The Grammys have always been one of music’s biggest nights, honoring the best of the best in all genres.
But when looking over the nominees for this year, it seems the Recording Academy, the organization in charge of choosing the winners for the Grammys, honored more of radio’s top hits rather than taking an expansive look at the industry.
While the success of Fun. is deserving of recognition in this year’s award show, the abundance of nominations the band has received — six in total — is a bit excessive. With only two relevant singles — “We Are Young” and “Some Nights” — propelling the album’s popularity, the rest of the album is mediocre at best and not very deserving of an Album of the Year nod.
There are plenty of albums and artists that are much more deserving — take Lionel Richie’s “Tuskegee,” for example,which included duets with country crooners like Shania Twain, Blake Shelton and longtime friend Kenny Rogers. While “Tuskegee” is not the best album of 2012, its content proves to be more substantial and creative than most of this year’s Album of the Year nominees.
The Recording Academy also dropped the ball on a potential Grammy sweeper — the popular indie-pop songstress Lana Del Rey.
Del Rey did not receive any nominations this year, but her “Born To Die” album, as well as its “Paradise” expansion, continues to prove successful on the Billboard charts, placing currently at 47 and peaking in the second spot, according to the Billboard 200 chart.
Del Rey fits the profile of someone who would have followed Adele’s footsteps in filling her mantle with tons of gold trophies. Her vocal and songwriting talents are uncanny, making her a better, more deserving candidate for Album of the Year and Record/Song of the Year for the singles “Ride” or “Blue Jeans.”
While some may find her music to be somber or depressing, one can’t ignore the pure raw talent she emits.
Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” may have had radio listeners everywhere loving or hating the track, but the recognition for Song of the Year is a bit baffling. Sure, the songwriters did a decent job penning the lyrics, but it’s hardly worth a Grammy nomination to recognize it.
However, Jepsen’s snub for the Best New Artist category is concerning, considering the hit song pushed Jepsen into the pop music spotlight. She could have easily fit in with the young crowd that occupies the category, including country musician Hunter Hayes and breakthrough artist Frank Ocean.
Kelly Clarkson and P!nk are the main female frontrunners this year, but with the two femme fatales aside, the representation of women in music is slim this year.
For Album of the Year, for example, there are no female nominees — Del Rey's "Born To Die," Rihanna's "Talk That Talk" and Miranda Lambert's "Four the Record" were just a few of the slew of great albums produced by female musicians.
Rihanna and Lambert both received nods in their respective genres but were ignored when it came to the overall categories. Why?
Perhaps the Recording Academy was looking for an unorthodox, hodgepodge collection of pop-rock nominations this year that they left out the more deserving candidates.
Hopefully, next year's nominee selectors will get out of the mainstream radio rut and honor true musicianship.