Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIII, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

2012 Grammys bring mixed bag of nominees

On Sunday, Feb. 12, the 54th Grammy Awards, which annually honor the best of the music industry, will be presented at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

This year, Kanye West leads the pack of nominees with seven nominations, including Song of the Year for “All of the Lights,” a standout track from his 2010 album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Puzzlingly, the album did not receive a nomination for Album of the Year, though West also snagged multiple nominations for his work with Jay-Z on their collaborative album Watch the Throne.

Competitors for Album of the Year include Adele for her smash hit 21, Rihanna’s Loud and Lady Gaga’s wildly uneven Born This Way: an album that ultimately failed to live up to its surrounding hype. Also nominated were the Foo Fighters for Wasting Light and Bruno Mars’ uninspired Doo-Wops & Hooligans. From this list of nominees, Adele indisputably deserves to triumph.

The awards for Song of the Year, which honors the nominated tracks’ songwriters, and Record of the Year, given to performing artists, producers and mixers, share several of the same nominees. Adele’s blockbuster single “Rolling in the Deep,” Bruno Mars’ “Grenade,” Bon Iver’s gorgeous “Holocene” and Mumford & Sons’ “The Cave” each received nominations in both categories. Since today’s music world is so vast and diverse, the Grammys might do well to spread the wealth of nominations around a bit more. As it stands though, the tracks by Adele or Bon Iver would be fine choices.

The list for Best New Artist, another major category, ranges from rappers Nicki Minaj and J. Cole to dubstep producer Skrillex. Also nominated were The Band Perry and Bon Iver, who released his debut album four years ago, leading me to wonder how exactly the Grammys define “new.”

There are a few interesting surprises in the genre-specific categories, like the inclusion of Robyn’s Body Talk, Pt. 3 in Best Dance/Electronica Album and her single “Call Your Girlfriend” in Dance Recording. I also appreciated seeing one last nod to the late Amy Winehouse, whose cover of “Body and Soul” with Tony Bennett was nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.

Overall, this year’s Grammys lineup reflects a mix of commercial hits and critical darlings. Frustrating though they may be, the awards always provide entertaining speeches and memorable performances: including, this year, Adele’s comeback after vocal surgery last November. Whether you’re a Kanye fan or one of Gaga’s Little Monsters, the Grammys will no doubt give you something to talk about next Sunday.

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