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I’m kind of shocked but also heartened by how much I liked the Grammies this year. The performances were stellar and so many of the songs were good. I loved Ed Sheeran and his beautiful little song–basically a rewrite of “Stand By Me” with its I-VIm-IV-V chord changes and lively vocal from Ed. Loved the opening of course (AC/DC), but dug Jeff Lynne’s brief ELO medley a lot.

There was plenty of proof positive that you can remain very good and relevant even as you age as well as transcendent moments from young artists. Sam Smith’s Bobby Hatfield-like voice and anthemic “Stay With Me” with Mary J Blige was a high point. I kept waiting for Paul to sing on his song with Kanye and Rhianna, but loved his energy and pluck even when he didn’t. That song has grown on me too–great hook.

I’m a little mystified by Beck, but I’ve never really understood his appeal. Friends that love him swear by his genre-jumping and inventive songwriting. Pharrel’s “Happy” is like a neo-Motown song, and Usher’s tribute to Stevie was gorgeous. And George Harrison winning a lifetime achievement was a nice touch. The biggest thing is that it seemed qualility songs are again recognized and honored. It was a little light on hip hop and rock’n’roll, but I’ve seen enough of Dave Grohl lately anyway. And apparently he IS rock’n’roll now. Anyway, it was time well spent watching. Not the norm.