Monday, February 14, 2011

Grammys 2011: Winners

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. She arrived in an egg. In an egg! What larks!

Although musically Lady GaGa is becoming more and more like a good-period Madonna, her staging is starting to recall nobody so much as pre-Watford-chairing-period Elton John. And she arrived at the Grammys in an egg. Like Mork! Mork was crazy, right? So that's crazy? Officially crazy?

The real worry about GaGa's approach is that it just sends other artists flicking through the Yellow Pages for the Crazy Stage Show section. So Cee Lo Green turned up with Gwyneth Paltrow and some muppets. Didn't Scissor Sisters do the muppets at the Brits a few years back?

There was something truly surprising last night, though, in Esperanza winning best new artist. In a category where time had been bent to allow Justin Beiber to run (alongside Mumford And Sons and Florence And The Machine), a barely-known-outside-the-jazz-crowd winner feels like a genuine surprise and delight.

I'll bet the Beibpubesecents or whatever it is Beiber fans call themselves are struggling with that one.

Eminem had been nominated in ten categories and managed a win in just two. And that was Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Album, which is like expecting to sweep the awards at the Horticultural Show but just taking home the three runner beans prize and the four runner beans prize.

Mumford And Sons performed with Bob Dylan - there's some debate as to if there was anything interesting left about them before the performance, but pretty much an agreement that any vitality they once had has now been removed and replaced with the sickly scent of Official Approval.

Arcade Fire won best album for The Suburbs, which fits the usual pattern of these things - your weakest work to date will tend to get the greatest praise from the Academy. (It's a good album, but...). Muse - who exist solely to win prizes at glittering ceremonys - won Best Rock Album.

The full list of winners is on the Grammys site and would take too long to reproduce here, but here's some highlights:

Album of the Year: "The Suburbs," Arcade Fire

Record of the Year: "Need You Now," Lady Antebellum

Song of the Year: "Need You Now," Lady Antebellum

New Artist: Esperanza Spalding

Pop Vocal Album: "The Fame Monster," Lady Gaga

Pop Performance by a Duo or Group: "Hey Soul Sister," Train

Female Pop Vocal Performance: "Bad Romance," Lady Gaga

Male Pop Vocal Performance: "Just The Way You Are," Bruno Mars

Rock Song: "Angry World," Neil Young

Rock Album: "The Resistance," Muse

R&B Song: "Shine," John Legend & The Roots

R&B Album: "Wake up!" John Legend & The Roots

Rap Solo Performance: "Not Afraid," Eminem

Rap Song: "Empire State of Mind," Jay-Z and Alicia Keys

Rap Album: "Recovery," Eminem

Female Country Vocal Performance: "The House That Built Me," Miranda Lambert

Male Country Vocal Performance: "'Til Summer Comes Around," Keith Urban

Country Performance by a Duo or Group: "Need You Now," Lady Antebellum

Country Album: "Need You Now," Lady Antebellum

Latin Pop Album: "Paraiso Express," Alejandro Sanz

Contemporary Jazz Album: "The Stanley Clarke Band," The Stanley Clarke Band

Classical Album: "Verdi: Requiem," Riccardo Muti, conductor

Traditional Gospel Album: "Downtown Church," Patty Griffin

Dance Recording: "Only Girl (In The World)," Rihanna

Electronic Dance Album: "La Roux," La Roux

Alternative Music Album: "Brothers," The Black Keys

Spoken Word Album: "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Presents Earth (The Audiobook)," Jon Stewart

You'll notice the unbearable Train was given a prize for best pop performance. I think that one fact alone invalidates the Grammy's claims to be a judge of anything.