The Grammy nominations were announced Wednesday night, which means it’s time for lots of thoughtful, thoughtless, snarky, whiney and mostly unsolicited opining. Here we go.
Colorado tends to get snubbed when it comes to tour schedules. Most recently and notably, Kanye West and Jay-Z canceled their Denver stop for the Watch the Throne tour. Many of this year’s Grammy nominees missed Colorado on their recent tours, but you know what? Let’s focus on what we did get this year.
J. Cole and Skrillex were both nominated for Best New Artist, and both were in-state this fall. Skrillex brought his excellent asymmetrical haircut and dubstep to Broomfield on Halloween (appropriate, no?), and Jay-Z protege J. Cole came to Denver back in September. We were also treated to Best Dance/Electronica Album nominees Deadmau5 and Cut/Copy in 2011. Record of the Year and Best Rock Performance nominee Mumford & Sons were in Denver this summer. Not too shabby.
More importantly, here’s when you can check out some Grammy-nominated (and maybe Grammy-winning) talent soon. Radiohead — coming to the 1st Bank Center in March — snagged nominations for Best Alternative Album, Best Rock Performance, Best Rock Song, Best Short Form Music Video, and Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package. Wilco, up for Best Rock Album will be in Denver next month.
Again, it’s seriously uncool that the Watch the Throne tour skipped out on Denver. Among the reasons why: Kanye was nominated for seven Grammys. He’s just that good, whether or not you like him. He even got two nods in one category, Best Rap Album, for Watch the Thone and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Odds are, the latter will earn him a win.
It’s also worth noting the Best New Artist confusion. It’s bad enough that a Bon Iver win will probably get a similar reaction to Arcade Fire’s 2010 win (if you haven’t seen the Who Is Arcade Fire??!!? Tumblr, go look). But Bon Iver, along with J. Cole and Skrillex, are hardly “new” in the first place. Here’s the deal: the criteria are that the artist has never won a Grammy before, has released between one and three albums, and has not been nominated in the category more than three times.
Now for more trivial things. “Barbra Streisand” and Barbra Streisand are both up for a little gold gramophone. That’s the Duck Sauce song, nominated for Best Dance Recording, and the singer herself, nominated for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. I think Duck Sauce’s video deserved a nod, but I’m a little biased and obsessed.
And speaking of that category, Seth MacFarlane was nominated, which raises several questions. Um, what? Seth MacFarlane has a serious album? Does he sing in the Brian voice? Is the committee nuts or is this actually good?
Finally, some thoughts on the big three categories.
Bruno Mars and Katy Perry made pop magic with “Grenade” and “Firework,” and Mumford & Sons’ “The Cave” is excellent, but the decision for Record of the Year is probably going to come down to Adele and Bon Iver. “Rolling In The Deep” is a really good song without Adele, but her vocals make it phenomenal. Holocene wasn’t as catchy or popular, but artistically speaking, it’s a big achievement.
The competition for Song of the Year is exactly the same, but with the addition of Kanye’s “All of the Lights.” He could pretty easily edge Adele and Bon Iver out. Check out this Record/Song of the Year playlist on Spotify and decide for yourself.
Adele is in the running for Album of the Year, too, competing with the Foo Fighters, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars and Rihanna. Foo Fighters did well with “Wasting Light,” but the album seemed to be forgotten pretty quickly. Same goes for Rihanna’s Loud and Bruno Mars’ Doo-Wops and Hooligans. Both produced a bunch of hit singles, but the full records don’t hold up as strongly. Adele’s stiffest competition will be with Lady Gaga’s Born This Way, mostly because the business cannot get enough Gaga.
The awards ceremony airs on CBS on February 12, 2012 at 8 p.m. EST.