The 52nd Annual Grammy Awards just announced their nominees. As usual, most of them are god-awful to mediocre artists who happen to sell a ton of records, which apparently is part of the Grammys’ criteria for judging what’s good and what’s not.
This year, there isn’t a single album or song nominated for Best Album or Best Record that deserves the recognition. (Some might argue for Kings of Leon, but—when it comes to the quality of their output—the band has been on a steady downward arc since its promising debut EP Holy Roller Novacaine. The main problem along the way? They bought into their own hard-partying-rock-star hype, lost sight of the music and ended up caricatures of themselves—a mere shell of what they might’ve been.)
When—as is the case with this year’s big-category nominees—Lady GaGa is artistic the pinnacle of your options, you’ve got a problem.
But I suppose I’m preaching to the choir with most of you Paste readers. By now, you know not to expect too much from the Grammys. Of course, there are the occasional bright spots. And that’s what the list below is all about. We’ve gone through every Grammy category, spotlighting all the artists who actually deserved a nod—even if it was occasionally in the wrong category. (Wilco—Americana? Neko Case—Contemporary Folk? Hi-larious.)
SONG OF THE YEAR
• Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) - Thaddis Harrell, Beyoncé Knowles, Terius Nash & Christopher Stewart, songwriters (Beyoncé) – I don’t exactly consider Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” to be one of the best songs of the year, but it’s certainly one of the year’s best pop songs—danceable and catchy as can be, the tune even has something worthwhile to say.
BEST NEW ARTIST
• Silversun Pickups (A little late for “new artist,” considering they had two top 10 Billboard Modern Rock singles on their 2006 debut—but, hey, who’s counting?)
• The Ting Tings