The 2013 Grammy Awards were announced Wednesday and this might be the year where the voters became cool or, at least, modern. Yeah...modern is more accurate as nominating "Someone That I Used to Know" for Record of the Year can not possibly classify anything as being cool (looking at you, Urban Outfitters and Gap customers). This year, however, has brought forth many surprise nominations including those of Odd Future's Frank Ocean. I withdraw my earlier comment as the Grammy voters might be cool but they did vote for "Call Me Maybe" for Song of the Year so...
Still, Frank Ocean received four nominations for the exceptionally brilliant Channel Orange (which almost makes up for not being nominated for "Novacane" or "Swim Good" last year) and one of which is for Album of Year alongside The Black Keys (El Camino) and Jack White (Blunderbuss). This goes along with the pair of nominations he also received for the Watch the Throne track, "No Church in the Wild." So, this means that Odd Future will be present on Grammy Night and, quite possibly, on stage with Frank Ocean when he wins an award (which he will more than likely do). Ladies and gentlemen, this, probably, will be the best Grammy moment since Ol' Dirty Bastard interrupted Shawn Colvin, Jewel wore that see through dress or Jennifer Lopez wore her sexy green dress.
Despite seeing artists like Ocean, the Black Keys and Jack White receive nominations in the bigger categories and Fiona Apple, Tom Waits, The Roots and Bjork in the smaller categories, one can not help but still wonder...where is Beach House or Kendrick Lamar. All of whom released critically acclaimed albums this year with favorable numbers on Metacritic. Bloom by Beach House is almost 10 points higher (reviewed more favorably) than Alternative Album of the Year, Gotye's Making Mirrors. While Take Care by Drake was awarded with mostly favorable reviews, it sits at a mere 78 out of 33 reviews on Metacritc while Good Kid, M.A.D.D. City by Kendrick Lamar averaged 91 out of 100 with only 30 reviews. This means that with three less reviews, critics liked Lamar's album far more. This is to wonder if voters are still looking at the popularity side of things in terms of sales which more than likely they still are.
In terms of picking Record or Song of the Year, by all means, base it on sales, airplay and whatever else as buying singles does not have the same meaning as they 15 or more years ago and with Spotify and iTunes, airplay is what it is as well. So selling a single in 2012 is a huge deal as in the technological music age, the songs are usually just as disposable as the MP3's they come as. When I, however, think of an album of the year, I expect to see best that specific genres and music, overall, have to offer.
I know I complain every year about this and I suppose that I will keep complaining until I die but there really needs to be a better balance of what constitutes a nomination. Somehow, as usual, I got off track. So I will end this with a congratulations to the nominees and wonder why Gotye and Carly Rae Jepsen were not nominated for Best New Artist. Hey, if Blues Traveler could get nominated for that despite being four major label albums into their career, there is absolutely no reason for not offering these two up to the gods of music's yesteryear. This rant really got off track so I will end it with this...Frank Ocean!