It’s not a surprise that Bruno Mars swept the Grammys with Album, Song and Record of the Year. The album, “24K Magic,” won the award for Best Engineered album during the afternoon session hosted by Paul Shaffer. From that moment on, Bruno was a cinch.
The biggest surprise was that “Despacito” didn’t win Best Record. It was the biggest selling single of the year, and ubiquitous on radio, etc. But once voters ticked off Bruno Mars for one category, they went for the others, too.
There was some irony that Sting presented Bruno with Best Song, since Mars’s older hit, “Locked out of Heaven,” eerily imitates the Police sound.
But Sting — and Shaggy– actually turned out to be big winners of the night anyway. When Sting hit the stage and sang “Englishman in New York” it was the first time during the 60th annual Grammys that I felt a sense of relief– an adult was in the room, an actual musician. It was 36K magic. When he and Shaggy segued into “Don’t Make Me Wait” the crowd at MSG literally roared.
Other excellent performances including Elton John and Miley Cyrus singing “Tiny Dancer,” Lady Gaga’s moment, and Pink. I was very impressed with SZA and with Donald Glover.
Ken Ehrlich turned lemons into lemonade, putting the spotlight on Broadway. Diva of divas Patti Lupone and newcomer Ben Platt were terrific. Kudos to whoever did the sound mix in MSG– it was warm and bright, very well balanced.
Some people grumbled that the show was too safe, that there was no big unforgettable moment. But that moment may have been the complete shutting out of Jay Z. The rap mogul was rendered moot after getting the Industry Icon award on Saturday night. That he and Beyonce were in the Garden but were not the center of attention was fairly interesting. It was like an anti-moment.
And then there was Lorde, who was totally ignored. There’s not much more to say on that subject, for now.
There was a lot of singing on the Grammys but not a lot of musicianship. U2’s segment was taped, and felt it. Gary Clark Jr. and Jon Bautiste got short shrift in their segment. There was no rock played, so we missed any virtuoso stuff on any instrument. That was kind of glaring.
James Corden almost got out of the show without making much of an impression. But then there was his comedy bit of celebs reading “Fate and Fury.” It was just what the show needed, mostly because it made Nikki Haley crazy. Fun stuff.