It is the Holy Grail of awards in the music industry, yet every year we find ourselves with a furrowed brow and cartoon question marks hovering above our heads when the nominations are announced. Why do you do the crazy things you do, Grammys?! We have some questions for you.
Is Rock, In Fact, Dead?
If you go by the Grammy’s, the answer may be yes. What other reason could there be for “Best Rock Album” category to include Led Zeppelin’s “Celebration Day” performance album from their reunion concert in 2007 at London’s O2 Arena? Not to mention “Best Rock Performance” highlighting “Kashmir,” an epic and incredible song to be sure, but one released in 1975. While David Bowie, another oldie-but-goodie is also nominated for “The Stars Are Coming Out Tonight,” that song at least was released in the last year. Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath, and Neil Young are also on the ballot for various Grammy’s. While each are incredible rock legends, has the rock industry (save Imagine Dragons) entirely stopped creating new albums? Our fingers are crossed that Alabama Shakes gets a nod, with their modern Rolling Stones meets Motown sound.
Why Are New Artists Never New?
If you take a peek at the “Best New Artist” category, you might be a little surprised to find either Macklemore & Ryan Lewis or Ed Sheeran in it. Both have been on the music scene and creating albums for quite some time now. “Heist” in particular has been out since 2012 and before that, Macklemore released one mixtape, three EPs and two albums. Ed Sheeran’s debut album “+” has been out since 2011. Have the Grammy’s just dictated that you’re new until popular? Which leads us to our next question about a notably new AND popular artist who is missing…
Why Isn’t Lorde Up For Best New Artist?
At the ripe age of 17 and after debuting her EP “Love Club” and album “Pure Heroin” (more or less) in the last year, and having her hit single “Royals” on nearly every radio station you can imagine for months, her lack of inclusion in the “Best New Artist” category is stark. That’s not to say that she’s been left out—our favorite teen queen has four other nominations including “Record of the Year” and “Song of the Year” among others. It just goes to highlight the discrepancy and oddity of choices for “New Artists.” Click HERE for the Grammys’ official description on what qualifies someone as “Best New Artist.” Odd, right?
Does Having A Song On The Radio Make It Good?
I naively thought that having an award show about music meant the nominations needed to be good, not just a hit. Sure there are a ton of songs that I love this year that did pretty well on the charts and maybe one of them has been nominated for a Grammy. I know that my taste in music doesn’t determine what is good, but at the very least can SOMEONE pick a song that wasn’t played over and over on the radio until we got so sick of it we changed the station to NPR? I mean, does a song have to be in the top ten for it to be good? Maybe that’s what the Grammy’s are now, just a popularity contest. ‘Cause I don’t care how many times I hear it I do NOT like Robin Thicke’s hit song “Blurred Lines,” And as much as it pains me to say, just because JT, Katy Perry, or Beyonce (who I ADORE) made a song I love doesn’t mean it’s Grammy material.
Why Are People Surprised By Sara Bareilles?
While I’ll start out by saying I am a HUGE Sara fan and admittedly a bit biased, I am surprised (genuinely) at the amount of publications and music fans who were utterly shocked at her “Album of the Year” nomination. While “The Blessed Unrest” may not have charted as high as “Yeezus,” “Pure Heroine,” or “The 20/20 Experience,” the album is good. Like… really good. In fact, everything this singer-songwriter-pianist does is fantastically crafted and well thought out. She has been on the scene for a while and while her singles have defined (read: limited) her in the mind of the public, I strongly urge you to listen her full albums and tell me this girl doesn’t deserve it. Funny how the media freaks out when “less than worthy” music is nominated and yet seems shocked when someone who is immensely talented yet not necessarily as commercially popular as the usual suspects gets a nod. I support you, Sara, even though I am not quite sure you can beat out my girl T-Swift and her smash album “Red.”
Why is the Eligibility Cut-Off Date So Early?
A lot of our questions about who is/isn’t nominated and why can be answered by the eligibility requirements a song, album or artist must meet in order to be considered for a Grammy. This year, music must have been released between Oct. 1, 2012, and Sept. 30, 2013, to be eligible. A single from the album may be considered if it dropped before the cut-off date. This loophole, in my opinion, this eliminates some of the years best albums. Namely, Miley Cyrus’ “Bangerz,” Eminem’s “The Marshall Mathers LP 2,” and Beyonce’s self-titled smash secret release. Other artists who are considered not eligible for the 56th Grammys? Britney Spears, Panic! At the Disco, Childish Gambino, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga (though no one is picketing the lack of “ARTPOP” noms, this year.) While all will be eligible for NEXT year’s awards, by then it’s sort of like… so 2013 of them.