The 2011 Grammy’s (honoring the musical releases of 2010) brings its offering of freshmen (possibly one hit wonders?) and seasoned veteran’s. It’s hard not to notice that the nominees for best album and song of the year, seem to be picked haphazardly from the Top 10 downloaded iTunes songs, rather than what is the true musical talent of the last year. Don’t get me wrong – talented musicians, artists, and lyricists abound in all categories – but it seems as though production and popularity is what is winning out.
Record of the Year (which really means song of the year) nominees are: B.O.B. ft. Bruno Mars “Nothin’ on You”, Eminem ft. Rihanna “Love The Way You Lie”, Ceelo Green “F**k You”, Jay-Z and Alicia Keys “Empire State of Mind”, and “Need You Now” by Lady Antebellum. All emotionally charged songs that span for the love of the one of greatest city in the United States to making sure the girl you love will never leave you despite your despicable ways. Yes, they were all chart toppers, and probably all covered by the cast of Glee. But do they truly deserve a Grammy award?
Honestly, no. One has to believe that many of these nominees might actually be cross at given nominations. For example; Eminem’s single “Love the Way You Lie” and album “Recovery”, although not his best work, was certainly catchy. But this shouldn’t equate to being considered for Best Record. Looking back on it, 2010, musically-speaking could be seen as the year of collaborations. If your track didn’t feature a catchy hook by a songstress of some sort your song was ignored by both the consumers, charts and judges. It limited the range of emotions that songs could venture into.
Also, many of hip hop/rap and rock new comers and elite were seemingly ignored. Waka Flaka Flame with fellow, wet behind the ear rappers, such as Wale and Roscoe Dash with the song “No Hands.” The hot summer jam “Aston Martin Music” by Rick Ross featuring Drake and Chrisette Michele fail to appear on the Grammy nomination list.
Even, Erykah Badu’s video “Window Seat” with its controversial visual content couldn’t land the neo soul songstress a Grammy nomination.
Rock bands such as Disturbed with “Another Way to Die”, Stone Sour’s “Say You’ll Haunt Me” – were slighted in favor of for The Kings of Leon’s catchy “Radioactive” and Neil Young’s “The Noise” – showing that rock usually hasn’t enjoyed the favor this year that it usually enjoys during Grammy nomination season. And while “The Noise” could possibly be considered, “Radioactive” became neither popular nor respected relative to the immense fame of KOL.
However, one has to admit that there are some exceptions to this trend. We were all mum when the folksy Mumford & Sons debuted and gave Lady Antebellum a run for their money.
Male R&B seems to toe the line, not overly awarding scapegoat Chris Brown while skipping nomination Trey Songz who spawned nearly a dozen hits last year. Also, missing is Nicki Minaj – who you could suppose will probably sweep the Grammy’s next year.
Equally, as surprising despite the late sophomore album debut of Jazmine Sullivan, her song “Holding You Down, [Circles] is receiving the Grammy nod that her previous album deserved. In a perfect world, her smash record would receive a Grammy, and the disillusioned songstress would have regain her faith in the music industry that she no longer wants to be a part of.
This year, it truly boils down to heavy rotation on the radio, rather than the merit of the albums, singers, songwriters, or musicians themselves. This calculated decision of who deserves a Grammy/Grammy nomination based solely on by number of appearances on the Billboard chart will make for an extremely predictable Grammy Awards.
Written by Victoria Thomas