Contributing writer w.c. Starstruck shares with us his own personal experience as a FanderWaal who didn’t initially like/get/understand/appreciate Grace’s latest original songs (“Stray”, “Ur So Beautiful” and “Waste My Time”). The VanderVault endeavours to share as broad a spectrum of opinions as possible, and in that spirit we present w.c.’s which differs diametrically from everyone else on staff.

Please read the whole way through the article before commenting on it as it takes a few twists and turns along the way.

NOTE: This article was submitted hours before Grace debuted her new low-key rock anthem “I Don’t Like U”. I hope w.c. will update his opinions in light of Grace debuting that most recent original song in concert.

This article was first published in our online discussion forum. Come on over to https://vandervault.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=441 to join the conversation about this article.

In a sea of jewels, I feel like you’re just the rawest, most original diamond, or rarest diamond of them all because I feel like you just shine that little bit brighter than everyone else. I feel you are a true gift to music.
Heidi Klum to Grace on AGT Season 11 Finals

Likening Grace to diamonds seems to become more relevant with each passing day of her life, and each and every event the public becomes aware of adds another sparkle to the perfection already in evidence. Of course, that comes from a diehard FanderWaal, yet that point alone defines an important feature of diamonds as they are only found by an earnest seeker.

Any “true” FanderWaal has the image of the yellow banana pants firmly planted in their minds gallery since this was the first time most of us had ever seen Grace, and I don’t believe we do her any injustice by saying “she was in the rough.” A diamond is a diamond; rough, raw, rare, cut, uncut, polished or unpolished.

There has been a fair bit of speculation among FanderWaals whether we even want the diamond to be cut and polished, or just leave it in its most original form, i.e. ‘Perfectly Imperfect’. For the sake of this argument, we’ll move forward in the process.

I am personally not a huge fan of Grace’s EP ‘Perfectly Imperfect’, but no better foundation could have been laid for her artist career, and it becomes more established in that fashion as she continues to build. From that angle, a facet was cut that shines bright. Every time I take the time to listen to those songs, I realize that the validity of Grace as a true artist was firmly established here and will likely never change. Grace very quickly moved to the next facet cut in ‘Just The Beginning’. I marvel many times that Grace was really only 12-years-old when the concepts were likely born for the album, and obviously a young 13 when the productions were made. Listening to her looking back, the cut was painful, at times, but a truer cut was likely not possible. Again, it’s personal, but every song on JTB is hit material, and I’m more convinced every day, that sometime, hopefully soon, some of those songs will chart #1 on Billboard. History shows that a number of high-profile artists songs did not chart for a couple years. I will even go so far as to speculate that the entire album could chart #1 someday, or better yet, get a Grammy. Here’s hoping…..

ACL was another shining facet cut since here was where Grace established herself as a valid live performer taking the stage by storm, showcasing her talent, originality, humor, humility, and huge heart for her fans leaving everyone wanting only more. A true red-letter day for her, and everyone following leaving us all wishing we could be more like that! Truly another very important aspect of a ‘rare diamond’.

Many more facets could be discussed, including her role in “Stargirl”. Here is one we don’t know much about, so it’s hard to speculate, but all indications point to another shining facet that will only enhance the foundation for Grace’s career even if it’s never used again. Obviously, her experience gained from that episode is shining through in her music videos. What tidbits we have gained tell us that those in charge of that production very quickly realized the diamond quality in Grace and snatched it up without
hesitation. Every time I see Grace do anything, I marvel at the simplicity of her just being Grace which is the very essence of “Stargirl”. That is a shining aspect of Grace that I hope never changes, and it will not if she stays true to herself.

Now to the point I’ve been leading up to. Grace’s last three songs have been highly anticipated for a fairly lengthy period of time to the point of leading some close to despair, yet they are not taking off like some of those in JTB. As I analyze my own reaction to each song, I wonder if many that happen to hear don’t react the same way, and never take the time to hit the brakes and go back for another look. Stray was a huge rock in my road. It hit me with a bang that left me wondering where Grace had gone insane from some of the time to all of the time. Ur So Beautiful I really liked, but not to the point that some anticipated that it might. My Waste My Time first reaction was “this is a waste of my time,” honestly. I listened to it twice to make sure, but I was mostly done. Right here is where I feel most of the disconnect originates, primarily in Americans. I say that because it seems from Grace’s charts that foreigners don’t do this as readily as we do, and that can be attributed to many reasons, but this is an opinion piece, so here goes. We Americans have become so used to having everything at our fingertips that a lot of everyday events have become commodities to us, including our music selections. If something doesn’t strike our fancy immediately, we grab the next candy bar, and chow down. We never take the time to appreciate the taste of something more refined. Why waste my time on one diamond when I can have a 1000 pearls? I know I’m being a little tough on us, but history does seem to prove the thought, and lots of people want to be like us, so it could only get worse. Time will tell.

So, back to “Stray”. I well remember one commenter on the video release stating their displeasure at the producers letting someone gallop by in the background and not even taking the time to edit it out never realizing that it was a very intentional effect in the original production of the song. For me, that gallop has become one of the most outstanding features of a very powerful, and emotional piece that could very well end up being one of Grace’s greatest masterpieces. Ur So Beautiful (I spell it out because even the title is so beautiful!) makes one feel increasingly special every time you listen to it, which is exactly what Grace was intending, and did so with ‘Perfect Perfection’. She had so much fun with this song it brings me close to tears. She’s ready to dance, sing, and laugh with anyone she meets. Waste My Time, literally went from being a waste of my time, to “I’ll gladly waste my time watching and listening. It’s worth every second!” Grace and Blythe are a team that is going to be very difficult to out-perform. The video is so simplistic, in a way, yet it is so outstanding as it portraits the lyrics so perfectly it’s almost scary. I have no clue if these numbers are close, but I believe the differential is realistic. When I compare the Taylor Swift video of Me, and it’s $1,000,000 dollar budget to Grace’s Waste My Time, and it’s $10,000 budget, the $1,000,000 video is a bunch of cotton candy that shrivels to nothing in the first breeze. Nothing personal, Taylor; I actually love Me. Just saying…..

The first time I heard Heidi make the opening comment I thought to myself, “That’s really sweet, but you’re just saying something nice because everyone else is.” “Heidi, I’m really sorry I thought that, because you were spot on!” The rarest real diamonds claim to be impossible to find. We don’t want Grace there, but she is definitely in the rare class, hopefully for life, and lots of people can’t take the shine of a rare diamond. Does that matter? Not sure; but here’s one diamond owner that to date has enjoyed every dime spent!

All the best,
w.c. Starstruck