Sunday, December 05, 2010

2011 Grammy Nominations

No jokes about the always baffling eligibility rules this time, let's just look at some of the nominees:

“Beg Steal Or Borrow” – Ray LaMontagne & The Pariah Dogs
“Forget You” (aka “Fuck You”) – Cee Lo Green
“The House That Built Me”- Miranda Lambert
“Love The Way You Lie” – Eminem feat. Rihanna
“Need You Now” – Lady Antebellum

This is quite the interesting selection of songs, artists, and styles, and you could make a compelling argument for any of them winning. Or stated differently, it's hard to think up good reasons why any of these CAN'T win. Normally we could eliminate the black hip hop-cum-soul crooner in a competition against a bunch of white folk and country artists, but in this case said crooner's song is a 60's Motown throwback that many voters might find difficult to resist. Normally we might reflexively eliminate the token country/folk/Americana song in the group, but we can't do that here because there are THREE of them, one of which ("Need You Now") was arguably the biggest pop hit of 2010. Normally we might eliminate the bratty, controversial hip hop artist and his hate-filled song about domestic abuse, except that Eminem is already an ELEVEN (!!) time Grammy winner.

At the end of the day, I can't see a song called "Fuck You" winning a Grammy for Song of the Year (even in its censored version), Enimem is the veteran who already has plenty of trophies so they probably won't feel the need to honour him again, and Ray LaMontagne is small potatoes compared to Miranda Lambert and Lady Antebellum who appeal to similar fanbases. But I can't shake the feeling that Lady Antebellum are going to own the 2011 Grammys.

Justin Bieber
Florence + The Machine
Mumford & Sons
Esperanza Spalding

It already feels like Justin Bieber has been around forever, so I was shocked to see him nominated in this category which can probably be chalked up to the stupid Grammy eligibility rules that I'm not supposed to be making fun of that discludes artists like Nicki Minaj because she "missed" some ill thought-out album release cutoff date. Is there any chance that Drake upsets the Beeb? Probably not.

“Nothin’ On You” – B.o.B feat. Bruno Mars
“Love The Way You Lie” – Eminem feat. Rihanna
“Forget You” (aka “Fuck You”) – Cee Lo Green
“Empire State Of Mind” – Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys
“Need You Now” – Lady Antebellum

This category is stacked, and if anything gets in the way of Lady Antebellum sweeping their way through the major awards, it'll happen here. I'd look for veterans Eminem or Jay-Z (who has won TEN Grammys?!?) to steal this one from the kids.

The Suburbs – Arcade Fire
Recovery – Eminem
Need You Now – Lady Antebellum
The Fame Monster – Lady Gaga
Teenage Dream – Katy Perry

This category is really really stacked. As happy as I am to see the Arcade Fire rubbing shoulders with the heavy hitters, they have no chance up against this kind of competition. Lady Gaga won't win because "The Fame Monster" was a stopgap mini-album (albeit probably the most successful stopgap mini-album ever) and the voters will hold off on it because her new album will be released early next year. This is probably Lady Antebellum's to lose, although I wouldn't be shocked to see Katy Perry sneak in for the win.

“Haven’t Met You Yet” – Michael Bublé
“This Is It” – Michael Jackson
“Whataya Want From Me” – Adam Lambert
“Just The Way You Are” – Bruno Mars
“Half Of My Heart” – John Mayer

So we've got two guys with legitimate hits, two guys who the critics hate but Grammy audiences and voters love, and a guy who will have been dead for nearly two years by the time the awards are given out. I will laugh so hard if Michael Jackson wins this. Heck, he probably will. At least Ray Charles had been dead for only eight months when he won for Album of the Year in 2005.

“Empire State Of Mind” – Shawn Carter, Angela Hunte, Burt Keyes, Alicia Keys, Jane’t “Jnay” Sewell-Ulepic & Alexander Shuckburgh, songwriters (Sylvia Robinson, songwriter) (Jay-Z & Alicia Keys)
“Love The Way You Lie” – Alexander Grant, Skylar Grey & Marshall Mathers, songwriters (Eminem & Rihanna)
“Not Afraid” – M. Burnett, J. Evans, Marshall Mathers, L. Resto & M. Samuels, songwriters (Eminem)
“Nothin’ On You” – Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine, Bruno Mars & Bobby Simmons Jr., songwriters (B.o.B Featuring Bruno Mars)
“On To The Next One” – Shawn Carter, J. Chaton & K. Dean, songwriters (G. Auge & X. De Rosnay, songwriters) (Jay-Z & Swizz Beatz)

I guess that Eminem and Jay-Z were just about the only people to release a rap song this year!

These Hopeful Machines – BT
Further – The Chemical Brothers
Head First – Goldfrapp
Black Light – Groove Armada
La Roux – La Roux

This category is as meaningless as they come. You know how people always ridicule the Grammys for nominating old guys like Robert Plant and Eric Clapton every time they put out a record? This is the "electronic/dance" equivalent of that -- a bunch of safe, veteran acts to go along with Goldfrapp and La Roux's 80's flashbacks (although they both made some really good music, their albums are a friendly and palatable form of "electronic" music that the voters are sure to enjoy). I hope La Roux wins, which probably means it'll be party time for Groove Armada.

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