Saturday, December 05, 2009

Beyjesus & The Grammys

Earlier in the week I was discussing the validity of the ARIAs with a friend and made an off the cuff remark about the Grammys being even worse. Well, the joke's on me because this year's nominations are the best in recent memory - if not ever. Instead of selecting the usual suspects, the voters have moved into the 21st century and rewarded the biggest names in popular music. I'm ecstatic that Beyoncé leads the pack with 10 well deserved nods but also very happy that Lady GaGa, The Black Eyed Peas and Taylor Swift have been recognised for their achievements. Those four acts have shaped the charts around the globe in 2009 and all bring something different and exciting to the mix. I would have liked to see Whitney Houston score some nominations but the academy have clearly decided to look forward instead of backward. I guess she can take some solace in the fact that "I Look To You" has just sold its one millionth copy in the US. Anyway, here are my thoughts on some of the more important categories.

Record Of The Year

Halo - Beyoncé
I Gotta Feeling - The Black Eyed Peas
Use Somebody - Kings Of Leon
Poker Face - Lady GaGa
You Belong With Me - Taylor Swift

What an incredible line up! I can't remember ever liking all 5 nominees in this category. My choice is "Halo" (it's my favourite song of 2009) but I think the four pop anthems might cancel each other out - giving "Use Somebody" a slight edge. In any case, there will be a deserving winner.

Album Of The Year

I Am... Sasha Fierce - Beyoncé
The E.N.D. - The Black Eyed Peas
The Fame - Lady Gaga
Big Whiskey And The Groogrux King - Dave Matthews Band
Fearless - Taylor Swift

Beyoncé deserves this. "I Am... Sasha Fierce" is a career defining work that raised her from A-Lister to undisputed superstar. However, I'd be almost as happy if Lady GaGa won. "The Fame" is patchy but still contains 6 or 7 of the best dance-pop songs recorded in the past couple of years. My third choice would be "The E.N.D.", which I love. I don't think the Peas get enough recognition for their chart domination and this would be a nice pat on the back for actually selling records in a dying market. I don't mind "Fearless" either but Dave Matthews? Bitch, please.

Song Of The Year

Poker Face - Lady GaGa
Pretty Wings - Maxwell
Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)- Beyoncé
Use Somebody - Kings Of Leon
You Belong With Me - Taylor Swift

"Poker Face" Vs "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)". How do you split two of the decade's most iconic pop songs? Call this a tie.

Best Female Pop Vocal Performance

Hometown Glory - Adele
Halo - Beyoncé
Hot N Cold - Katy Perry
Sober - Pink
You Belong With Me - Taylor Swift

Wow! Another stellar line up. What is this - the MTV awards? For me this is a battle between "Halo" and "Hot N Cold" but I have a strange feeling that Adele might be more to the academy's liking.

Best Dance Recording

Boom Boom Pow - The Black Eyed Peas
When Love Takes Over - David Guetta & Kelly Rowland
Poker Face - Lady GaGa
Celebration - Madonna
Womanizer - Britney

And the winner is Lady Gaga. Or at least it should be. However, I'd love to see Kelly Rowland win something and "Boom Boom Pow" is amazing in its own annoying way. No comment on the other nominees.

The rest of the categories aren't as much fun. I hope Beyoncé wins Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song for "Single Ladies" but she faces stiff competition from Jazmine Sullivan and Melanie Fiona in the former and Maxwell in the latter. It's also nice to see Beyoncé's ode to big cocks (ie. "Ego") snag a nomination in the Best Rap/Sung Collaboration category but I think the prize will go to either "Knock You Down" or "Dead And Gone". With all the attention being placed on "Sasha Fierce", it's easy to forget that two of Beyoncé's nominations come from the amazing Cadillac Records Soundtrack. Her lovely interpretation of "At Last" is in the running for Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance but I'm much more excited about "Once In A Lifetime" being nominated in the Best Song From A Movie category. I suspect "Once In A Lifetime" is actually a "Sasha Fierce" reject but don't tell the voters. The song is another stunning Amanda Ghost collaboration ("Disappear", "Ave Maria" and "Satellites") and has been a favourite of mine since seeing Cadillac Records. I love the 60s soul flavour and Beyoncé's vocal is truly beautiful. Check it out below:

See the full list of nominations here.


tommie said...

No Heidi Montag? No Kim Zolciak? No Solange?!?

I bet BeWHOREsay backdoor partied her way into this! Insipid cheating skank. But I'm onto you B-Ho!

jamesyoungmusic said...

@tommie !!!!! Sasha was surely an AMAZING album, and Beyonce's new collaborations are turning out great- Lady Gaga, and Alicia Keys.

Lovin' the blog btw.

Acolyte Of The Goddess said...

Why didn't I think of BeWHOREsay?

As usual the vast majority of the nominees are utterly predictable and safe - even the usually more "daring" and "cutting edge" Best Dance Recording is full of mainstream BBH100 Top 10's and big names...

If Astralwerks had followed through with their original plan and used Wow as the lead US single for X instead of the pointless AIS, Dannii's lesser sibling would be enjoying a 2nd Grammy...

And where is The Goddess?!? HEATHENS!

Paul said...

Beyonce could totally clean up at the grammies, n'est pas? I too would have liked to have seen some Whitney love there but oh well, what can you do?!

The Prophet said...

Katy Perry Hot N Cold over Adele Hometown Glory?

Are you serious?

Poker Face over Pretty Wings... Do you even know who Maxwell is?

This years nominations are garbage. It's good that they recognise POPULAR music, but they've basically just copied and pasted the itunes top 10, no matter how crappy it is.

You do know that Beyonce tried to get Once in a lifetime nominated for an Oscar and then at the last minute they cancelled it because it had too many co-writers and Bey's and by percentage Bey had the smallest input of the group, which means Matthew changed one letter as usual.


Abuga said...

This is the year of Queen Bee.


John said...

Ah, the drama never ends...

I'm torn, because the Grammys seem to have accepted the will of the people (or at least the marketing machines that get music to the people), and yet I usually love the Grammys for bringing music to people that they might not be familiar with. Really, it's only the Best New Artist category this year.

Mike said...

Jamesyoungmusic and Abuga speak the truth! By the way, I love both of your blogs. Remind me to link you up.

Paul - I'm cut about Whitney too. I thought sentiment might play a role and hoped she'd get a few nods but the lack of hit singles really hurt her.

Tommie & Jay - It's time to open your heart to Beyjesus! I think Solange has placed you both under a voodoo curse.

John - I know what you mean but the Grammys have always been very traditional with acts like U2, Bruce Springsteen and Sheryl Crow bagging awards year after year. At least this year is actually representative of what made an impact on popular culture and some new talent (MGMT for example) was recognised.

Jacques - You are an idiot. Yes, I would take "Hot N Cold" over Adele any day. Do you think something is automatically less worthy simply because it's successful? You try writing an instantly catchy pop song that millions of people around the globe connect with.

And I'm quite familiar with Maxwell. I went out to buy a copy of his Urban Hang Suite while you were still in primary school. I really hope he scoops the pool in the R'n'B categories but "Pretty Wings" has nothing on "Poker Face", which is already iconic.

As for your sad Beyonce hate, build a bridge and get over it. "Once In A Lifetime" was submitted and nominated for a Golden Globe - making your Academy Award story utterly ridiculous. You're just jealous that Bey has kicked Janet, Ciara and all your other faves to the curb.

AOTG said...

I must admit that Sweet Dreams by the thunder thighed one is a bit of a current favourite of mine. But Single Ladies Park Your Ring On It is complete and utter SHITE!

Craig said...

I love Once In A Lifetime! Thanks for the tip.

Mr. Will-W. said...

ahh! i only wish the Grammy voters were as fun as you and I. they often wind up picking the most boring selections for Song, Record and Album of the Year :(