Worst: The Neverending Ballad Parade Marches On (and On ...)
"Come on, play it again, turn it up one more time – too many ballads tonight!" Bruno Mars exclaimed as the title track from 24K Magic faded out in advance of his Record of the Year acceptance speech. And, well, he wasn't wrong. From Lady Gaga's sweet-yet-slow medley of the searching "Joanne" and the mournful "Million Reasons" to Sam Smith's churchy "Pray" and the night-closing performance of Logic's anti-suicide rallying cry "1-800-273-8255," the dominant pace of this year's Grammys was methodical, measured, even mournful – in other words, slowwww. Whether the show's string of torch-y downers was the result of producers not adding up featured songs' BPMs until it was too late or artists' overwhelming desire to reflect the admittedly anxious national mood, it made music seem wan and defeated – especially when compared to the night's unusually high quotient of comedy, which even featured adorable "consolation puppies." As Kendrick Lamar showed in his show-opening performance, it's possible to be serious while picking up the pace – if anything, it's an even better show of resilience.