Michael Jackson “Earth Song” an insipid mess.
I stopped watching the Grammys a long time ago; before I started earning a living as a recording engineer, before a label insider told me what I had long suspected: that the entire thing was rigged like a Cuban election. I stopped watching simply because it was too painful to see what was so obviously a giant marketing event that bore little resemblance to what it was supposed to be: an awards show for musicians that deserved to be recognized.
I was reminded of all that last night, when I tuned in three times, for about 5 minutes a shot. The first time I tuned in, Taylor Swift was accepting one of the four awards she was assigned by the labels won, and actually thanked her record company for letting her write every song on her album (uh, yeah, thanks). I suppose that it shouldn’t surprise me that music has become so formulaic and machine-driven that singers actually feel it’s necessary to thank their record company for “letting” them write music on their own album, but it still makes me want to puke.
But then we learned that not only are the songs she writes a hearty pablum/Velveeta blend, she’s also a really shitty singer (at least not without, I suspect, a copious application of Auto-Tune). She proved that the second time I tuned in and found her on screen again (supporting my atheism), this time performing with Stevie Nicks on the old Fleetwood Mac song, “Rhiannon.” To say she was a bit pitchy would be like saying downtown Baghdad is a bit fucked up.
If you can stand listening to it, you’ll see that she butchers what I assume is one of her own songs first, then finds complete disaster in the second, with Nicks (fair warning: if you have any cats in your home, I’d suggest you lock them in a room with no humans or other objects you don’t want clawed up). The last song she sings proves that not only is she a crap singer, her voice, when not treated with effects, is incredibly annoying.
Then I made the mistake of tuning in one last time (actually, this one was by accident; while I was popping in the DVD of Deadgirl the TV blipped to CBS). Lionel Richie was introducing the 3-D presentation of Michael Jackson’s “Earth Song” performed by a whole bunch of singers, the entire list of which I’m too lazy to look up (I do remember that horrible Celine Dion being among them though).
I doubt anyone else will say it, so let me: that song, in fact the whole presentation, sucked. It was silly, it was trite, and it was boring. It was also grammatically incorrect:
“What about all the dreams that you said was yours and mine?”
Please. But when Usher bore down with every bit of love, and soul, and drama he could dig up and delivered the lines:
“What about the elephants?
Have we lost their trust?”
That was about it for me. Because if we’ve lost the trust of the elephants, we’re fucking used. They never forget you know, and we’ll never earn that shit back. Never.