By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

My autopsy of the Grammy’s

Do people still care about the Grammys? If you’re a member of this dwindling minority, enjoy some thoughts on this year’s award show from someone whose music taste sadly isn’t Grammy-nominated. Let’s focus first on some of the bigger categories that actually matter to viewers.

To address the (or one of) elephant(s) in the room, Lana Del Rey was utterly robbed of an Album of the Year award. “Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd” is undoubtedly her best album, featuring the most emotional depth and luxurious melodies of her iconic career. “A&W” is one of my favorite songs of the year, and to be candid, solely clears the rest of the competition in this Album of the Year category. Lana’s been putting out some great work for a real long time now and I thought this was the year she would finally earn her flowers. Even Olivia Rodrigo, whose “GUTS” really grew on me and served as a super fulfilling follow-up to “Sour” from a couple years back, a guilty-pleasure album that I’d been craving a sequel for, might be more deserving of recognition in the category. Unfortunately, the industry, and subsequently Taylor Swift, took home the big prize of the evening. ‘Midnights” has some bops, (‘Karma” and “Bejeweled” are still stuck in my head and on rotation!) but this album is largely unmemorable compared to the rest of Taylor’s nearly pristine body of work that she’s been curating for nearly two decades now. It was hard to listen to some of the rehashed topics and sounds that Taylor hasn’t touched since the late 2010s, especially coming directly after the refreshing and brilliant twin releases of ‘Folklore’ and “Evermore.”

Regarding the Song of the Year category, I’m more forgiving of Billie Eilish taking home the gold with her “What Was I Made For?” It’s an excellent song, especially in the context of “Barbie,” where it’s a staple of the soundtrack. “A&W” still edges it out in my opinion, albeit by a smaller margin. 

Another big loser of the show was Travis Scott, whose “UTOPIA” was snubbed in favor of Killer Mike’s “MICHAEL.” This isn’t nearly as egregious to me as it might be for others, largely in part due to Travis Scott’s general meaninglessness in the lyrics on “UTOPIA.” Don’t get me wrong, the album was really good and I’m so glad that Trav took this project in such a vastly different direction than his previous work, but bars like; “I like a bi girl on a bi-cycle,” really don’t do “UTOPIA” any favors in the award department (even if the song it comes from is my favorite on the album). I see a lot of people comparing the situation to Cardi B’s 2018 win over Travis Scott’s “ASTROWORLD,” but I think the bad faith towards that snub is much more justified. “Rodeo” subjectively remains the best of his albums, and if I were to campaign for any Travis album to get the respect it deserves, it’d be that. “UTOPIA,” while a nice listen, is nothing to go on a tirade over.

Travis Scott performing

I was so pleasantly surprised to see Paramore with “This Is Why” win out in their categories, Best Rock Song and Best Alternative Music Performance. “This Is Why” was one of my favorite albums of 2023, and honestly, it’s one of the band’s strongest projects. Almost 20 years later, Paramore continues to make pop-punk-adjacent bangers, and bar some slight stylistic changes, “This Is Why” (both the song and the album!) are absolutely no exception. Some very deserved pieces of merchandise for the bands’ collection.

To wrap it up with some other quick thoughts, I was sad to see Baby Keem and Kendrick Lamar not take home the win for Best Rap Performance with “The Hillbillies.” The song is criminally underrated in my opinion, and just exudes fun while simultaneously showcasing the cousins’ lyrical prowess as they trade verses. 

Good for Miley Cyrus for taking home her first Grammy wins with “Flowers” in the Record of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance categories! It seems like more of a legacy win, but it’s long overdue and well-deserved for Miley. Also, she looked great.

Miley Cyrus performs “Flowers”

On a less related note, if you’re an anti-Grammy reader, listen to Nettspend, Joeyy and Xaviersobased, all artists with life-changing catalogs that are surely safe from ever taking home a win.

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