The 57th annual Grammy Awards started with a tip of the hat to old school, hard-charging rock ’n’ roll with AC/DC.
Little did we know the show would rely on those roots the entire evening.
Sam Smith, who styles himself after traditional R&B singers such as Sam Cooke and Luther Vandross, was the big winner, taking Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Pop Vocal Album and Best New Artist.
Smith has a unique sound, and I worry that he will fall to the “Adele curse,” having only one great year in music, then falling victim to a public who only wants one side and sound from an artist.
Best R&B Performance winner Beyonce was not a surprise, nor was Pharrell in the Best Pop Solo Performance, but Beck with the Best Rock Album and Album of the Year came out of the blue, beating out great music from U2, Tom Petty and the Black Keys.
One of my favorites, Jack White, won Best Rock Performance.
Best Alternative was taken by St. Vincent, and in rap, Eminem had Best Rap Album and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. Kendrick Lamar was the Best Rap Performance winner.
Carrie Underwood earned Best Country Solo, and the Band Perry jumped all over the Best Country Duo prize.
Every year, for me, the performances are the best part of the Grammys, and led by the vets of the music biz, they did not disappoint.
Madonna showed the Mileys, Iggys and other Disney/Nickelodeon puppets that the best way to push the envelope is by having a great beat.
Annie Lennox took over the show with a powerhouse run on You Put A Spell on Me.
It was good to see Dwight Yoakum, and Sir Paul McCartney showed why he is so beloved, making an uninteresting, self-type machine Kanye worth watching in the new song, FourFiveSeconds, with Rihanna.
The three-hour, 30-minute show got slow in places but ended strong with John Legend and Common doing a great job on their hit from the film, Selma.
The only issue to be found was that local CBS affiliate KFDA, NewsChannel10, kept coming out of breaks late.
It left the viewer to wonder if any more was lost than what had already gone on before the Pepsi ad ended and the show restarted 40 seconds into the presenter’s speech.
The Grammys did what they do for me every year: open me up to new artists, let me enjoy the work of some of my favorites and reinforce my great belief that music is an important life-inspiring and changing force.