The 2021 Grammy Awards - Were GREAT. Here's why...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by tlite, Mar 21, 2021.

  1. tlite


    Aug 18, 2016
    THE QUICK APPROACH TO THE POST: Just give a listen to a few of the nominees highlighted and see if you think they're good- or at least indicative of a return to some relevance for the musically inclined. You can skip all my commentary.

    New (to me) stuff that was super cool:
    • Phoebe Bridgers -
      • Nominated for a bunch of stuff (I think 5 nominations?) but didn't win anything. I had never listened to her before. I have now listened to 'Punisher', her latest record about 4 times and ordered it on vinyl. And it's rock music- like with real instruments and stuff!
    • Poppy -
      • Nominated for Best Metal Performance. To me, she sounds more like industrial like Nine Inch Nails mixed with Babymetal, Cibbo Matto, Marilyn Manson, and maybe even Taylor Swift?. It's hard to define- there's a lot going on here. But it works, it sounds fresh and her snarly feminine pop-snarl is so cool. I don't love the first song, but "BLOODMONEY" and "I DISAGREE" are insane.

    • Megan Thee Stallion -
      • Megan Thee Stallion can RAP. And yes, everybody but me has heard of her already. The beats are catchy and funky and she is a true performer. Yeah, it's mainstream but super fun, and bangin' (as the youngsters say). You can bet your favorite Fender that if your cover band plays 'BODY' you'll pack the dance floor.

    • Black Pumas -
      • These guys were nominated for Best Album. It reminds me of Marvin Gaye's stuff in the 60's but their own thing. More instruments!!!

    • Fontaines D.C. -
      • Nominated for what used to be the main show- Best Rock Album. These Irelanders are in their 20's and while you might expect auto-tuned canned-pop stuff given their age, they released a record that sounds like Joy Division, Fugazi, Echo and the Bunnymen, and Billy Bragg showed up at the studio to produce with them. To me, that's a good thing. Some may view this as a throwback. Maybe it is. And that's OK.

    • Noah Cyrus -
      • Um, seriously dude- Miley's sister? YES. Nominated for Best New Artist. Great teenage moodiness with piano driven songwriting. I wasn't even going to listen either but I was like, well, I guess I can click on Spotify and give it a chance. I'm already in defensive mode on this one, but goshdarnit I'm standing my ground. For a Cyrus. So weird.

    • D Smoke
      • Nominated for Best New Artist and Best Rap Album. Motown, Gospel and jazz fusion backing tracks. No AUTO-TUNE RAP-SINGING (maybe a little, but thankfully used sparingly). D SMOKE brought in actual singers for singing in a lot of parts. Really like it- Great flow with a good energy. Not bangers, per se, but upbeat.

    There were also nods to Sturgill Simpson, The Strokes, Fiona Apple, and there's more here- THUNDERCAT WON A GRAMMY- A BASSIST!


    OK, maybe "GREAT" is a stretch to describe the Grammy Awards in 2021. But you know what, I'm standing by it- it felt fresh for the first time in a long time. The artists nominated indicate there is GOOD REASON TO LISTEN TO NEW POPULAR MUSIC, and maybe it's time to start following the Grammy Awards again.

    You can stop here if you want. Additional Commentary if anyone has even read this far and is really bored:

    I wasn't even going to check the winners. I haven't in like a decade. And yes, it's a big corporate blah blah, and the Weekend got snubbed and Grammies are lame. They haven't been relevant in years.

    But I decided to check in. To my surprise... I was blown away by some of the artists nominated. Discovered some really good new bands that are solid (new to me- keep in mind, I'm in my 40's and don't listen to the radio- even my 12 year-old listens only to our local jazz station- weird kid...)

    Was it all my thang? No, but a lot of it was, and most of the time I could see the value in what was nominated even if it wasn't in my wheelhouse (except maybe the Bieber album- didn't love that one- hey I can't be all roses and cupcakes).

    Are we entering a new golden age of genre-blurred original music?

    Is this a trend of real instruments complementing with original electronic songwriting?

    Will popular music continue to offer this kind of diversity, along with a focus on entertainment and performance?

    How cool was Annie Clements' bass?

    If you watched, listened, or didn't- what did you think? What else was worth paying attention to?
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2021
    GregC likes this.
  2. friskinator

    friskinator Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    I didn’t watch, but I’m glad Dua Lipa won something. I’ve had Future Nostalgia on constant rotation for the last 6 months. Great record, and she’s the first contemporary artist I’ve gotten into in awhile.
    DrMole and tlite like this.
  3. tlite


    Aug 18, 2016
    I haven’t really listened to her much either though what I’ve heard She’s really talented. Also glad to see her win.
  4. FilterFunk

    FilterFunk Everything is on the ONE! Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2010
    I enjoyed "A GRAMMY Salute To The Sounds Of Change" much more.

    And I guess I'm just a big ol' prude, but that Megan Thee Stallion/Cardi B performance? Well, let's just say that I think there's a time and place for everything, and the Grammy Awards in primetime was not the time and place for that...and I'll take whatever criticism that comes my way for saying it.
  5. Jeremy Crockett

    Jeremy Crockett Amiable Crank Inactive

    You are, of course correct. The saddest thing is that we are so culturally numbed to this that eventually, people will be having actual, televised intercourse. The shocking part is that this was not shocking, and I am (unfortunately) not even shocked by that.
    FilterFunk likes this.
  6. tlite


    Aug 18, 2016
    Nah. You’re good. To be fair I didn’t watch the Grammy awards, just listened to the artists that were nominated to see if there was any good music out in the world being validated by an awards show. And there was! Yay!

    I did watch the Poppy performance after the fact and thought she was good.

    Now I’m going to have to watch that MTS & Cardi B.performance to see what all the fuss is about...
    FilterFunk likes this.
  7. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    Actually, my 82-year-old Mom had not heard of Megan Thee Stallion already; she came to me just the other day carrying a copy of the New York Times and asked "Is Megan's middle name pronounced like 'of thee I sing?'"

    And frankly I know so little of Megan (other than that she exists, and that she recently did some scissor-grinding on TV with Cardi B that seems to have gotten a lot of people upset) that I did not know the answer to Mom's question.

    But I was surprised that the New York Times has apparently finally abandoned their long-embraced practice of referring to newsworthy personalities as "Mr [insert surname]" or "Ms [insert surname]". Remember their infamous record review when Bat Out Of Hell was released, referring to the artist as "Mr. Loaf"? I guess they couldn't bring themselves to refer to Megan as "Ms Thee Stallion"
    tlite likes this.
  8. Paulabass


    Sep 18, 2017
    Other than a couple of decent performances, and Billy Strings won a grammy, the awards are just further proof of the descent of pop music into style over content.
    I’m not a “There’s no good music any more” type at all. There’s lots of great music.
    The grammys focuses on pop music that leaves me cold. I’m stuck scratching my head over how music can be 90% dancing, and be radio friendly at the same time.
    At least DJKhalid had a shorter career than a kamikaze pilot.
    tlite likes this.
  9. Not going to lie, I don't really care about music awards, it's great that Thundercat got one, and I'll listen to those tunes you're recommending as well.
    tlite likes this.