I have always viewed the Grammy’s not as the awards for the best music, but as the most popular music. While the occasional person complains that the Oscars never recognize the movies people actually see en masse, the Grammy’s are quick to dole out nominations to Katy Perry or to Pink for a song called “F***in Perfect”. Last year the Grammy’s finally got something right when they not only nominated The Arcade Fire (aka, the best live band I’ve ever seen) for Album of the Year, but actually gave them the award. Then this year they made another great choice by nominating the amazing Bon Iver for Record of the Year for the track “Holocene”, giving him a chance to win in the overall category and not just in the alternative category where bands normally featured in the Past and the Pending land. However, I cannot believe that Bon Iver also landed in the Best New Artist category. Really?? Not only is this not Bon Iver’s first album, but his actual first album was a pretty big deal. Among many others, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Q, and Spin all had debut album “For Emma, Forever Ago” in their top album of, get this, 2008. Observer even had it at #1, while Rhapsody listed it in their best albums of the decade, and here we are in the next decade. I reviewed it so long ago that you can find it archived on Myspace for crying out loud! I recognize that being “new” is subjective and usually has more to do with when you hit it big, but if you’re The Band Perry, do you really want to lose to a band in the new artist category who had a mega critical following starting in 2008?
Other Grammy thoughts:
--I don’t expect to see Bon Iver win for “Holocene” when it’s up against Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep”, which was a fantastic crossover hit that just about everyone liked. Mumford & Sons “The Cave” is a good song and all, but it was also released in 2009. I don’t get it.
-- Not a lot of good stuff in the Album of the Year category. Bruno Mars, I do not understand your appeal. Two categories in, and two noms.
-- I don’t actually expect Bon Iver to win the Best New Artist category up against Nicki Minaj, but who knows.
-- Good to see Coldplay’s “Paradise”, Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks”, and Black Keys’ “Dearest” get some love of the group performance category. Hopefully one of those gets the nod over “Moves Like Jagger”.
-- My wife would probably like to see Deadmau5 win out in the dance/electronica section, though I think the lead guy in Deadmau5 is probably the kind of guy who would never want to be called “Grammy award winning group, Deadmau5”.
-- Susan Boyle is now Grammy nominated
-- Based on who they nominated for Best Rock Performance, I’d like to see the award go to Radiohead for “Lotus Flower”, though Coldplay’s “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” is fantastic as well (despite the song name),
-- I wonder what Megadeth thinks about Sum 41 getting nominated in the hard rock/metal category
-- I think they really missed in the Rock Album category
-- The alternative category is well done overall, but this one should certainly go to Bon Iver, who likely will lose all the big categories but win this one. I’ve actually reviewed every album in this category, so I can say that it’s 5-star vs a two 4-stars a 3.5-star and a 3-star album. Not bad, Grammys!
-- Way down in the folk category is where we find the Fleet Foxes vs. Civil Wars battle of awesome albums. I’d give the nod to Fleet Foxes, but must say I’m surprised they weren’t in the alternative category. Folk-influenced for sure, but overall I wouldn’t describe their show as folk.