Anyone who listened to music in 2011 can tell you that the mainstream was utter crap. 2011 was one of the worst years in terms of popular music and while rock music had a great comeback in my opinion, this was a bad year for pop and rap.
Adele's success is mostly a byproduct of her overwhelming talent, great songwriting and the fact she had little competition. Adele is a talented singer well beyond her years and her success shows that people were yearning for something real. That's why she sold 4 million here and that's why she'll be cleaning house at the Grammys - in a year of mostly crap, she rose to the top like her rich voice soars over those tracks.
I'm disappointed she only had six nominations. I expected 10. But she'll be winning nearly all of them. Album and Song of the Year are practically giftwrapped for her
AOTY Field is: Foo Fighters, Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga and Rihanna. Just stop with that noise. Stop!! This is proof 2011 was terrible. Bruno Mars' joint is over a year old. Rihanna??? Almost a travesty as putting Katy Perry here last year.
I am SHOCKED Kanye West didn't get nominated for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Yes I said that album barely got a listen from me but with all of its accolades, I'm shocked he didn't get a nod. Almost like they said "Hey Kanye, we'll give you the most nominations, just don't hate us for not giving you a 4th time to be screwed for AOTY"
Speaking of Katy, who voted her weak singing behind for Record of the Year? Really??? C'mon son.
Kanye got love for Song of the Year for "All of the Lights" but again, outside of Adele, who really deserves this? "Grenade" has more sap in it than a maple tree and I like Bruno Mars and his talent, but that song was pure cheese.
Who listens to Bon Iver away from MBDTF??? Not this guy.
As for Mumford & Sons, I listened to "The Cave" and liked its simplicity. Decent song but if a year old song is worthy to be on the list, that doesn't say much for competition. They are another British act who is getting mucho praise for doing American music.
But I know what y'all are waiting for. Me to bury the Rap Categories with that typical Virgo anger. Let's go and dive into this garbage.
Is it a sad year for hip hop that Chris Brown had a song in the category? Yes Busta Rhymes destroyed that verse but cmon. Chris Brown is not a rapper. NOT a rapper. Guess he really is amping like Bobby Brown.
It's no surprise that the most hyped artists got recognized. Watch The Throne was gonna get love. "Otis" got way too much love for a poorly chopped sample and Jay-Z's boring cadence. Nicki Minaj got her love but I'm so disappointed she couldn't rap the words to the most famous hook in rap history when LL passed her the mic.
No love for "Ghetto Dreams" - a brilliant song with Common and Nas traded back lines like it's 1994 but still fresh. Same with Nasir's "Nasty" or The Roots "Make My" from what's shaping to be an instant classic album.
And yes, I'm not surprised Lupe Fiasco got love for Lasers. It's an inconsistent album as I've said but you know they won't going to give "Words I Never Said" a Grammy nomination. Even though that's one of the hardest singles in recent memory.
Rap was so weak that the best albums included mixtapes. Grammy wasn't going to reward Kendrick Lamar, Phonte or any of the other guys who crafted great albums. It's a terrible nomination year and it shows why the mainstream was disappointing. J. Cole should be getting props for getting nominated for Best New Artist but his album was such a bore.
Congrats to Foster the People (who somehow didn't get a Best New Artist nod). Congrats to the amazing duet between Cee-Lo and Melanie Fiona, Marsha Ambrosius and "All of the Lights" dominating most of the rap categories. But you gotta admit it, wouldn't it have been funny to see Tyler, the Creator get nominated just to see how wild Odd Future would've acted up there?
(Speaking of which: I'm surprised Frank Ocean didn't nominated in the R&B category for "Novocaine" - as good as any R&B song I heard in the mainstream.)
Once again, though. The Grammy nominations will continue to be warped with this eligibility period (October of the previous year to September of the current year). This hurts albums released in the last quarter of the year - typically when most good albums are released to roll into Christmas sales. If they aren't honored the year of their release, they'll most likely either be forgotten in the next year or get honored ahead of something more deserving.
This is why I've said the Grammy eligibility period should be from January 1 to early December. Start sending out ballots in November and host the Grammy concert in late January. It'd push the ceremony back to February but so what. If they care about being legitimate, let's speed the voting process up since it'd force people to start thinking in advance.
Also, let more music critics vote instead of just award winners. The committee consistently is out of touch with them, let alone catering too hard to the public. That's just simple changes besides Grammy cutting down a bunch of categories.
But the star of the show will be Adele. In a year where I haven't seen anyone dominate like her since Usher in 2004, she deserves everything she gets. I hope she finds good things to write about for her next album so it's not all depressing but the way she sings her pain is endearing. She soared above the mediocrity this year and she should be honored as such even with mediocre company in the nominees.
Get that voice right, Ms. Adkins. You got a Grammy performance and award speeches to get ready for. You blew me away a few years ago on the stage and now I'm happy to see you do it again.