Friday, December 08, 2006
There's something about Mary
In all seriousness, how are the Grammy Awards truly relevant in this day and age? Maybe in the pre-iTunes era, when everyone had the same outlet for music — making mixtapes courtesy of timing the pause button just right from the radio and showing up on record release Tuesdays. I'm not playing the I-hate-all-music-that's-popular über snob card, but isn't that who profits the most from payola nominations? It's a foregone conclusion that those nominated aren't really the best out there. It's just weird that in spite of the biz limping on into the sunset, the Grannies still managed to stick around in existence. And nothing is ever groundbreaking, edgy, or God forbid — has some f-bombs thrown in for good measure. I think they also send nominee ballots to Mormon clergy and Murder She Wrote fan club members.
This year's edition continues the tradition of much ado about nothing. I'm thrilled that Mary J. Blige is getting the mainstream respect that's been long overdue and I'm sure they'll be more additions to the mantle since it's official that she's having her best year ever with a field leading 8 nods. Let's just hope James Blunt wins Best New Artist and subsequently disappears. There's nothing the voters love more than a fresh faced ingenue who taps into easygoing soul, so score a huge win for Corinne Bailey Rae. The old geezers at NARAS are getting the Dance/Electronica categories almost right this year. I'm totally tickled pink to see Goldfrapp and Pet Shop Boys on the same ballot. Also pumping my fist on the love shown to Gnarls Barkley, Lupe Fiasco & Kelis. But for every step forward, I've learned to brace myself for the inevitable five steps backward and one sideways. Pharrell's shiteous In My Mind alongside The Roots' Game Theory for Best Rap Album? Surely you jest. Chris Brown instead of the totally deserving Ne-Yo as the Best New Artist of 2006? He's a cute kid and his MJ impersonation is admirable, but come the fuck on. Or better yet, how can voters justify the blatant omission of KT Tunstall? In a year rife with Johnny-come-latelys, the smoky voiced Scot was a welcome addition to the post-Lilith crew of female singer/songwriters. And isn't it time to redefine what a "new artist" is already? It can be titled the Shelby Lynne amendment. I heart Imogen Heap to death, however.... when you've released an album in '98 and were a member of a group that cut a disc in 2002, your record release hymen was broken long, long ago.
Largely overlooked this year were Nelly Furtado, whose inescapable hit "Promiscuous" was banished to the Pop Collaboration by a Duo or Group category, and Bob Dylan, whose Modern Times had been expected to be vie for Album of the Year, but has to settle for a nomination for Best Contemporary Folk/Americana Album.
Biggest upset has to be that Timbaland was snubbed for Producer Of The Year. I guess laminating ghetto passes for former mouseketeers doesn't always have its privileges.
A round up of the major contenders in the big 5 are listed after the jump.
Album of the Year:
Record of the Year:
Song of the Year:
Best New Artist:
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