Grammy Nomination Recap | New and old equally represented as Grammy nominees
Published: Friday, December 7, 2012
Updated: Friday, December 7, 2012 00:12
Yesterday, hosts Taylor Swift and LL Cool J announced the 55th annual Grammy Award nominees. This year saw a wide variety of popular and lesser known acts receiving an approving nod from the organization. No particular group dominated the nominations, either — Frank Ocean, Jay-Z, Mumford & Sons, Kanye West, Dan Auerbach and fun. all were equally well represented.
In one of the bigger shocks of the evening, no women were nominated for “Album of the Year,” the Grammy’s highest honor. Frank Ocean, fun., Mumford & Sons, The Black Keys and Jack White were all nominated instead. While those five acts are extremely deserving of the honor, it’s strange that talented women like Fiona Apple and Florence and the Machine got snubbed. It’s a strange outcome that points more toward a mistake by the Grammys rather than the quality of music women have made this year.
It was a pleasant surprise to see Frank Ocean, who earlier this year publically opened up about his same-sex attraction, receive all the acclaim he deserved. These past few weeks the internet was buzzing about whether the usually conservative Grammys would still recognize his talent after his personal announcement. With Ocean earning nominations for “Album of the Year,” “Record of the Year” and “Best New Artist,” it seems like the Grammys have a lot of admiration for the young R&B singer-songwriter no matter what his orientation is.
Another nice surprise in the “Album of the Year” category was the inclusion of Jack White’s solo debut, “Blunderbuss” (2012). While White has always been a Grammy favorite as the lead singer and guitarist of The White Stripes, it was unclear how his Meg White-less debut would be received. It seems that the Grammys have still found much to love in his folky-rock productions.
“Record of the Year” also saw some expected and unanticipated nominees. Frank Ocean’s haunting and beautiful single, “Thinkin Bout You,” got a nod alongside Taylor Swift’s fun and simple, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” Throw in Gotye’s ubiquitous hit, “Somebody that I Used to Know,” fun.’s power anthem “We Are Young” and Kelly Clarkson’s infectious “Stronger” and it’s truly anyone’s award to win.
In an odd move, the Grammys mostly nominated pop songs this year, ignoring rap, country, electronic and hard rock tracks in the category. Either way, this year’s “Record of the Year” nominees are highly deserving of the honor they have received.
The “Song of the Year” category, which differs from “Record of the Year” in that the “Song” award is only about songwriting and melody rather than the finished track, saw the Grammys spreading its love around. Ed Sheeran’s “A Team,” Miguel’s “Adorn,” Carly Rae Jepson’s “Call Me Maybe,” fun.’s “We Are Young” and Clarkson’s “Stronger” all were included in the nominations. The category saw a nice mix of smash hits like “Call Me Maybe” and “We Are Young” with smaller yet no less talented works, like Sheeran’s emotional ballad and Miguel’s soulful jam.
The “Best New Artist” category has the Grammys rewarding the new musicians who have wowed the industry. Many of these acts will be the future stars of the industry and this Grammy will be one of the first recognitions of their tremendous talents. The much adorned Frank Ocean and fun. got nominations along with Hunter Hayes, The Lumineers and Alabama Shakes. While Ocean and fun. are currently the favorites, this category has seen numerous surprises in the past, so it could truly go to any of the nominees.
While the excitement over this week’s nominations continues, these artists and their fans will have to wait all the way until 2013 to see who walks away with the big prizes. With the incredible talent of this year’s nominations, it’s unlikely to go to an undeserving act.