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Grammy 2008 Winners - Grammy 2008 Winners

2008-02-11 17:29
Well, besides the usual winning suspects like corporate hip-hop con man Kanye West and tabloid headline whore Amy Winehouse there were a few surprises. For starters Herbie Hancock’s River: The Joni Letters won the prestigious Album of the Year Award. Say what? Yep. The legendary jazz pianist’s album of Joni Mitchell covers beat off Kanye’s Graduation, Amy’s Back to Black, The Foo Fighter’s Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace and Vince Gill’s These Days. Um, so does this mean that there’s been a seismic shift in the Grammy zeitgeist?

Well, good old-fashioned rock substance has definitely made a comeback: Bruce Springsteen, the Foo Fighters and the White Stripes all picked up awards. Meanwhile, Alicia Keys showed just why real old school soul will always have more shelf life than seasonally sexy booty babe R&B. Kudos also go to director Tony Kaye whose all-star video for Johnny Cash’s “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” cut the crap to give the deceased country legend a fitting goodbye. And then let’s not forget our own Soweto Gospel Choir who followed up last year’s success by walking away with the best Traditional World Music Album for their CD, African Spirit.

The Picks of the Grammy Winning Pack
Amy Winehouse
Four awards including song of the year for her cracked confessional "Rehab”, best pop vocal album for Back to Black, best female pop vocal and best new artist.
We said: old-fashioned soul by a rebellious modern girl with nice crunchy beats, moments of vulnerability, and lyrics written in a language that anyone angry and lovelorn might use.
- Read the review
- Listen to clips

Kanye West: 8 nominations, four awards: best rap album for Graduation; best rap solo performance for "Stronger"; best rap song for "Good Life" (with T-Pain) and best rap performance by a duo or group for his collaboration with Common on "Southside”.
We said: no need to Wiki, here’s a quickie: Graduation sold 957 000 copies in its first week on the shelves. This time he pushes the mainstream hip hop envelope even further by tapping into what sounds like some European slow motion techno beats.
- Read the review
- Listen to clips
Album of the Year: Herbie Hancock: River: The Joni Letters Legendary pianist continues to explore jazz’s possibilities as a pop idiom by inviting a star-studded cast including Norah Jones, Tina Turner, and Corrine Bailey Rae round to renovate Joni Mitchell’s songbook.

Bruce Springsteen
Best Rock Song: “Radio Nowhere”
Solo Rock Vocal Performance: “Radio Nowhere”
Best Rock Instrumental Performance: "Once Upon a Time in The West”.

Foo Fighters
Best Rock Album: Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace.
Hard Rock Performance: "The Pretender”.

Alternative Music Album: The White Stripes Icky Thump
Rock Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals: The White Stripes "Icky Thump”.
We said: Rock's most obsessive-compulsive pathologists curate a master class in retro rock forensics that maps the DNA shared by Ennio Morricone, the Queens of the Stone Age, Guns ‘n Roses and is that Little Richard lurking beneath Jack’s falsetto cry!?
- Read the review
- Listen to clips

Female R&B Vocal Performance: Alicia Keys
R&B Song: "No One"
We said: She’s still as street as ever, but also has a classy edge: she's now saying she IS a "Superwoman".
- Read the review
- Listen to clip

Cream of the rest of the Grammys crop
Best Short Form Video: Johnny Cash "God’s Gonna Cut You Down"
Video director: Tony Kaye; producer: Rachel Curl
- Watch the video

Rap/Sung Collaboration: Rihanna Featuring Jay-Z: "Umbrella”
We said: The change is not necessarily an improvement, but it proves she’s broadening her horizons.
- Read the review
- Listen to clip

Contemporary World Music Album: Angelique Kidjo: Djin Djin
We said: Kidjo gives Brit-soul babe Joss Stone a lesson in real funk on an extreme Afrobeat makeover of the Rolling Stones and gets jiggy with Ziggy Marley on jamming Diaspora duet before transforming Ravel’s “Bolero” into an iridescent vocal hymn. - Read the review
- Listen to clips

Electronic/Dance Album: The Chemical Brothers: We Are the Night.
We said: a well-aimed spray of strobing electro-house bullets, percolating indie-rock ballads and hardcore bubblegum dance-pop blow-ups.
- Read the review
- Listen to clips

Pop Instrumental Album: Beastie Boys The Mix-Up
- Read the review
- Listen to clips

Male Pop Vocal Performance: Justin Timberlake "What Goes Around...Comes Around”.
Dance Recording: "LoveStoned/I Think She Knows".
- Read the review

Full Grammy 2008 winners list at: Official Grammy Awards Site

Remember when Eminem infamously barked out that he couldn’t give a **** about a Grammy a few years back? Yes he promptly went on to win a bucket load of them himself, but he had a point. In a hyper-consumerist age of pre-fabricated pop product winning a Grammy Award doesn’t automatically mean your album is any good. Was this year’s 50th Grammy Awards any different?

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