I am sure you have been abuzz over the past week about the Grammy nominations. In my previous life I was not very interested in this process, but since I have become obsessed with Rihanna and Bon Iver, I felt that I had to follow my allegiance through to the end of this year. I even purchased Talk That Talk, and I have not purchased an album since I was 14. In general I think the selections are on point, though I don’t understand why Bruno Mars is all over the place. I’ve offered some commentary and a decisive stance on the Song of the Year Nominees, but I would love to hear what you all think!
1. Rolling in the Deep––Adele
Adele has done so much for the female image in the music industry. As disappointing as it may be, her video is a testament to her miraculous voice. Less talented singers can get by dancing around in CGI sparkledom, but Adele has no need of glittery facades. She is probably the best pop singer out there right now, and of all the pop princesses I think only Christina Aguleria would be able to perform this (and it wouldn’t be as good). It is a spectacular song.
2. Grenade––Bruno Mars
I also have a soft spot in my heart for Bruno Mars. I listened to “Just the Way You Are” every few days in Russia, usually when walking back from the gym at 7:30am in the blackest darkness and howlingest wind. Or maybe it was One Republic’s “Good Life”? My problem with these pop boys is that their voices all sound the same and their songs are indistinguishable. I am totally into the first 12 seconds of “Grenade”, but then I become bored with the weak instrumentalization and screamo-ballad style.
3. Holocene––Bon Iver
I am going to go with Bon Iver for best new artist (though it pains me to choose between him and Nikki Minaj) because he brings emo to a whole new level (in a good way). There should be a category for “Hot New Devastatingly Poignant Rendering of Life”, because this song, and the video as well, hits one something benevolent but haunting.
4. The Cave––Mumford and Sons
As we all know by this point, I am a fan of bizarre music videos. This one is borderline, but maybe a little too Beatles-y. The song is epic, and definitely one of my favorites from this year. The song is not too impressive from a lyrical point of view, but they do a great job with the instrumentals and tempo to make the song exciting the whole way through. I am discovering that my qualifications for a good song are technical intricacy, uniqueness, and the ability to capture something complicated in 3 minutes.
5. All of the Lights––Kanye West
These songs are all spectacular, but I am going to have to stick with Kanye on this one. All of the Lights is a very significant song to me, as is the entire My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy album (I listened to it at least 20 times in one week while visiting MissDre in Egypt last fall), and continued to make it my go-to workout/inspiration album. It features my other two favorite artists: Rihanna and Kid Cudi. Sometimes simplicity is genius, and the idea of lights representing cities, life, death, and crime in this song is on point. Kanye’s vocal progressions are insane––something that Adele uses in an interesting and unique way Kanye blows out of the universe. This piece of art isn’t just a song, it is the definition of our stardom in 2011. It is 2011. (Though I do wish it had a better video––this one is not epileptic-friendly!).
I hope you agree.