For once, the Grammy committees have gotten it just about right. Not one single nomination for the junk that Justin Bieber has foisted on the world. Five really good choices for Album of the Year from Mumford and Sons (my choice to win), Black Keys (excellent), Frank Ocean (cutting edge), Fun (stupid pop), and Jack White (real rock). Plus “Call Me Maybe” is the Song of the Year- Ken Ehrlich should make the entire audience become a flash mob at the Staples Center. And Record of the Year is “Somebody That I Used to Know.”
It’s interesting that the Best Pop Solo category– now gender free–is all women. I’m a little disappointed that One Direction’s “You Know You’re Beautiful” didn’t make Best Group Performance. That may be taking the bubblegum backlash too far.
Best New Artists are actually five good acts. There’s no junk, Bruce Springsteen got a couple of important nods. They certainly had to nominate Bruce since he’s the MusiCares Person of the Year two nights earlier. But these nominees, plus near likely appearances by Justin Timberlake, maybe the Rolling Stones, and a few others could make this Grammy show next February one of the best in history. And no Bieber means a triumph of substance over inanity. He can stay home and work on his haircut or drive his borrowed $100,000 sports car around Beverly Hills.
Big snubs: Paul McCartney’s “Kisses on the Bottom,” John Mayer’s “Born and Raised,” Lionel Richie’s “Tuskegee,” albums by matchbox twenty, Green Day, and No Doubt. I have never heard “Adorn,” by Miguel’ but I’ll check it out right away.
Record Of The Year:
“Lonely Boy” — The Black Keys
“Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” — Kelly Clarkson
“We Are Young” — Fun. featuring Janelle Monáe
“Somebody That I Used To Know” — Gotye featuring Kimbra
“Thinkin Bout You” — Frank Ocean
“We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” — Taylor Swift
Album Of The Year:
El Camino — The Black Keys
Some Nights — Fun.
Babel — Mumford & Sons
Channel Orange — Frank Ocean
Blunderbuss — Jack White
Song Of The Year:
“The A Team” — Ed Sheeran, songwriter (Ed Sheeran)
“Adorn” — Miguel Pimentel, songwriter (Miguel)
“Call Me Maybe” — Tavish Crowe, Carly Rae Jepsen & Josh Ramsay, songwriters (Carly Rae Jepsen)
“Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” — Jörgen Elofsson, David Gamson, Greg Kurstin & Ali Tamposi, songwriters (Kelly Clarkson)
“We Are Young” — Jack Antonoff, Jeff Bhasker, Andrew Dost & Nate Ruess, songwriters (Fun. featuring Janelle Monáe)
Best New Artist:
Following is a sampling of nominations in the GRAMMY Awards’ other 29 Fields:
For Best Pop Solo Performance, the nominees are “Set Fire To The Rain (Live)” by Adele; “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” by Kelly Clarkson; “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen; “Wide Awake” by Katy Perry; and “Where Have You Been” by Rihanna.
The nominees for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance are “Shake It Out” by Florence & The Machine; “We Are Young” by Fun. featuring Janelle Monáe; “Somebody That I Used To Know” by Gotye featuring Kimbra; “Sexy And I Know It” by LMFAO; and “Payphone” by Maroon 5 & Wiz Khalifa.
For Best Dance/Electronica Album, the nominees are Wonderland by Steve Aoki; Don’t Think by the Chemical Brothers; > Album Title Goes Here < by Deadmau5; Fire & Ice by Kaskade; and Bangarang by Skrillex.
The nominees for Best Rock Performance are “Hold On” by Alabama Shakes; “Lonely Boy” by the Black Keys; “Charlie Brown” by Coldplay; “I Will Wait” by Mumford & Sons; and “We Take Care Of Our Own” by Bruce Springsteen.
For Best Alternative Music Album, the nominees are The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than The Driver Of The Screw And Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do by Fiona Apple; Biophilia by Björk; Making Mirrors by Gotye; Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming. by M83; and Bad As Me by Tom Waits.
The nominees for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration are “Wild Ones” by Flo Rida featuring Sia; “No Church In The Wild” by Jay-Z & Kanye West featuring Frank Ocean & The-Dream; “Tonight (Best You Ever Had)” by John Legend featuring Ludacris; “Cherry Wine” by Nas featuring Amy Winehouse; and “Talk That Talk” by Rihanna featuring Jay-Z.
For Best Country Album, the nominees are Uncaged by Zac Brown Band; Hunter Hayes by Hunter Hayes; Living For A Song: A Tribute To Hank Cochran by Jamey Johnson; Four The Record by Miranda Lambert; and The Time Jumpers by the Time Jumpers.
The nominees for Best Americana Album are The Carpenter by the Avett Brothers; From The Ground Up by John Fullbright; The Lumineers by the Lumineers; Babel by Mumford & Sons; and Slipstream by Bonnie Raitt.
This year’s Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical nominations go to Dan Auerbach, Jeff Bhasker, Diplo, Markus Dravs, and Salaam Remi.