The Grammys 2012

15 Feb

Every year The Grammy Awards take centre stage during the awards season as ‘the biggest night in music’. It brings together the biggest names and puts them all in one room, a room in which they battle it out to become a member of the musical elite. They perform and celebrate together, portraying a most civil and joyful atmosphere but the tension is at it’s most poignant. Like most ceremonies/industries and such, controversy is forever lurking in the shadows tainting – or even questioning – the nobility these things seem to claim. Just hours after the 2012 ceremony, The Grammys and individual artists have been excessively attacked by critics, journalist and the joyful members of social network sites such as Twitter.

The most phenomenal – whilst not entirely surprising – outcome was that of Adele’s victory as she claimed six awards. It is not surprising due to the hype that has surrounded the London singer over the past year but there is still something quite unsettling about it. Does she really need, or even deserve, six awards? She is indeed a most wonderful singer and her songs have a tremendous amount of power behind them – but they are not worth that much attention. When you really look at it, all her music boils down to the same theme and thus becomes very boring. Eventually only two or three songs actually stand out and keep their magic but these two record breaking albums do eventually fade out. Personally I feel that to be a successful artist one must be diverse and  bold – Adele is neither of these. Fellow nominees, such as Mumford & Sons and Bruno Mars, do indeed posses this talent of manipulating sound and producing music that can potentially stand the test of time – they are in their own ways unique because of their experimentations. It is quite disheartening to see that they were not rewarded, but at the same time it was expected.

Nicki Minaj also attracted a great deal of negative attention to herself with her Red Carpet attire and her performance of ‘The Exorcist of Roman‘. It was truly a carnival performance in that it was not your average display but instead something that belonged in theatre. It made Lady Gagalook like a kitten. It indeed left a foul taste in the mouths of many viewers – some confused, some bewildered and some offended. It does make one wonder what is more important; rebelling against social conventions or creating and sharing outstanding pieces of music? Having such outrageous performances can often be distracting; the music is forgotten. I guess there is a fine line between being artistic and being destructive – a line that we were all convinced Lady Gaga had already pushed to its limits. Yes performances are wonderful and can be powerful, but there is a line that if crossed can cause the respect for music and talent to be lost and replaced with a desire to be as outrageous as possible. It does make one wonder about – or fear –  the future of pop/music in general.The above discussions are, however, quite minor when we introduce Chris Brown. In 2009, on the eve of that year’s Grammys, Chris Brown assaulted his then-girlfriend, Rihanna, in quite a disturbing manner. Three years after, Chris Brown is apparently given official forgiveness by the organisers of The Grammys who felt they were the real victims. I do not understand how they were the victims, it was Rihanna who was hospitalised. Chris Brown was allowed to perform twice and also won Best R&B Album. The justification behind this was that everyone deserves a second chance which is fair enough but Mr Brown took it a step too far and caused a war through his now deleted tweets. He did bring up a good point about the dark side of music in which artists are often guilty of drug and/or violence related crimes and then glorified, but then he becomes childish. Brown expresses great pride in his Grammy award and refers to it as the “ultimate fuck off“. It’s sad; surely talent worthy of a Grammy is accompanied and strengthened by intelligence and maturity? It is scary and once again does cause great concern about the future of the music industry and The Grammys.

There is so much here to discuss and consider that is of course incredibly negative, and only increases the tension. Next week sees The BRITS have their say as to who is the musical elite. It will be interesting to see how much it differs or how similar the outcome will be. The music industry has a lot to make up for, let’s hope that the British elite can set the standards and put everyone back on the right track keeping controversy at a minimal. There will always be controversy – especially in an artistic environment – but it should not reach the levels that we saw through The Grammys.

Sources
http://www.nme.com/blog/index.php?blog=1&p=11855&title=why_are_we_so_quick_to_forgive&more=1&c=1
http://www.grammy.com/nominees
http://www.billboard.com/#/events/grammys-central-2012-1006036352.story

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