The PowerPoint slideshow of childhood photos playing behind Miranda Lambert was thematically appropriate but made it seem a little strange that she wasn't singing "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" or something. Similarly, the fact that her "The House That Built Me" is one of three country singles vying for Song of the Year, reflecting a tilt toward "real music" among Grammy voters this year, seems strange if your remember the Grammys' late-'90s effort to include "real music" basically consisted of nominating arch-ironist Beck. Country outside Lady Antebellum wasn't really in most younger pop listeners' orbits this year, so for Lambert (who is great, generally!) to be placed there after the uber-zeitgeisty Gaga didn't serve her well. Here she was, singing earnestly and plainly about home and memories and things, and it was good, but it wasn't exactly what you come to the Grammys for.


2 1/2 Bolts

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