For the past few days everyone has been slamming Taylor Swift for her lack of singing skills. In case you were out of the loop, here’s a great compilation; Bob Lefsetz – More Taylor Swift
Yeah, I found myself shaking my head in agreement with most of it. Hell, I participated in a little chatter the last few days as well as over the course of the past past year (i.e. the “Pour Some Sugar On Me” she did with Def Leppard on an award show last year was arguably worse than this one).
But something happened tonight that makes me feel that maybe I – along with a few others – are getting a little out of hand with the slamming. Especailly with something so trivial.
The Big Melt
My 6 year old son asked me “who won the Grammy’s daddy” (since he had to go to bed before it was over). I explained to him there are many different awards but most people would consider the album of the year the biggest of them and that Taylor Swift won that. Then he asked to see the video and I played it for him.
My 3 year old daughter joined in on the viewing and immediately started to smile and sing along. Then during the “You Belong To Me” portion of the medley she said something that changed my whole perspective on the ordeal. With the biggest, starry-eyed smile she said, “daddy, this is my favorite song.”
She didn’t care about the singing she just knew that this is a song that makes her feel good and that she can sing along with. Who in their right mind is gonna argue with that?
Another Man’s Trash
This reminded me of how bad Axl Rose sucked when I saw him in Alpine Valley on the Use Your Illusion tour. His voice was completely shot after about 3 songs and I didn’t get the version of “Mr. Brownstone” that I came to hear. I was kind of annoyed but one of my buddies – who happens to worship the guy – didn’t hear it.
So, no matter how much you, I or anyone thinks a song or performance sucks, there will always be someone else who loved it. Why should I be pissing on their parade?
Hell, I can think of a bunch of shows that I went to where multi-platinum artists didn’t perform the best. But, it doesn’t mean I don’t like their music any less. It just means I might not spend the cash to go see them live next time.
Taylor is not my thing and she didn’t perform the greatest on one of the biggest stages. But when I think about it, why should you or I care. As long as her fans are happy – and I’m sure they are – it doesn’t matter what any of the rest of us think.
I’m gonna shut up now and start thinking about things that really matter like how to nurture and encourage that feeling my daughter gets when she listens to Taylor Swift. Then maybe someday she’ll get the chance to make other people smile with music of her own.
What do you think?
well, I would argue that a grammy is awarded for talent and since Ms. Swift was this years representing artist of the “record of the year” while clearly proving she doesn’t sing quit well it makes me once again ask the same question I have been asking my whole life through and that is what IS awarded talent or the money? I appreciate your daughters naivety and do take your point regarding the song over performance but what leaves a bad taste in my mouth is that her generation has little respect for integrity. If I was her I would just bow down out of embarrassment.
Thanks for stopping by! Good to hear from you.
Yes the Grammy’s are supposed to be about talent (which is subjective to begin with) but like pretty much anything man made they are flawed (too much money and politics involved i suppose). The Grammy’s have always had some shaky moments.
Remember when Jethro Tull was rewarded Best Hard Rock/Metal performance for one of the past-their-prime releases over Metallica’s “…And Justice For All”? Nothing against Jethro Tull, but everyone who had an ear for that category – maybe even Jethro Tull themselves – knew whose album was more relevant, more groundbreaking, more deserving.
Also, Kid Rock gets nominated every time he has a new album out and to be honest, he doesn’t sing much better than Taylor Swift. There was performance of “God Knows Why” on an awards show earlier in the decade that exposed this. But he does write, arrange and produce some very solid tunes plus from what I hear, he busted ass to get where he is (I can respect that).
But who knows, maybe the Grammy people were duped. Milli Vanilli pulled one over on them.
As far as the “respect for integrity”. I am not sure I would blanket her – or any generation – as better or worse in that department. In the seventies there was backlash against disco and the synthesizer took some heat. In the eighties sampling and hair metal. In the nineties people were freaking out about Pro Tools. Today, singers that can’t sing hiding behind autotune and pitch correction (And I’m sure someone out there could throw a few more examples out there).
All I am trying to say is, you and I might not like producing music a certain way and we may have an opinion on whether or not they make us more or less of a musician but the reality is, there are a crap load of people who like what they hear and could care less about what you, I or the Grammy’s think. If they did care, we sure as hell wouldn’t still be hearing “YMCA” at every other wedding.
I have a feeling we could talk about this forever. Thanks again for stopping. To bad you didn’t live closer, maybe we could have a beer some time.
Have a good one! I’m going to check out some of your tunes.