The 2007 Grammy Awards: In Cynical Form

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The 49th annual Grammy Awards were held last night, and there’s no other way to sum up the show than by saying this: It encouraged illegal downloading.

I have been quickly reminded by my friends that the show was much better than last year’s. That’s not saying much, though, since I can’t remember one thing from the 2006 Grammys. Can you?

In any event, some of the lowlights include Beyonce’s underwhelming performance of her anti-“And I Am Telling You” song from Dreamgirls, “Listen.” I have never seen Beyonce that boring. Robot she may be, but the robot is always on come performance time. However, last night, ‘Yonce’s voice sounded flat and exhausted, she appeared stiff, and she was dressed like an extra from The Little Mermaid. Jennifer Hudson must have kidnapped Sasha.

Another performance of poor note is the tribute to R&B which featured three generations of R&B male crooners – including legendary songwriters and vocalists Smokey Robinson and Lionel Richie, along with the representative of the new generation, Usher 2.0 and tallest dancer in the world himself, Chris Brown.

The performance seemed like a visual presentation of the decline of R&B. Smokey The Green Eyed Monster began the tribute by singing his classic song with the Miracles, “The Tracks of My Tears.” Nicole Richie’s pops followed with a performance of his own classic, “Hello.”

And then came Chris.

For a minute, I thought someone slipped in a bootleg copy of Stomp The Yard into my DVD player, because Chris started stepping as if they were at his probate. Chris then proceeded to dance, do various backflips, jump and down, dance some more, and just incase we weren’t convinced that he tall do people do indeed have rhythm, danced again. I believe he was performing his hit, “Run It,” but he didn’t actually sing much of it. Thank God for backing tracks!

Mary was Mary. The Police’s performance was rather short, and with all due respect to my elders, forgettable.

Shakira performed “Hips Don’t Lie” — again. Hips may not lie, but I see they damn sure never shut up.

Justin pretended to be Elton John…again. As for that random close up towards the end of his performance of “What Goes Around,” I never want to see him that close again. Someone please break the camera he has attached to his piano. I was starting to think I was Cameron Diaz.

One of the biggest disappointing performances of the night belonged to a surprisingly subdued Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Sobriety and age have turned them into walking ads for Tylenol PM. Oh yeah, when did Will Ferrell start playing with the Chilli Peppers?

Ok, I know, you’re thinking, “Where’s the positivity on a blog called The Cynical Ones?”

Never fear, it’s coming.

Ten minutes later

Got it! Christina Aguilera! Minus that odd , dying cat-like note towards the end, I think “Miss I Can Sing, I Can Sing, Don’t Look at Britney, Look At Me, I’m Dirrty and I Can Sing” did a good job of covering the inspiration behind Alicia Keys’ first hit song, “Fallin'” (Yeah I’m saying it: Alicia is a biter and a thief!), James Brown’s notorious, “This Is A Man’s World.”

Of course, not everyone seems to agree about Christina’s performance. Granted, she oversang the song as usual, but with so many people undersinging, me thinks we ought to be happy with what we get.

Now, on to the real story of the night:

Ike Turner was awarded his first Grammy in 35 years. On winning his award, Ike said, “I’m scared to death.” Ike was probably afraid he’d get busted after the show by the po-pos, or someone possibly going upside his head for a change. In any event, he’s a pioneer in music, and it’s nice to be reminded when people you haven’t heard from in forever are still alive.

Somewhere Anna Mae Bullock is fuming.

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