Soapboxing: Grammy Whammy! Nominations & Snubs

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The 53rd Grammy nominations were revealed last night, and well, I missed it. Never fear though, because I have caught up and decided to give you some of my thoughts on the whole nomination matter. A bushel of my favorites were chosen which means that maybe come 2011 I won't be screaming at my TV saying, "I'mma let you finish...!" or something asinine like that. Decorum I will have when the awards take place February 13, 2011.  

You can see the full list of nominees here and click after the cut for me yapping about who I think should win/not win in some choice categories as well as highlight those who got the snub treatment. Agree or disagree with my thoughts, or have something totally different to say? The comments are open for the discussion!

Record Of The Year
Jay-Z and Alicia Keys have this in the bag for "Empire State of Mind" simply because people get misty eyed with this song. You know the song was good the first 20 times I heard it, but now, it's gone "Macarena" status for me and it's not Jay-Z's best song, no matter what misinformed people want you believe. See I'm from Texas and I'm the sad sack who only gets the New York experience through The Babysitter's Club Super Special #6: New York! New York!. Thus, the "spiritual connection" of that song is lost on me. new favorite little singing nugget known as Bruno Mars gets my vote, as his collaboration with B.O.B, "Nothing On You" was a surprise summer stunner and a great intro to both artists. Cee-Lo's glorious "F**k You" should be Song of the Year clearly because it's the way everyone probably felt in 2010. I know I sure did.

Album Of The Year
This category is always the trickiest because the award usually goes to Baby Boomer contemporary favorites that we never ever heard of or someone's 4-year-old daughter picks them with her princess wand. They use the same princess wand for the nominees too, just to let you know. Last year was a just a colossal joke, and looking at this list, it's not as bad, but Katy Perry and her Teenage Dream being on the list just seems like someone drunk voted. Well, this elaborate build-up is just to say that Lady GaGa should nab it for The Fame Monster, because she's sort of the best and most recognizable choice. Not to mention the album (EP, a vinyl record from 1985...whatever you wanna call it) was a pop Goliath, chartwise and water cooler conversation wise. Then again, Eminem may get this, considering how his album, Recovery has been hailed quite highly.

Best New Artist 
Florence + The Machine has a lofty chance to win it, and it would be just lovely if Esperanza Spalding nabbed it considering she's an upright bass player and educating folks with how to blend classical with contemporary. Then there is Drake, everybody's new favorite rapper, and someone who I won't be surprised if he walked away with it. Still, that little Land of Oz Lollipop Kid, Justin Bieber could nab it, just because someone has to be the Pia Zadora of 2011.

Best Female R&B Vocal Performance 
So we have Kelly Price, Monica, Faith Evans, Jazmine Sullivan and Fantasia. I'll be honest, I like all these ladies and their prospective nominated songs, but Jazmine and Monica are my picks. After being a newbie in 2009, people now know Ms. Sullivan and "Holding You Down (Goin' In Circles)" is a on-point R&B gem. As a 90's child, Monica winning for "Still Standing" would be a treat, considering she hasn't been nominated/won since 1999 (she won with Brandy for "The Boy Is Mine"). She's got ten years plus on Jazmine. Then again Ms. Price is long overdue for some recognition as "Tired" proved she needs to step out of the background singer shadow she's been in for so long.

Best Male R&B Vocal Performance 
El DeBarge...hands down. Sorry, Kem, Jaheim, and Musiq, I love yall n' all, but El has the comeback success story this year and a lovely song ("Second Chance") to boot. Not to mention, DeBarge has been sort of long overdue for any Grammy recognition. As for Usher, he's been in kindergarten time out with me since he inflicted Bieber fever on everyone and released such weak singles...clearly he's the "comfortable and obligatory" pick this year.

Best Urban/Alternative Performance
Here's a tight spot, because my eyes immediately focus on Ms. Janelle Monae and her "Tightrope", yet, soul men, Bilal and Eric Roberson, also have such intricate and well-crafted entries, especially Bilal with "Little Ones". And then there is Cee-Lo with his Ode of a Middle Finger that everyone loves. You know what, Cee-Lo can be preoccupied with winning Song of The Year, let's let another soul man take this. So flip a coin and I'll be happy if Bilal or Eric Roberson take home some gilded gold.

Best R&B Album 
The Roots and John Legend really stuck their foot in Wake Up!, so they would be my pick. Though Monica would be a nice win, considering Still Standing feels like a familiar hug, considering how solidly R&B it is. Raheem DeVaughn had an engaging set with The Love & War Masterpiece, so competition is tight. Hopefully, Fantasia won't get "The Jennifer Hudson Treatment", where she wins because of something tragic happening to her (remember the suicide attempt?)...she should win on the merits of her album, Back To Me instead of everyone feeling sorry for her.

Best Contemporary R&B Album
All I'm focusing on is: Janelle Monae - The ArchAndroid. It should have been nominated for Album of the Year, but that is on in my little Audio Diva Grammy World.

Best Female Pop Vocal Performance
Beyonce has to show up for a three year old's live so it's okay, I guess. *shrug*. As much as people love to hate "Bad Romance", The GaGa has got this because this song was everywhere, and it is a pop anthem. Then there is favorite, Sara Bareilles for "King of Anything", which was good, but not as good as "Love Song", which she should of already won a Grammy for two years ago when she was nominated.

Best Male Pop Vocal Performance
Well, Michael Jackson got a posthumous nom for "This Is It", but "Just The Way You Are" by Bruno Mars is sweet enough to win...but then again I'm just bias.

Best Pop Performance By A Duo or Group
The cast of Glee is nominated for a Journey song. Yeah. You know I like Glee and all and yeah, I had some sort of religious experience hearing their version of "Don't Stop Believing" the first time I heard it, but I think the Grammy's should have a cardinal rule. You shouldn't even be considered for a nomination if you're singing a cover. Originality should be awarded, not a cover. With that Maroon 5 and Sade are battling it out for me with their prospective songs, just that, I don't know if people even cared enough for them to be focused on. Yet, never in life would I think that Sade would share a nomination category with Glee...that's gonna be fun reading that off the card come February.

Best Dance Performance
Goldfrapp! Robyn! Lady GaGa! La Roux! What competition! Stewing over this, Robyn's "Dancing On My Own" is one of the best pop songs of this year, but Goldfrapp's "Rocket" consumed my 2010 as well with its sleek production. Ergh, what a tight spot...but if anyone (well, except Rihanna) wins, I'll be a happy camper.

The Snubbed Brigade
Erykah Badu: Maybe her strip down Dealey Plaza in the controversial music video for "Window Seat" turned people off because her Badu-ness isn't even nominated...not even once. Surely I thought she'd get something  for "Window Seat", considering how popular it was (it was in Sex & The City 2 for gummi worms sakes), but alas, New Amerykah Part Two gets shafted just like the first installment.

Corinne Bailey Rae: This is the omission I'm the most surprised about. The Sea has Grammy Bait smeared all over it. It's brooding, it's autobiographical, all original, slow-paced, and it's classy. In my best Molly Ringwald Sixteen Candles voice: "Grammy people live for that sh*t". Considering how Rae got snubbed back in 2007 for her debut, you'd think they'd be all over The Sea. Maybe it came out too early in the year and people forgot about it? Or maybe people just didn't pay attention?

Scissor Sisters: "Invisible Light" should get make up an award title for that song, please.

Sade: This is for Album of The Year...actually the album is not my favorite, but like Corinne Bailey Rae...the Grammy's usually gobble that type of recording up strictly as an opportunity to celebrate classic talent. Sade made a comeback with an album to boot...and not even a nom for Album of the Year? Strange.

Marina & The Diamonds: Marina is sort of what happens when Florence + The Machine go a little GaGa, but really, somehow someway Marina should have gotten attention for "I'm Not A Robot" or "Mowgli's Road", they were borderline avant-garde indie with pop flair. Maybe she's not "Winehouse" enough?

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