Friday Apr 25

2012 CMA Awards Review




CMA Blog notes from my couch



Awards shows are a lot like the traffic you see any given day on I-29.  Some cars are basic.  Some are flashy.  Some are like my old 1981 Dodge Aries K car and just needs to just go away…  If you’re lucky, you’ll see that dream car like the one in "National Lampoon’s Family Vacation".  You know.   The one with Christie Brinkley in the driver’s seat of the Ferrari…


That…was the 2012 CMA Awards Show.


I can’t remember a better start to an Awards show.  Brad and Carrie were smooth, likable, had great chemistry and delivered primo material with style, grace and humor.  Man, these two are really hitting their stride with this gig.  THAT was must-see tv.  I felt like I was watching my two best friends laughing it up while eating tofu (I don’t know what Carrie Underwood eats – that’s just a guess) and drinking beers in my living room.


Best performance 

The Band Perry’s “Better Dig Two”.  I love it when artist use this huge showcase to debut a new song.  That song was dramatic.  Sent chills down my spine even if I still can’t ascertain whether is a charming love song or a threat to a spouse.  Isn’t that what makes a great song?


Underwhelming song

Faith Hill’s “American Heart”.  The song feels like a plea to repeat the magic of earlier times.  The song is draped in overused hyperbole and the antithesis of fresh.  Judging by some blog / Facebook reaction, I was not alone in this opinion.


Best moment 

Without a doubt belonged to Blake and Miranda while accepting “Over You”.  That was the most genuine moment on television since Alan Jackson’s “Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning” performance in 2001. This speech is what makes the country music format tremendous.  When you can take the most devastating personal loss and make a song that connects with so many – that is inspirational.  You have to respect the courage from Blake Shelton and the compassion from his wife.


Seriously, how many “Reba” and “Nashville” promos do we have to see?  Let the market demand for these shows play out on their own.  Invest the money spend on the production of these promos for a couple more writers on these shows that will make it compelling week after week.


I counted 9 Carrie Underwood dresses.  They were all lovely.  I think she could probably wear yoga pants and a concert t-shirt and still look unbelievable.  Tofu must work wonders…


Sad note #1 

I missed Toby Keith.  I know he doesn’t play well with the CMA.  His veteran edge would have completed the evening for me.  Bummer.


Sad note #2

November 1st probably marks the day country music walks the other way from Taylor Swift.  This also bums me out.  I listened to “Red”.  It’s pretty good.  It is probably some of her best vocal work.  She writes about subject matter she knows.  She collaborated with some of the biggest stars in music.  She employs a Sioux City native.  Her people send nice packages for us to give away to KSUX listeners.  Taylor called us when she didn’t need to call us.  I think she is a nice inspirational figure for young girls to emulate concerning the desire to go for the gusto when it comes to dream.  She is America…  She also, gulp….is probably not so much county.  Ouch.  I like to think of myself as hip and open minded.  I only heard one half country song on “Red”.  That was the one she played on the CMA Awards.  I think that may be her swan song to country fans for awhile.  “Never Ever Getting back Together Again”?  Yep, that was not about Conor Kennedy.  That was about country radio for the next 5 years.  She looked a wee bit sad tonight.  It’s been an emotional week.  I looked sad on my couch.  I think our sweet daughter of country music is getting hitched…to Top 40 / AC / her own format…


Happy note

Taylor Swift comes home and will be named the 2020 Female Vocalist of the Year.


Wide picture view

Country music is at a pretty good place right now.  There is plenty of diversity and the very best of the best will always rise to the top.  In a CMA telecast devoid of Toby Keith and George Strait, new stars like Eric Church, Blake Shelton and The Band Perry shine.  No other format has a Blake/Miranda moment, the chills of The Band Perry, the genuine reverence for a legend like Willie Nelson or the class of Carrie Underwood.


The Ferrari looks primed to a joyous ride down the open highway.


Who’s ready to go skinny dippin’?


Overall grade = A-




Tony Michaels

KSUX Program Director

Sioux City, IA

Twitter:  KSUXTonyM