Rock PerformanceThe Grammy's condensed some categories this year, including eliminating the separation of solo and group rock performances. I have followed along with the changes here on my blog. Keep in mind, this category is supposed to highlight the best vocal performances in the rock genre. Again, the Grammy voters never seem to take this into consideration, instead just picking their favorite songs. In my mind, vocal performance is not only about who can belt out the loudest and longest, although that helps. It also encompasses matching the right type of voice with the right song, and other more subtle characteristics of the overall performance. That having been said, there is nothing SUBTLE about my pick for the winner in this category (highlighted in blue italics) - it was easily the most clear-cut decision I made in any of the categories. The nominees are:
Slave to the Grind - Halestorm
Lead singer, Lzzy Hale, is one of rock's best kept secrets. I don't know why Halestorm didn't make a bigger splash with their debut album, but this year's Reanimate - The Covers EP provided a few standout tracks to hold me over until their sophomore effort comes out. Chief among them: Heart's "All I Wanna Do is Make Love to You," Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance," and this rip-your-face-off take on the amazing Skid Row screamer from 1991. Sebastian Bach was perhaps the greatest vocalist of the hair band era, and Lzzy Hale unbelievably almost matches him note for every throat-destroying note on this remake. And, if you check out any live clips on Youtube, you'll see this is no trick of studio engineering; she HITS the notes. Overall, the recording is not an improvement on the original, but the vocal performance deserves to be recognized for what it is: stunning.
The Fire - Rev Theory
The Ballad of Mona Lisa - Panic! at the Disco
Stand - Ed Kowalczyk (ex-lead singer, Live)
Walk - Foo Fighters
Lost in Paradise - Evanescence