Well, that was, as usual, mostly disappointing, and, unsually, weird. Obviously, Herbie Hancock taking Best Album was a surprise but it’s probably more due to Kanye West and Amy Winehouse splitting votes than a nod to quality – not to dismiss Winehouse (and, indeed, the fine Mr. Hancock,) whose album I think was one of the year’s brighter spots. Not on my very top favorites list but definitely on my runners-up list.
While we’re on the topic of Ms. Winehouse, I was glad to see her actually perform. As the curious choice of Cuba Gooding Jr. put it (and I paraphrase,) “We were unsure if the next artist would be able to appear on the show tonight” and I filled in after him “because she might otherwise be incapacitated, incarcerated, or just plain dead.” Or maybe just visa problems. Regardless, she performed and it was . . . okay. She’s done better than this – she’s really worth the hype, vocally. It’s pretty obvious that she’s put her body through hell. The drugs have ravaged her vocals but she actually looked healthier than in a long time. Let’s hope the rehab sticks and she gets back to what she used to be: worthy of awards.
I just wish her backup singers could have sounded a little better. I’m not sure if that was the Dap-Kings as her backing band or not, but if so, that was not a great performance by them. Those dudes sounded like they were an old, slowed-down tape – “nooooo, nooooo, nooooo.”
And Natalie Cole, you should be ashamed of yourself putting down Amy Winehouse simply because of her drug problems. Should she win for the music or her lifestyle?
But . . . Foo Fighters. Foo Fighters, Foo Fighters, Foo Fighters. Listen, guys, we have to talk. I really love your music, really I do. Except for Echoes, etc.. It’s just not a great album, guys. In fact, it’s easily your worst. I don’t want you thinking this win is some kind of validation for this album rather than you, which is what it really should be. Because aside from “The Pretender” I can’t remember a thing off of – because I haven’t had the desire to listen to it in months. Let’s go away and try again with the next album, shall we?
I gotta say it. Alicia Keys: hot. Really, really hot.