Grammys: Not Bad, Not Great, Really Long

Reviewers split on last night's award show
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2013 1:22 PM CST
Rihanna performs on stage at the 55th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013, in Los Angeles.   (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP)

(Newser) – It seems everyone can agree on one thing about the Grammys: As E! put it in the first line of its recap, "So, that was ... long." Beyond that, reviews for the three-and-a-half-hour ceremony (which included "more than 30 performers but only 11 trophy presentations," notes Chris Richards in the Washington Post) are all over the place. A sampling:

  • Richards enjoyed the show: "For the first time in too long, the Grammys telecast was a good time in and of itself—a refreshingly coherent celebration of our increasingly incoherent popscape. There were A-game performances, trophy-hoarders who deserved to win them, and very few reasons to wince, grouse, or wish you were watching Downton Abbey." Full review here.
  • But for Mikael Wood at the Los Angeles Times, many of "the big moments missed the mark," while the "smaller, more intimate moments ... stood out." Think Rihanna performing Stay rather than a big dance number, or Kelly Clarkson covering "(You Make Me Feel Like a) Natural Woman." Writes Wood, "In a 3 1/2-hour blur of high-tech spectacle, these performances felt like reaffirmations of core musical values—honest, unaffected, simple." Full review here.

  • One of the big moments getting a lot of praise: Justin Timberlake's return to the Grammys stage. He "stole the show," declares Ross Raihala in Pioneer Press. Host LL Cool J, on the other hand ... well, he "spent much of the evening talking about Twitter hashtags." (Which led to quite a bit of derision on Twitter, we note.) Full review here.
  • Over at the Chicago Tribune, Greg Kot also has less-than-kind words for the verbose host, writing, "A long speech by host LL Cool J threatened to derail the awards right near the start. ... But there were redemptive moments, not the least of which was a massive sing-along version of The Band’s 'The Weight,' in honor of drummer Levon Helm, who died last year." Full review here.
Click for more from the ceremony. (Read more Grammy Awards stories.)

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