Reba McEntire — “If I Were a Boy” (from All the Women I Am) — If I Were a Boy - All the Women I Am

A micro-review of last night’s Country Music Association awards telecast, with bullet points arranged in no particular order:

  • co-host (and, apparently, the Entertainer of the Year, though you’d play hell proving that by me) Brad Paisley continues to irk me incessantly and utterly (although, alarmingly if not surprisingly, he forever stole A’s heart when he grabbed his guitar during the stilted monologue and ripped into eight bars of Lady GaGa’s “Alejandro” (aka A’s favorite single of the new millenium, for reasons that are no doubt obvious.))
  • The Band Perry got genuinely gypped for having to split a performance of their powerful smash “If I Die Young” with the presentation of the radio station awards. (Was I just imagining things, or did poor Kimberly Perry seem silently livid to have to stop herself halfway through the song and deliver a rough, tritely written valentine to country radio? The sharp knife of a short, uh, CMA performance, indeed.)
  • Brava, Taylor, for staying solidly on key throughout your bold, brilliantly stark take on “Back to December,” which I assume is going to be Speak Now‘s second single and whose virtues I extolled in this here space last week.
  • The hilarious look of pure pulsing befuddlement on Sheryl Crow’s face immediately following Sugarland’s slightly overbaked take on “Stuck Like Glue” really said it all.
  • The night’s most surprising performance? Give it to Miss Reba, still a knockout at 55 and still towering over a passel of churren half her age, takin’ ’em all to school with a flawlessly crunchified, fabulously captivating rendition of Beyonce’s gender-jangled instant classic.

3 responses to “…even just for a day
(or: november 11’s honey from the hive)”

  1. the buzz from Blake Boldt:

    Paisley hasn’t warmed my heart like Alan Jackson and George Strait, let alone Haggard, Jones or Cash, but he is a multi-faceted performer—singer, songwriter, spokesman—and I can grant him this one victory on the basis of his diverse talents. This particular year, though, was one of his weakest. Who would you have picked?

    Worry not for The Band Perry; I’m sure they won quite a few fans with that short but sweet performance. And I hope Taylor has converted a few people that thought she was beyond hope.

    The real highlight for me occurred towards the end with the appearance of Loretta Lynn and the emergence of her obvious heir, Miranda Lambert, who the industry finally rewarded for raising the bar on everybody currently recording mainstream country music.

  2. the buzz from brandon:

    Paisley has been coasting on his doofy charm (and jingoistic platitudes) for YEARS now, and his allure has always, always escaped me.

    Like ’em or hate ’em — I reckon I know which side of the divide you fall on — Lady A put together one of those magical years that shouldn’t have been ignored. I realize the industry is likely as leery of their clear crossover ambitions as they are of Sugarland’s, and, with the coronations of Paisley, Shelton, and Lambert, they were quite evidently out to send an unmistakable message to urrybody in town, one that good ol’ Brad was right there to assure that he received when he took stage with that intolerably trite song he rambled and railed on about country music. (If he set the phrase “Hey Nashville, at least I’m still country, you can still count on me to do ya proud!” to music, his intentions couldn’t have been any less obvious and/or pandering.)

    And when he started crying at the end, didn’t you want Loretta and Sissy both to tromp out there and slap him silly with a “Get over yourself already, you pompous, preening, over-emotional, brown-nosing ass!”?

  3. the buzz from Blake Boldt:

    I think we agree more than disagree about Brad, and I really like everything you said about his new song (why is everyone thinking this is the National Anthem now?) and tearful speech on the CMAs.

    I just haven’t found Lady A’s music to be stick-to-the-ribs enough, though they’ve had a few wildly entertaining moments (they fully deserved both awards they won last week). I’ve only seen ’em once live, but their concert reviews haven’t been terrific either. I’m not saying they can’t get to a higher level, but the musical output just wasn’t there in my opinion. Other contenders: Miranda’s still improving as a live act; Keith Urban had a mediocre year; Carrie’s album was pretty meh. I could go on and on, but this year’s Entertainer of the Year award seemed destined to go to someone who wasn’t quite fulfilling all the hallmarks of the honor.