Remember tex-mex rockers Los Lonely Boys, for instance, who did so well in 2005? No? Yes? No - they don't feature on this year's CD and neither were they nominated for anything.
But Kanye West, U2, Seal and other artists with the particular brand of class that appeals to the Grammy voters show their faces again and again. In U2's case, they show up to win big this time. In Kanye West's case to pick up honours he's deserved for a while now. Maroon Five still get a mention - they sure know how to make one album go a long way...
Newly listed artists that really show promise? Deathcab for Cutie, and Franz Ferdinand.
Returning heroes? White Stripes, Neil Young, Beck, Stevie Wonder, Coldplay, Mariah Carey, Bruce Springsteen, Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney (although arguably with the worst track on his recent otherwise wonderful album.) And of course Gorillaz, who managed to score only Best Collaboration for "Feel Good Inc." (feat. De La Soul), despite writing an album both unusual and catchy, which may arguably have pushed pop somewhere entirely new. Noticeably missing from this group: Kanye West, who dispite amazing achievements in the last few years, many nominations, and a win Best Rap Solo Performance, doesn't even get one lousy track on this compilation.
And then there's the usual collection of newish stars who may or may not make it through to another year of glory. Like John Legend with "Ordinary People" - will those vocals really keep their appeal? Or Rascal Flatt's Elton John regurgitation "Bless The Broken Road". Or Kelly Clarkson's screamy-teeny but infuriatingly catchy "Since You've Been Gone". This year, their crazed fans will deal out death threats if a critic dares crit the current cute magazine cover babes. Next year, their crazed fans will have been told by brainwashing radio playlists exactly which new set of stars are "THE BEST EVER AND DON'T YOU DARE BE NASTY OR I LIKE TO WATCH YOU FALL AND BRAKE YOUR LEGZ AND DIE!!!"
Well, er... thank you for your feedback, as the amp said to the microphone.
And then there are those who didn't make it onto the Nominees CD because they didn't fit too well with the prevailing tone. Like "B.Y.O.B." by System of a Down - a violent exhilarating anti-war protest track. The compilation is also pretty thin on RnB and Hip Hop, which lost a bit of ground in the Grammys generally. Last year, Hip Hop WAS pop.
This year singer-songwriters are big again, and this makes for a pleasing playlist on the whole, and a generous sprinkling of the music by the experienced big stars of the past as well as some rather average offerings that merely sound fashionable.
- Jean Barker
Grammys 2005: who did you like last year?Grammys 2004: and the year before that?Grammys 2003: and the year before that?
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