Everything you wanted to know, and more
//JJ Brewis, Art Director

This year's Grammy nominees are the same as most years: predictable, typical and lackluster. However, this year there are a few exceptions. Here is a break down of 2011's Grammy Nominations, which will be presented this Sunday.

RECORD OF THE YEAR: Make no mistake, despite it being over a year old, "Empire State of Mind" by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys deserve to take this one. The other tracks in this category verge on unlistenable, like Eminem and Rihanna's "Love The Way You Lie". By attempting to tackle heavy issues, they earned major points among critics, but the song fails to live up to the hype. Other entries include the cute but flash-in-the-pan "Fuck You" by Cee-Lo Green, and one of the sappiest bro-raps in recent history, "Nothin' On You" by B.o.B. with Bruno Mars.

ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Though catchy, Katy Perry's Teenage Dream has many weak points, as does Eminem's Recovery which is only heavy on the hits. The true front runners here are The Suburbs, Arcade Fire's mainstream breakout, and Lady Gaga's eight-song epic The Fame Monster. In previous years, “underground” artists have been defeated in this category by the big pop phenom of the time, such as Beck losing out to Celine Dion in 1997. Arcade Fire have a chance at glory here, but it’s unlikely they will conquer Gaga, pop music's biggest force.

BEST NEW ARTIST: Given the pathetic state of the Grammy track record, this year will likely go to the wonder boy, Justin Bieber. Despite the inclusion of decent talent in the category (Drake, Florence & The Machine), nobody has sold this many albums, sticker books and nail polishes than Usher's main squeeze J Biebs. And sales are what really matter in any creative field, right?

BEST MALE POP VOCAL: Will the Grammy committee give Michael Jackson a pity posthumous award for "This Is It", in apology for failing to reward anything in his career post-Thriller? It's likely. Others in the running include fedora-wearing Bruno Mars, and America's least favourite good-boy gone bad-girl, Adam Lambert. Jackson is likely to squash them all from beneath the grave.

BEST FEMALE POP VOCAL: It's a battle between two of the biggest songs in recent history: Perry's “Teenage Dream" and Gaga's "Bad Romance." While "Dream" was the sun-shining anthem of last summer, "Romance" has enough kick and innovation to become a true winner. Joining the ranks of other worthy wins for the category are "Since U Been Gone" and "Halo".

BEST POP VOCAL ALBUM: Gaga, hands down. Unless the voting committee is somehow made up of 75-year old Susan Boyle fans, 16-year-old Bieber fans, middle-aged dudes wanting to watch Katy Perry's cleavage during her acceptance speech, or… well, who the fuck would vote for John Mayer anyway?

BEST DANCE RECORDING: Every nominee in this category is amazing. Swedish darling Robyn excelled in 2010, and both La Roux and Goldfrapp have solid offerings. Gaga is oddly up for a non-single, which seems unlikely to win. This one's probably going to Rihanna for "Only Girl (In The World)" which is one of the most heard and acceptable dance songs of the past decade.

BEST RAP SOLO PERFORMANCE: Kanye's "Power" runs circles around the category’s other major players, "Over" (Drake) and "Not Afraid" (Eminem), and given that it was the only piece of his newest album released in time for Grammy consideration, it looks like we are going to be treated again to a majorly self indulgent acceptance speech. What else are award shows good for anyway?

BEST ALTERNATIVE ALBUM: The one token “alternative” album category happens to include five of the more mainstream artists in recent pop and rock history. Aside from that, there are some great offerings here, from Vampire Weekend to The Black Keys. Considering Arcade Fire is also up for some major awards, though, they have this one before the ceremony event starts.


To be fair, I have not heard much of Chris Brown's Graffiti. However, what I have heard of it blows hard. And the cover is a rip-off of that movie Cool World, which, as Editor-in-Chief Giles Roy says, it is in itself "a rip-off of Roger Rabbit but way worse." Ouch. But he won't win. He can't. Right? Promise me he won't. It's not even the fact that he's a woman beater. Not that it helps, but really, it's more than that. Beating women obviously sucks, but has nothing to do with music. Well, nothing to do with making good music, if Chris Brown has anything to say. But this award, hands down, should go to Janelle MonĂ¡e’s The ArchAndroid, by far one of the best and most underrated albums of last year. R. Kelly is also up for this award. Janelle, you are either destined to become a convict, or just in a category with some bad, bad asses.


Everyone in this category apparently thinks they're up for wackiest name: RedOne? Dr. Luke? The Smeezingtons? Dr. Luke likely has this one with most of 2010's biggest hits to his credit, such as "TiK ToK", "California Gurls", and "For Your Entertainment". RedOne, the man behind most of Gaga's The Fame Monster, has a claim here as well, though that is nearly negated by his hand on both Enrique Iglesias's "I Like It" as well as that God-awful re-do of "We Are The World". Boooo. Yep. Those are your choices, people. Don't even get me started on the one person in this category with a “normal” name. He happens to be the only person in this category to produce an Uncle Kracker song.


Kathy Griffin. Robin Williams. Margaret Cho. These three individuals each have a chance to win a fucking Grammy? In a perfect world, they wouldn't even have a chance to win on a scratch ticket. Luckily, it's almost guaranteed they won't play this category on television. I couldn't stomach any of them standing up and rambling nonsensical rabble for five minutes. They should just give this award to Susan Boyle and be done with it.


And the Grammy goes to Cookin' by Tortilla Family. Or there is no hope in the world.


Don't get me wrong. Honestly, I love Glee. But should they beat Sade's "Babyfather" with their cover of "Don't Stop Believin"? Fuck no. Will they? Probably. Actually, no. In a matter of out-worsting, I'm pretty sure Train will win with their unfortunate comeback tune "Hey Soul Sister". It would have been funny if the Glee cover of that song was nominated in the same category and won. You know it's going to happen sooner or later. They will probably cover Kanye West's “Monster” and it will beat him next year in the same category he's nominated for, and he will go onstage and knock Lea Michelle offstage with a Grammy. Now that would be a dynamic Grammy moment.


How the fuck is Johnny Cash nominated for this? Didn't he die in like 1972? Why don't we just nominate goddamned Bach for this one? Yeah, maybe I'm biased (Little Monster tattoo included), but if Gaga doesn't win this one, I'll eat my Monster Ball beach towel. Seriously, though, the only other nominees are Cee-Lo Green for a video that mostly focuses on how his teeth are far whiter than everyone else's, and that dumb Eminem/Rihanna duet which is nominated for prominently featuring Megan Fox's, um, “best assets.” Oh, and that Gorillaz video. If anything is allowed to beat Gaga, it's this. It has Bruce Willis!

//JJ Brewis, Art Director

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