The Weekly Rant: A casual look at the 61s Grammy Nominations.

Just casually blogging, Taylor Nation.

I’m not a music critic. I don’t have the pulse on what the public likes nor do I have the gist on what the industry prefers. My favourites will often go unmatched by either audience. I also have no connections or compromises whatsoever so I can be honest and have a bias. So I will say what I want to say and let the words fall out: honestly, I’m not really that engaged into tomorrow’s award show.

Everyone has already talked about the snubs. T-Swizzle should’ve at least had a nomination for Album and “Delicate” should’ve gotten a nod for Song, but I’m also miffed for other snubs. Biggest one being the shame that Lorde’s Melodrama really deserved to be in the Album of the Year nominations as well. There’s still obvious talent in the list, but I’m definitely not getting a reading on any clear winners. So, I though I’d go over the top list in a casual, nonchalant manner. Pass the chips.

Note: I’m only semi-serious here, so please take any criticism I make with a grain of salt.

Record of the Year is usually top of the list, albeit Album often becomes the big one on the night itself. “Shallow” by Gaga and Cooper looks like the big favourite to win. I would prefer “This Is America” by Childish Gambino which has more of an edge to it if you want to make a real statement but I dread it won’t happen though. I’d be perfectly happy with Gaga winning this one. Just don’t give it to Post Malone.

Album of the Year is most often than not, the winner of the night. My favourite here is Janelle Monae’s most excellent Dirty Computer but I don’t know if the Grammy voters have listen to it, which is their loss. I don’t feel there’s a public favourite in this category, but who knows. I wouldn’t mind to hear that Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour got the win, but it’d also be a surprise. Just don’t give it to Post Malone.

Song Of The Year will probably go to “Shallow” but I have feeling that if it does, the Grammy voters will probably give Record to a different artist. That being said, which other song would be up here? I’d rather have Gaga and Cooper gathering Song and Best Duo and leaving Record to Childish Gambino, but we don’t live in a perfect world. Then again, dream impossible dreams and all that…

Best New Artist is a toughie. Whew. I don’t know… I will say that if it goes to Bebe Rexha or Dua Lipa it’s not that they don’t deserve the award but it feels really late to call either of them a “new artist”. But if we’re talking a “breakthrough into the public consciousness and notably impacted the musical landscape” I didn’t really see a clear winner here. Also, there’s the popular myth that winning this award relegates you to obscurity very fast.

Okey, let’s jump to the Best Pop Vocal Album to see some familiar names and some biased opinions. Yes, I am rooting for T’s Reputation. The favourite seems to be Ariana Grande’s Sweetener. Taylor Swift is not attending and Ariana cancelled her performance after a disagreement with the producers, so neither one is going to be there. Yes, I’m rooting for the Sparkly Dressed (the taller one) but Grammy voters might feel that the Forever and Always Fearless One has gotten too much love in past years. I think they’re already holding out on her this year but that’s just me (and perhaps a few other million people).

And in a strange twist of fate, I’ve been listening to Ghost’s Prequelle often lately. So, I was surprised to hear that it got a two nominations:  Best Rock Album for Prequelle and Best Rock Song for “Rats”. I’d be elated to see them accept either (or both!) on stage. They already freaked out people on the Grammy’s non-broadcast award show back in 2016 when they won Best Metal Performance for “Cirice”. See? I do listen to other genres once in a while.

In the end, music can be more than just a song on the radio and it can move people, and it can inspire and have a message but… it has to be good music to begin with. It has to have a measure of talent and be a bop or a banger or basically a hit that you enjoy listening to, not just a vehicle for someone’s agenda. I’m not saying it can’t carry with it some sort of message, but before it gets to your mind or your heart or your spirit, it must first be a delight to your ears. If it doesn’t manage that, no degree of production or featured collabs will make people want to listen to it.

Of course, the Grammys can do whatever they want. Just don’t try to sell me on the idea that awards are not a popularity contest, because that’s exactly what they are. Being nominated is an honour, winning says more about the voters than the actual nominees.

Coming up in the Calendar:

  • February 10: The 61st Annual Grammy Awards will be held on February 10, 2019, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. It will be broadcast on CBS at 8pm Eastern / 5pm Pacific. Taylor Swift’s Reputation is nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album.
  • March 14: The sixth annual iHeartRadio Music Awards returns Thursday, March 14, 2019 live on FOX at 8/7C. Taylor Swift’s video for “Delicate” is up for Best Music Video. Swifties are up for Best Fan Army presented by Taco Bell.

(Sources: GRAMMY.com, Entertainment Weekly)

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