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The Grammys: An exercise in existential despair

Feb

11

by


I can’t decide if the Grammys are relevant. On the one hand, they have a nasty habit of ignoring modern trends — like when Kanye West and Amy Winehouse lost Album of The Year to Herbie Hancock doing Joni Mitchell covers, or that time Radiohead and Lil Wayne lost to Robert Plant’s and Alison Krauss’s bluegrass concept album about how Robert Plant hates touring with Jimmy Page. But on the other hand, humanity has a few scant generations left before global warming decimates our civilization, and wipes out most life on planet earth.

So until drought, disease, and famine releases our vapid culture from the sirens of ostentatious nostalgia, I’m going to say the Grammys are still relevant because I have an opinion about them.

Album of the Year
Adele – 21
Foo Fighters – Wasting Light
Lady Gaga – Born This Way
Bruno Mars – Doo Wops and Hooligans
Rihanna – Loud

First off, how the fuck is Bruno Mars up for this? His album is 30 minutes long. Really? And Kanye’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy gets snubbed? They must really hate him for being black. Anyway, this seems pretty obvious. Everyone fell in love with Adele this year; she’s probably going to win everything in earshot. And if you’re an adult, who’s never heard of her because you have a life to deal with, trust me: the kids love her. There’s just not much depth in this category. Only the Foo Fighters (who probably made the best album of their career) are a worthy challenger, but they’ll get knocked out. 

Song Of The Year
“All of the Lights” by Kanya West feat Rihanna, Kid Cudi
“The Cave” by Mumford and Sons
“Grenade” by Bruno Mars
“Holocene” by Bon Iver
“Rolling in the Deep” by Adele

Another area where Adele will win easily, but it’s a more stacked category, as all of these songs are decent. While I thought Bruno Mars’s album was pretty uneven, I’ll admit that “Grenade” was a standout (although the abundance of American Idol wannabees regurgitating it while eye-fucking Steven Tyler is turning me off a bit), and Bon Iver’s “Holocene” is straight up beautiful, even if it might be too depressing to acknowledge. Unfortunately, like many others, Adele had this category wrapped up in June.

Best New Artist
The Band Perry
Bon Iver
J. Cole
Nicki Minaj
Skrillex

Something interesting: A category Adele can’t be nominated for! Best New Artist is always a fun category because it’s where the contempt for modern music shines the brightest. The Grammys’ definition of “new” is “we just heard about you this year even if you’ve been around for a decade.” That’s why Bon Iver is up for this even though their debut album came out about 4 years ago. I’m not sure how Skrillex is up for this, since the basis of his career is going “WUB-WUB-WUB-WUB-WUB,” but I doubt he’ll win anyway. While Nicki Minaj is talented and by far the most famous, I think the Band Perry takes this. One thing we learned from Lady Antebellum’s dominance last year: Grammy voters love sappy, country shit.

Best Rock Album
Rock ‘N’ Roll Party Honoring Les Paul – Jeff Beck
Wasting Light – Foo Fighters
Come Around Sundown – Kings Of Leon
I’m With You – Red Hot Chili Peppers
The Whole Love – Wilco

As much as I like to gripe about the sorry state of rock music, this isn’t a bad category, with Kings Of Leon being the only baffling nominee (Beck’s a typical old dude pick, but he’s solidly OK). The Foos are the likely favorites here, since they’re also up for Album Of The Year, but I could see a potential upset for Wilco, who added to their solid career with The Whole Love, or even the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who proved they could exist without John Frusciante by making Flea’s killer bass the focal point on I’m With You. Definitely one of the more competitive categories.

Best Rap Album
Watch The Throne – Jay-Z & Kanye West
Tha Carter IV – Lil Wayne
Lasers – Lupe Fiasco
Pink Friday – Nicki Minaj
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy – Kanye West

Pretty damn good for year for rap, with all of these albums being solid, and Drake’s Take Care just missing the nomination time frame (look for it next year). Kanye had the best album here by far, but he might end up losing to himself on Watch The Throne. Still, I just can’t see My beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy losing this. It was one of the best hip-hop albums in over a decade, and no matter how much of an asshole Kanye is, you understand where his assholishness comes from after listening to it. You know what, if he loses, I give him full permission — which, as a white devil, I’m empowered to do — to run up on stage, start talking shit, and maybe even break something.

There are other categories, but most of them seem pretty damn inconsequential from a not-wanting-to-waste-one-precious-second-you’re-given-on-this-fragile-blue-dot-contemplating-the-thriving-market-for-Christian-rock perspective. Anyway, the music industry is going to make grotesque love to itself in a mirror, Adele’s going to win a ton of awards, and I’ll get shitfaced on substandard beer.

Sounds like a fun evening to me.

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