Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Kicking Sand on the Grammy Record of the Year

The big news at this year’s Grammy award was five wins for Allison Kraus and Robert Plant, all for tracks on their album Raising Sand:

Record of the Year for the single Please Read This Letter
Album of the Year, for Raising Sand
Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals for Rich Woman
Best Country Collaboration with Vocals for Killing the Blues
Best Contemporary Folk/Americana album for Raising Sand

Now I love Allison Kraus, and every bluegrass fiber of her voice. And Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin fame is a rocker of the ages. Hell, my high school prom was themed Stairway To Heaven. The album producer T Bone Burnett has produced too many great albums to count, and is a great musician in his own right – just check out The True False Identity. Even the label, Rounder, screams cred.

This should be a marriage made in heaven, officiated by a god himself in the high church of folk/americana, the music I love, and yet… what kind of a song is Please Read This Letter? A long droning repetitive complaint of those three title words, with some sort of strumming or fiddling thrown in towards the end, that’s what. Killing the Blues hits the mark, but Rich Woman just lies there too.
This album came out way back in October 2007, at the very beginning of the Grammy year. It must have been a slow year. Yes, I got a copy back then and have been waiting this long to complain. And who picked that prom theme?

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