Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Frown on SMiLE
Well, they shafted him again, for the most part. But what else is new? "SMiLE" got 3 Grammy nominations, for Best Pop Vocal Album, Best Rock Instrumental Performance, and Best Production (Non-Classical). The nominations were dominated by Kanye West, who got 10 nods. I'm okay with that. Also okay with Green Day getting 6 and Alicia Keys getting 8. And Velvet Revolver snagging 3. And it's good to see Bjork and the Killers get recognized. Not so okay with Usher getting 8. That's all about commercialism. Nobody can honestly think "Confessions" is a better album than "SMiLE." It's impossible. Unless you've suffered from brain damage. Or your name is Usher. Which is probably one and the same for him. The 7 noms for Ray Charles are also a bit excessive. Yes, he died this year and deserves to be recognized for his career. But his new album is nowhere near his best work. Brian Wilson better hope he puts out an album the year he passes away... that's probably the only way he'll be properly recognized.
A few years ago, people complained that the RIAA was out-of-touch with modern tastes (I think it culminated with Steely Dan winning Album of the Year in 2000). Now the pendulum has swung too far the other way to overcompensate. The nominations were overwhelmingly given to the biggest sellers of the year, not necessarily the best-quality music. Let's hope that academy members at least vote for quality when choosing winners from these nominations... it'd be a welcome change.

No comments: