Drew’s Review: The Grammys roundup

Drew Hagge, Music Columnist

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To those in the know, the Grammy Awards are widely considered the worst of the large-scale award shows. The Emmys, Golden Globes and Oscars all do a better job awarding excellence in their respective art forms, while the Grammy Awards tend to be nothing but a popularity contest.

However, the Grammys remain uniquely loved and watchable due solely to its potential for incredible live performances — specifically the performances that bring different artists from different worlds together on one stage. From Imagine Dragons and Kendrick Lamar to Eminem and Elton John, the Grammys have held some of the greatest moments in live music history.

Generally, the Grammys are filled with terrific highs and virtually bottomless lows. The 59th Grammy Awards, which took place Sunday, Feb. 12, were no exception.

The lows began the moment the show started. Host James Corden’s physical comedy routine reached a new depth when he fell several times down a flight of steps into a bad-on-purpose dance number.

If I was an honest critic, then I’d say Beyoncé’s performance was terribly slow developing, but I don’t want to get suddenly struck by lightning. So, I’m just going to note how impressive it is for her to perform with twins inside her stomach.  

As anticipated, the show’s peaks centered around two all-time live performances. Anderson Paak joined A Tribe Called Quest to perform hits off their latest and final album, “We Got It from Here… Thank You 4 Your service,” which culminated in Anderson Paak, Q-Tip and Busta Rhymes raising a fist in the air to “We the People….”

The Bruno Mars-led Prince tribute marked the Grammy’s final height. After watching Bruno Mars cover “Let’s Go Crazy” in full Prince attire, it became clear Mars was put on this earth to impersonate the musical icon.

Heading into the night, whether deserved or not, Adele and Beyoncé represented two different camps that went beyond simply choosing between the two biggest acts in pop music. The Adele versus Beyoncé narrative was set to dominate the post-Grammy headlines.

Both artists were the prohibitive favorites for Album of the Year, as well as both Record and Song of the Year. But that’s about where the comparisons end and the differences take over.

Adele’s “25” and hit power-ballad “Hello” represent a kind of conservatively traditional, well-put-together album, both in the music itself and in the album’s release.

Beyoncé’s “Lemonade,” on the other hand, seemingly dropped out of nowhere and was accompanied by a racially and socially motivated album-length film.

During the last moments of the award show, the audience learned that Adele swept the three biggest awards of the night — Song, Record and Album of the Year.

For those contending that the Grammy Awards are out-of-touch, the Beyoncé snubs may be their greatest piece of evidence. Adele diffused much of the tension when she broke the Album of the Year award into two pieces, giving half to Beyoncé.

Unfortunately, after a nearly four-hour-long Grammy Awards show, there still isn’t proof James Corden can produce good content outside of a karaoke car ride.