Tag Archives: Grammys 2023

The Grammys 2023: Best American Roots Song

Standard

Once again, I hadn’t heard any of the songs in this category before yesterday.

“Bright Star,” performed by Anaïs Mitchell; Anaïs Mitchell, songwriter:

“Forever,” performed by Sheryl Crow; Sheryl Crow and Jeff Trott, songwriters:

“High and Lonesome,” performed by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss; T Bone Burnett and Robert Plant, songwriters:

“Just Like That,” performed by Bonnie Raitt; Bonnie Raitt, songwriter:

“Prodigal Daughter,” performed by Aoife O’Donovan and Allison Russell; Tim O’Brien and Aoife O’Donovan, songwriters:

“You and Me on the Rock,” performed by Brandi Carlile (featuring Lucius); Brandi Carlile, Phil Hanseroth and Time Hanseroth, songwriters:

Wow. Is it just me, or is it tough picking a favorite in this category? “Forever” is a good song. “Just Like That” just about undid me. What a powerful message. And “You and Me on the Rock” is adorable.

But “Prodigal Daughter” delighted me. O’Donovan’s gentle guitar picking is such a perfect accompaniment.

I first became aware of Aoife O’Donovan a decade ago, through this song from the Goat Rodeo Sessions (which also launched my obsession with Chris Thile, if you want to go down that rabbit hole, and yes, that is Yo Yo Ma rocking out on the cello):

Now it’s your turn. Which song gets your vote for Best American Roots song, and why? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

The Grammys 2023: Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song

Standard

Once again, I hadn’t heard any of the nominated songs before this week. They’re a nice group of songs.

“God Really Loves Us,” performed by Crowder featuring Dante Bowe and Maverick City Music; Dante Bowe, David Crowder, Ben Glover & Jeff Sojka, songwriters:

“So Good,” performed by DOE; Chuck Butler, Dominique Jones & Ethan Hulse, songwriters:

“For God is With Us,” performed by for KING & COUNTRY & Hillary Scott; Josh Kerr, Jordan Reynolds, Joel Smallbone & Luke Smallbone, songwriters:

“Fear Is Not My Future,” performed by Maverick City Music & Kirk Franklin; Kirk Franklin, Nicole Hannel, Jonathan Jay, Brandon Lake & Hannah Shackelford, songwriters. There are several videos of this on YouTube and I chose the shortest one for this article:

“Holy Forever,” performed by Chris Tomlin; Jason Ingraham, Brian Johnson, Jenn Johnson, Chris Tomlin & Phil Wickham, songwriters:

“Hymn of Heaven,” performed by Phil Wickham; Chris Davenport, Bill Johnson, Brian Johnson & Phil Wickham, songwriters:

It took me a few listenings to choose a favorite. I think the best of these is “God Really Loves Us.” The chorus is so good. I am pulled into worship. I can just imagine a congregation belting out, “Hallelujah! We are not alone! God really loves us! God really loves us!”

And “Hymn of Heaven” is a close second.

Now it’s your turn. Which song do you think is the best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song? Why is it your favorite? Share in the comments below.

The Grammys 2023: Best Country Song

Standard

Another category in which I hadn’t heard the songs until yesterday.

“Circles Around This Town,” Ryan Hurd, Julia Michaels, Maren Morris & Jimmy Robbins, songwriters; performed by Maren Morris:

“Doin’ This,” Luke Combs, Drew Parker & Robert Williford, songwriters; performed by Luke Combs:

“I Bet You Think About Me,” (Taylor’s Version), (From the Vault), Lori McKenna & Taylor Swift, songwriters, performed by Taylor Swift. This video features Chris Stapleton.

“If I Was a Cowboy,” Jesse Frasure & Miranda Lambert, songwriters: performed by Miranda Lambert:

“I’ll Love You Till the Day I Die,” Rodney Crowell & Chris Stapleton, songwriters; performed by Willie Nelson:

“’Til You Can’t,” Matt Rogers & Ben Stennis, songwriters; performed by Cody Johnson:

I liked all of these songs fine, but “’Til You Can’t” reached out and grabbed me, and brought a tear to my eyes. I love the message, the lyrics, the melody, the soft instrumental accompaniment, and the performance. I hope “’Til You Can’t” gets the Grammy.

Now it’s your turn. Did one of these songs grab you? Which one do you think is the Best Country Song, and why? Share in the comments below.

The Grammys 2023 Best R&B Song

Standard

Again, I never heard any of the songs in this category before this week.

First up is Queen B. Unfortunately, this song uses the F-word all the way through. I guess “cuff” is the F-word backwards. (You’d think a team of eight songwriters could come up with better lyrics.) The official video is a very annoying animation that makes Beyoncé look like a Barbie doll. I chose this fan-made video instead. “Cuff It,” Denisia “Blu June” Andrews, Beyoncé, Mary Christine Brockert, Brittany “Chi” Coney, Terius “The Dream” Gesteelde-Diamant, Morten Ristorp, Nile Rodgers & Raphael Saadiq, songwriters; performed by Beyoncé:

I love Mary J. Blige. “Good Morning Gorgeous,” Mary J. Blige, David Brown, Dernst Emile II, Gabriella Wilson & Tiara Thomas, songwriters; performed by Mary J. Blige:

I’ve never heard Muni Long before. She has an amazing voice, but I don’t like the nose ring. (Thank goodness, she takes it off.) “Hrs & Hrs,” Hamadi Aaabi, Dylan Graham, Priscilla Renea, Thaddis “Kuk” Harrell, Brandon John-Baptiste, Isaac Wriston & Justin Nathaniel Zim, songwriters; performed by Muni Long:

I’ve never heard Jazmine Sullivan before. What a wonderful voice! “Hurt Me So Good,” Akeel Henry, Michael Holmes, Luca Mauti, Jazmine Sullivan & Elliott Trent, songwriters; performed by Jazmine Sullivan:

I’ve never heard PJ Morton before, either. I really appreciate his voice, smooth as melted chocolate, and every word clearly pronounced. The combination of lyrics and poignant melody had me close to tears.

I like Beyoncé, but “Cuff It” makes me cringe. I really like all of the other four songs, but which is the Best R&B Song?

I think I like “Hurt Me So Good” the best, even if I’m not crazy about the message. “Please Don’t Walk Away” is a close second.

Now it’s your turn. Which of these songs should win the Grammy? Why? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

The Grammys 2023 Nominations for Best Rock Performance

Standard

Yesterday was the first time I heard these songs. (Well, the first time I heard Beck sing “Old Man.”) Surprisingly, two of these selections sound more like folk than rock songs to me.

“So Happy It Hurts,” Bryan Adams:

I love this song. It’s a cover of the hit by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young from 1974, the year I graduated with my BA (and the year that Greg and I married). Beck has kept his performance very true to the original. However, I’d rather see him be nominated for an original song. “Old Man,” Beck:

I find the “official” video of the next song to be very inappropriate, and also very distracting from the music, so I’m posting this live performance from the Jimmy Kimmel show. “Wild Child,” The Black Keys:

The official video for the next song is just a static image; you don’t get to see Brandi performing with her band. Instead, I’m posting this live performance from Austin City Limits. “Broken Horses,” Brandi Carlile:

The official video for the next song is a stop-action animation (distracting), so here is a live performance on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert (also, the lyrics are less raunchy). “Crawl!” by Idles:

The official video for this song has comic book-like animation. Instead, I’m showing the performance from the Rams season opener, which also includes “Crazy Train.” The version that is up for the Grammy features guitarist Jeff Beck, not present in this video. I found the lyrics depressing, not surprising from the Prince of Darkness. “Patient Number 9,” by Ozzy Osbourne:

“Holiday,” by Turnstile:

Granted, it’s not fair for me to show you unofficial videos, since I suppose the performances on the albums (and ostensibly on the “official” videos) are actually the ones that were nominated. I just found that I really disliked some of the videos. It would be better to listen to the official ones with your eyes closed so that you could just concentrate on the music.

That said, some of the songs did not move me at all. Those would be the ones I did not comment on. Of the rest, the song I really like the best is Brandi Carlile’s “Broken Horses,” which is one of the ones I consider folksy (the other is “Old Man”). I hope she wins the Grammy.

Now it’s your turn. Which song do you think should win the Grammy for Best Rock Performance, and why? What do you think about the other songs? Share in the comments below.

The Grammys 2023 Nominations for Best Dance/Electronic Recording

Standard

Today we are looking at six pieces of music. (We’re also seeing videos, but the award is for the music, not the video. Ideally, to evaluate the music, you might want to shut your eyes, so you’re not influenced by the video.) I had not heard any of these songs before this week.

First up, Break My Soul, performed by Beyoncé. Beyoncé, Terius “The-Dream” Gesteelde-Diamnat, Jens Christian Isaksen & Christopher “Tricky” Stewart, producers; Stuart White, mixer.

The consistent beat in Break My Soul makes me want to dance. It’s a bit repetitive, though.

Next, Rosewood, performed by Bonobo. Simon Green, producer and mixer.

A bit monotonous. It falls into a groove and stays there.

Don’t Forget My Love, performed by Diplo & Miguel. Diplo & Maximilian Jaeger, producers; Luca Pretolesi, mixer. Don’t watch the video.

Very repetitive.

I’m Good (Blue), performed by David Guetta & Bebe Rexha. David Guetta & Timofey Reznikov, producers and mixers.

Yeah, it’s danceable, but hearing f*cking in the lyrics (used as an adjective) distracted me every single time.

Intimidated, performed by KAYTRANADA featuring H.E.R. H.E.R. & KAYTRANADA, producers; KAYTRANADA, mixer. I’m giving you the lyrics video, because I couldn’t understand the words without it.

Meh.

On My Knees, performed by RUFUS DU SOL. Jason Evigan & RUFUS DU SOL, producers; Cassian Stewart-Kasimba, mixer.

This is the most electronic of the group. Very repetitive.

Of all of these, I like Beyoncé’s Break My Soul the best. In my opinion, it’s a successful dance record.

Now it’s your turn. Would you choose a different song for best dance/electronic recording? Which one? And why? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

The Grammys 2023 Nominations for Best Music Video

Standard

For a retired music educator, I am woefully out of touch with current music. When I was still teaching, my students kept me very aware of what was going on in the music industry, especially during tryouts for the the school talent show. Now I hardly recognize half of the performers out there.

This year’s Grammy Awards air on February 5. That gives me five weeks to explore some of the nominees. I’ll share what I find out.

Today we’ll view the nominees for Best Music Video. I had not seen any of these before yesterday.

I love Adele. But this video distracts me from the music. How long are Adele’s fingernails? And why doesn’t she stop the car and pick up all the sheet music blowing around? Even if she’s running away from her past, that’s no excuse for littering. “Easy On Me,” performed by Adele. Xavier Dolan, video director; Xavier Doan & Nancy Grant, video producers.

BTS is adorable, and I usually enjoy watching them, but again I found the video detracting from the music. It seems like they all stood around looking for that most beautiful moment that was yet to come. Kudos for the use of Korean + English. “Yet to Come,” performed by BTS. Yong Seok Choi, video director; Tiffany Suh, video producer.

Okay, I take it back; Adele’s fingernails are not nearly as scary as Doja Cat’s. When she’s singing and not rapping, we get to hear her beautiful voice. However, it’s overshadowed by the sexy costumes and poses and several unfortunate words. I wanted to like this video, but how can I when it objectifies women? “Woman,” performed by Doja Cat. Child., video director; Missy Galanida, Sam Houston, Michelle Larkin & Isaac Rice, video producers.

My first thought as this next video began was “Not for me.” But as it continued, I was drawn in as Lamar’s image changed appearance. I recognized OJ, Kanye, and Will Smith, but I don’t understand the point. Maybe subsequent viewings will help me comprehend. “The Heart Part 5, performed by Kendrick Lamar. Dave Free & Kendrick Lamar, video directors; Jason Baum & Jamie Rabineau, video producers.


This is the first of the nominees to click with me. The song and the video complement each other and the idea that things change and people drift apart. However, no solution is offered. I guess that will be the job of another song and video. “As It Was,” performed by Harry Styles. Tanu Muino, video director; Frank Borin, Ivanna Borin, Fred Bonham Carter & Alexa Haywood, video producers.

Okay, this is it—this is the one that should win the Grammy. In my opinion, Taylor Swift is a genius, and that will become more and more apparent in the coming years. She has taken a breakup song and woven it into a 15-minute story. I know this is long, but bear with me. And I’m going to apologize now for making you listen to a conversation in which every sentence includes the word f*cking. I hate it, but that’s the way a lot of people talk. “All Too Well: The Short Film,” song performed by Taylor Swift. Taylor Swift, video director; Saul Germaine, video producer.

After I saw the film, I was obsessed with it, and found some related videos on YouTube, including this “behind the scenes” one that shows Swift directing:

and this video of Swift telling Jimmy Fallon about writing the original song and the video. I’ve jumped it up three minutes to cut out some unrelated chitchat:

Now it’s your turn. So, what do you think? Do you agree that “All Too Well: The Short Film” deserves the Grammy for Best Music Video? Or do you prefer one of the other nominees? Why? Share your thoughts in the comments.