The Grammy Nominations 2010 aka My Annual Rant

Posted on December 3rd, 2009 by in Gossip, Music Industry News, Random Rant

The Grammys 2010 award show

Oh the beloved Grammys. Where did it all go wrong? For a start, you have a “Best Alternative Music Album”, which, although it actually has some great and well-deserved nominees in there this year, the title alone makes it sound like it’s something that only sells 200 copies for EMO kids to listen to in their basement. Next… Lady Gaga. Have you actually listened to any of her music? Distictly average, and I’m being kind there. “Ooh, but it’s her style and character too” I hear her fans pout. Well, Roisin Murphy has been doing that for the last decade (including a great performance at Sonar 2008). “Best Electronic / Dance Album”? Let’s not even go there!


I’m on a Boat” was nominated for “Best Rap/Sung Collaboration”? A Saturday Night Live spin-off skit shows the most talented collaboration of RnB and Hip Hop artists? Really?!

Kings of Leon Lollapalooza 2009

Thankfully, you have redeemed some of your fallen reputation, helped mostly by some fantastic music being released over the last 16 months. Q-Tip’s ‘Renaissance’ album is a masterpiece (his Glastonbury 2009 show was fantastic (review)), as is much of the Kings of Leon third LP, ‘Only By The Night’. Their single ‘Use Somebody’ is epic, emotive and driving, and fully deserves to win both categories – I also had the good fortune to see them perform that and much of the album live in Chicago this summer. The Silversun Pickups also impressed me at Lollapalooza 2009. I’m happy to see them nominated for ‘Best Newcomer’, although they face some strong competition from MGMT, who are flavour of the year with the nu-rave-indie sector.

Here is a run down of the key categories, and my picks for who should win, based on musical talent, not quirky hat-wearing skills (sorry, Gaga).

Best Alternative Music Album: Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
If there’s one album this year that you can hear blasting on the radio, from car stereos, and still retains dancefloor credibility, it’s from Phoenix.
Also ran: David Byrne & Brian Eno – Everything That Happens Will Happen Today; Death Cab For Cutie – The Open Door; Depeche Mode – Sounds of the Universe; Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz!

Record of the Year: Kings Of Leon – Use Somebody
Epic, emotive and driving. A wonderful piece of music.
Also ran: Beyoncé – Halo; The Black Eyed Peas – I Gotta Feeling; Lady Gaga – Poker Face; Taylor Swift – You Belong With Me

Album of the Year: Dave Matthews Band – Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King
This is more of a default win from me, with the other albums being mostly forgettable pieces of chart pop.
Also ran: Beyoncé – I Am… Sasha Fierce; The Black Eyed Peas – The E.N.D.; Lady Gaga – The Fame; Taylor Swift – Fearless

Song of the Year: Kings of Leon – Use Somebody
As above, songwriting at it’s powerful best.
Also ran: Lady Gaga – Poker Face; Maxwell – Pretty Wings; Beyoncé – Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It); Taylor Swift – You Belong With Me

Best New Artist: Silversun Pickups
Although not entirely ‘new’, their songs are diverse and full of energy and charisma. Radio-sing-a-long-friendly and fresh sounding.
Also ran: Zac Brown Band; Keri Hilson; MGMT; The Ting Tings

Best Rap Album: Q-Tip – The Renaissance
This had been a long time coming, and thankfully shows why Q-Tip is one of the rap-game elite. Thoughtful lyrics are layered over smooth jazzy touches to great effect.
Also ran: Common – Universal Mind Control; Eminem – Relapse; Flo Rida – R.O.O.T.S.; Mos Def – The Ecstatic

Best Rap Song: Jay-Z – D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)
One of Jay-Z’s finest pieces of work. Gritty beats and samples add to that trademark East coast feel.
Also ran: Drake – Best I Ever Had; Kid Cudi – Day ‘N’ Nite; T.I. and Justin Timberlake – Dead and Gone; Jay-Z – Run This Town [ft. Rihanna and Kanye West]

For a full run-down, check out the Grammys website.

Lee Jarvis

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3 Responses to “The Grammy Nominations 2010 aka My Annual Rant”

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  2. Elise Says:

    Can I just ask…are you an alternative junkie?

    It interests me how you say ‘This is more of a default win from me, with the other albums being mostly forgettable pieces of chart pop’…

    Do you like chart music? Or are you one of those people that cannot admit liking mainstream just to go against the grain?

    I totally agree with you when it comes to Kings of Leon – Use Somebody, it is a slice of genius and deserves the recognition I’m sure it’s not going to get.

    I’d be interested to hear your opinion on Taylor Swift? Just the latest pop fodder? Or potential industry gold?

  3. Lee Jarvis Says:

    I guess my preferences are for ‘alternative’ in the sense that I like fresh and innovative music and artists. I don’t listen to chart music as often as other styles, but I certainly have no problem honouring fantastic pop songs such as some of the Motown catalog, or talented pop writers such as Elton John. I guess that I’m putting the ‘mostly forgettables’ a few rungs below music such as that, and just wondering if people will still be relishing and sharing those albums 20 years from now.

    Taylor Swift is certainly industry gold, in the way that she’s making a lot of rich old men in (bad) suits even richer, but having said that I think that artists from a country background can often be a bit more organic and talented than the American Idol folk. Maybe I’m skeptical of her longevity as she’s still relatively new, and sometimes I feel that the words ‘classic’ and ‘superstar’ are bounded around too freely… but she could certainly be on her way ;-)

    Lee J.

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