob Dylan with the Avett Brrothers
and Mumford and Sons; Eminem and Dr. Dre’s performance of “I Need a
Doctor,” with Skylar Grey; and the medley performed by B.O.B.,
Janelle Monae and Bruno Mars.

Eminem, the artist with the most nominations, took home a
well-deserved Best Rap Album win for “Recovery” and Best Rap Solo
Performance for “Not Afraid.” The rapper’s two wins may come as a
surprise, but keep in mind most of his nominations were for “Love
the Way You Lie,” which is hardly an award-winning song.

Country trio, Lady Antebellum, received wins for both Song of
the Year and Record of the Year for “Need You Now.” This song had
been pushed onto the back burner since its release in 2009, but it
was definitely an anthem in 2010. “Need You Now” may not have been
the popular choice, but it was certainly the right one.

Miranda Lambert won Best Female Country Vocal Performance for
“The House That Built Me,” and justified it with a performance
earlier in the night. She beat popular prediction, Carrie
Underwood, and rightfully so.

Controversy surrounded the Best New Artist category since the
nominees were announced, which included Bieber, Mumford and Sons,
Drake, Florence and the Machine and the winner, Esperanza
Spalding.

The multi-talented Bruno Mars would have made for a better
choice as a nominee than Drake, who has been on the music scene for
years.

Although Spalding is an incredible jazz musician, Mumford and
Sons’ debut, “Sigh No More,” was one of the best albums of the
year. Also, it is hardly fair to award someone as Best New Artist
nearly five years after her debut album was released.

There is no question Arcade Fire deserves the Album of the Year
win. For anyone who has actually heard “The Suburbs,” this is a
completely warranted triumph for the indie band. This album, no
matter how unknown it is, displays real musical talent at its
best.

Not to undermine the greatness of the album, but “The Suburbs”
was not up against very stiff competition to begin with.

The real upset of the night was that blues-rock duo, The Black
Keys, who was nominated for four awards, was nowhere to be found at
the award show.

The band took home two non-televised awards, beating Arcade Fire
in both categories, but did not perform and should have had Katy
Perry’s spot for a nomination in the Best Album category.

Overall, most of this year’s Grammy wins, although only a few
were televised, were justifiable and well-deserved. Pop-idols took
a back seat to exemplary musicians, proving today’s music industry
isn’t completely shot.

Grammys: There

Illustration by Aaron Castrejon / The Poly Post

Grammys: There’s hope for music

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