Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance
The nominees in this category could be read right out of the Rock ‘N’ Roll hall of fame. Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Prince, Bruce Springsteen, and John Fogerty all scored recognition of the Grammy’s.
Bob Dylan’s voice has always been far from perfect, but it was that very imperfection that made his music so great. Lately, his voice has been no less than fried; there is a fine line between distinctive and cringe-worthy, and Dylan’s Christmas album had plenty of cringe.
John Fogerty’s ‘Change in the Weather’ is like 30 years old and I know the Grammy counts re-recording as new material, but is there really no other solo rock performers to award? And if were just going to reward old songs then the Beatles should have won every category anyway.
The winner of this category was Bruce Springsteen’s Working on a Dream, which was well deserved. This song shows that Springsteen hasn’t become irrelevant or just a rock star from decades past, but as a songwriter who has become just a part of this age as the last. Working on a Dream wouldn’t be a Springsteen song without some commentary, but the song is beautiful nonetheless.
Best Rock Performance by a Group or Duo
Kings of Leon picked this one up again, which was probably well deserved, but since the category is more specific, it might have been nice to see Coldplay get some recognition (not that the Grammys have been unkind to them in the past).
Best Rock Instrumental Performance
Remember what I said about rewarding re-recordings? Scratch that for this category. I was so excited when I saw Jeff Beck’s cover of ‘A Day in the Life’ was nominated (and won). This is by far the best cover version of this song and it clearly shows Beck’s skill as a guitarist. I was disappointed he didn’t perform it live. By the way, the song was recorded at Ronnie Scotts, one of my old London haunting grounds.
Best Rock Song was Kings of Leon again, which out of the nominees is definitely deserved.
Best Rock Album
Green Day definitely blows the rest of the nominee’s right out of this category. Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood are the only other competition, but it’s a live album that took barely any effort to record. AC/DC is nothing special, the Dave Matthews Band’s new album is bland, and the U2 album is not even close to their best work. The new Green Day album is spectacular, the amount of effort that went into it is amazing and their live show to accompany it is magical. The album, packed full of religious commentary, mocks America’s bureaucracy that organized religion has become.
Best Alternative Music Album
This was the other amazing award of the night. This category is not announced on live television, which is disappointing, but the winners of this category probably made the Grammy’s worth stomaching. French indie-band, Phoenix took home the prize for their new album ‘Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix,’ which was by far one of the best albums of the year. They manage to create great pop music that doesn’t insult my intelligence or try to dumb me down, but still manages to appeal to a huge demographic. Congratulations to Phoenix, they definitely deserve this honor!
Some other winners that deserve mentioning are Stephen Colbert for Best Comedy and the Beatles for Best Long Form Music Video for All Together Now.
Free Download-Love Like a Sunset by Phoenix