CMA Awards: Taylor Swift, Jason Aldean and, um, Luke Bryan
With Taylor Swift in the midst of her album cycle for "Speak Now," one can understand why the CMA Awards wouldn't want to keep drafting country's biggest star to open its awards. Instead, she was given a relatively comfortable slot an hour in, performing "Ours" in a family-room-like setting.
Slow Swift, at least at award shows, is the best, nay, better Swift, as the thinness of her voice is less exposed. "Ours," however, is still an odd little song. "Don't you worry your pretty little mind," Swift sings, doing her best to deliver that line without its natural condescension. It's a love song at its most defensive.
Nevertheless, the CMA Awards drifted away from Swift for its album of the year trophy, giving the award to Jason Aldean's "My Kinda Party" over Swift's "Speak Now." Swift's effort has sold 3.8 million copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan, but Aldean's has been a late bloomer, and its string of chart-topping singles still have the effort in the top 30 on the U.S. pop charts. "My Kinda Party" has sold just under 2 million copies, and it should now be considered a front-runner to represent Nashville in the Grammy's album of the year field.
Now that the award stuff is out of the way, let's discuss Luke Bryan. Briefly. His performance of "Country Girls (Shake it for Me)" was quite possibly the most embarrassing award show moment since the Jonas Brothers performed with Stevie Wonder at the Grammy Awards. This wasn't a country song so much as one written for the local Tilt-a-Whirl, and the backup singers treated their chairs as if they were mechanical bulls. Moving on ...
-- Todd Martens
Photo: Taylor Swift performs at the 45th annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. Credit: Rick Diamond / Getty Images