I’ve always had mixed thoughts on the Grammy awards. As a huge fan and supporter of independent music, I’ve come to notice that many fantastic albums and artists are overlooked by the recording academy and aren’t nominated. I do love the whole “rating music” thing, I love Pitchfork and The Needle Drop to death and can’t wait till their lists of the best records of the year come out. But the Grammys feel bigger. Better. Do they matter? Not really, because half of the amazing artist in music today aren’t nominated. Are they fun? Yes. Here are my thoughts and predictions on the 2012 Grammy nominees:
I’ll start off with the “Record Of The Year” and “Song Of The Year” nominees. I’m confused as to what the real difference is, and the nominees for both categories are almost identical. For Record Of The Year, Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep” is nominated along with Bon Iver’s “Holocene,” Bruno Mars’ “Grenade,” “The Cave” by Mumford & Sons and “Firework” by Katy Perry.
Rolling In The Deep: While I do enjoy this song quite a bit, I feel like it’s been overplayed so many times this year that it’s kind of an unimportant song now. In 10 I’ll look back and fall in love with this song again but for now it’s been worn out.
Holocene: I’m a massive Bon Iver fan and this is just an all around beautiful song. I wish you best, Mr. Vernon.
Grenade: I think Bruno Mars is a really talented guy, I’ve never been a big fan of this song. “Just The Way You Are” is one of my favorite songs by him, I’m surprised that wasn’t nominated. I guess Grenade is more popular.
The Cave: Shouldn’t this have been nominated last year? This came out in early 2010! I feel the same about this tune as I do with Rolling In The Deep. Once Mum & Sons put out a new album it’ll sound real great.
Firework: I’m actually a mini Katy Perry fan, California Gurls and Teenage Dream are really great songs in my opinion and are a great example of catchy melodies. Firework has never caught my ear.
Who should to win: Bon Iver
Who will probably win: Bon Iver
Instead of “Firework” Kanye’s All Of The Lights is nominated for Song Of The Year, along with all the other nominees from “Record Of The Year.” I love All Of The LIghts. It’s one of the best songs on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, which strangely wasn’t nominated. I hope Bon Iver takes home the award for award too, but it’s more likely that Adele will.
Album Of The Year nominees:
Bruno Mars, Doo-Wops & Hooligans
Foo Fighters, Wasting Light
Lady Gaga, Born This Way
The only album out of these 5 I own is the new Foo. I’ve heard most of the rest and I think that Foo Fighters put out a fantastic record this year. They really went all out and put so much work into it, it would be a shame not to win. I’m not much of a Lady Gaga fan, however, “You & I” does catch my ear as a fun over the top country-rock mashup. Adele has put out her 2nd great album, however I really do prefer 19 to 21. Bruno Mars’ record seems decent, but I’m not sure it deserves to be ‘album of the year.’ I think the same thing could be said about Rihanna. I that Loud had some catchy songs, but I mean really? her music is revolutionary or anything.
Who should win: Foo Fighters
Who will probably win: Adele
The “Best New Artist” award is pretty dumb. Nominated this year is The Band Perry, who I am not familiar with at all, as well as J. Cole, who I don’t care for, Skrillex, who I really, really, don’t find good at all, Nicki Minaj, who really has been making music for about 3 years now and Bon Iver, whose first album came out in 2007, 5 years ago. New? I think not. I’d like to see him with but really? It wouldn’t mean a thing. Maybe he’d get some more fans.
Who should win: Bon Iver
Who will win: Bon Iver
Adele’s “Someone Like You” is nominated Best Pop Solo Performance, and will inevitably win, because it has connected so deeply with so many people this year. None of the other nominees even come close. Sorry.
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance has a wide variety of artists this year, Tony Bennett & Amy Winehouse, The Black Keys covering Buddy Holly, Coldplay, Foster The People and Maroon 5. I think that Tony & Amy will win, probably because of her death, and They Black Keys cover of Buddy Holly’s “Dearest” is pretty weak.
Who should win: Foster The People
Who will probably win: Tony Bennett & Amy Winehouse
Adele will probably win “Best Pop Vocal Album.”
Robyn is nominated for “Best Dance Recording,” and really deserves to win for “Call Your Girlfriend.” I love that song. I really hope Skrillex does not win this award, or Best Dance Album. Robyn’s Body Talk Pt. 3 is nominated for best Dance Album, while only containing 5 songs. I’m surprised just Body Talk wasn’t nominated. Funnily enough Cut Copy’s Zonoscope is nominated for this too, I’ve heard a couple of their songs and it’d be cool to see them win.
The Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song categories are identical and include “Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall” by Coldplay “Down By The Water” by The Decemberists, Foo Fighters “Walk,” “The Cave” by Mumford & Sons and Radiohead’s “Lotus Flower.”
Every Teardrop: I LOVE this tune. So catchy and melodic and bright. Just fantastic. One of my favorites of the year.
Down By The Water: I must say this is the weakest song on the new Decemberists record.
Walk: One of Dave Grohl’s best in a long time. Great lyrics and meaning. So rockin’.
The Cave: See above^
Lotus Flower: I didn’t like TKOL too much. Not a big fan of this song. There are much better songs on that album
So if we think of best song as “the best song” and best performance as who “performed the best” in their song then:
Who should win “Rock Song”: Coldplay
Who probably will win “Rock Song”: Coldplay
Who should win “Rock Performance”: Foo
Who will win “Rock Performance”:
Foo Fighters is nominated for Best Rock Album, along with Jeff Beck, Kings Of Leon, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and (yay) Wilco. I’d like to hear the new one from Wilco, but I think that Foo will take this award home.
Bon Iver will win Best Alternative Music Album, because it beats out Death Cab’s new one, Foster The People’s debut, Radiohead and My Morning Jacket’s new one. I think out of the 5, Foster’s comes close, but Mr. Vernon will win.
Quickly I’d like to talk about the Rap awards. In Rap Performance there’s Otis from Kanye and Jay, Chris Brown’s “Look At Me Now,” Lupe’s Modest Mouse sampling “The Show Goes On,” Nicki Minaj’s collab with Drake and Wiz Khalifa’s Black & Yellow. Otis wins, and I don’t care for Chris Brown at all. Most of those songs are also nominated for Best Rap Song as well as “All Of The Lights.” All Of The Lights should win.
Kanye is nominated for both his collab with Jay-Z and his album from last year and is up against Lil Wayne, Lupe Fiasco and Nicki Minaj. Seeing that most people, including myself find My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy to be one of the best albums to ever be released, in any genre, it will most likely win. GO KANYE. He deserves it.
OK Go’s collab video with dance company Pilobolus is awesome and I hope it wins in Best Short Form Music Video. Oddly enough a little indie band called Memory Tapes is also nominated, and it would be really cool if they won too.
The Foo Fighters Documentary is up for best “Long Form Music Video” as well as the videos for every song on the new Tv On The Radio album. I loved the Foo documentary, it was the most inspiring music documentary I have ever seen. Hopefully they’ll win. Not big of the TVOTR videos.
Alexandre Desplat is nominated for Best Score For Visual Media for The King’s Speech as well as Daft Punk for Tron : Legacy. Desplat scored it BEAUTIFULLY, but I think that Daft Punk did a great job too.
Both Scenes From The Suburbs and Watch The Throne are up for best packaging, both of which I own. Watch The Throne’s packaging is wonderful. It’s pretty over the top but the gold is so cool. The Suburbs reissue is cool, but nothing special, packaging-wise. Radiohead’s The King Of Limbs is nominated for best special edition, and I wasted $48 dollars on it. The 600 and some tiny pieces of art weren’t as cool as I thought they were going to be. Loved the clear vinyl. The newspaper was kinda stupid.
Oh! and this conductor for the LA Philharmonic is nominated for best orchestral performance of a Brahms piece. I’m not familiar with the piece by name, but I did see the LA Phil this summer at the Hollywood Bowl, and it was hands down the best orchestral performance I’ve ever seen.
The Grammys air February 13th on CBS. I’ll be tweeting during the whole thing. @elarson25.
Can’t wait to see Bon Iver WINNNNNNNNN!
-Eliot Larson, December 3rd, 2011