Macklemore & Ryan Lewis might win ALL the Grammys this year.
The 2014 Grammy nominations are here, and here’s what you need to know: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis swept with seven nominations, many of which were in major categories (Song Of The Year, Album Of The Year, Best New Artist), while other top nominees included Justin Timberlake, Pharrell, Jay Z, and Kendrick Lamar.
Taylor Swift also pulled in two nominations for Album Of The Year and Best Country Album, and everybody’s favorite New Zealand teenage wunderkind Lorde nabbed four awards for Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year, Best Pop Solo Performance, and Best Pop Vocal Album (though many are curious why she didn’t get a Best New Artist nom). Other surprises? Arguably underrated piano-pop singer Sara Bareilles got a nom for Album Of The Year!
Now that we know who’s nominated for what, we wanted the opinion of industry experts and artists, including Maura Magazine editor Maura Johnston, Fuse writer Jason Newman, and Grammy-nominated artist Morgan Kibby, aka White Sea: Who got snubbed this year? Who deserves their nominations? Did the Grammy voters play fair? Which 2014 Grammy nominees were total shockers? And which Grammy nominees re-instilled our faith in music?
“When the Grammy think pieces come out, the big story will probably be Sara Bareilles’ unexpected nomination for Album Of The Year. But Kendrick Lamar’s inclusion in the category is nothing short of revolutionary. It’s old news that the Grammys were comically late to embrace hip-hop, but a win for good kid, m.A.A.d. city will be on some Jethro Tull-winning-the-metal-category levels of shock.
It makes sense that voters would gravitate towards the more relatable and sympathetic haven of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ The Heist. But conventional wisdom says a dense, lyrical concept album about a day in the life in Compton would be relegated to Best Rap Album (it’s up for that, too).”
“What the hell is going on here? Yeezus getting snubbed for Album of the Year is a total travesty, though I guess I can’t say I’m shocked. The only silver lining to this cloud of hopeless irrelevance is Kanye and Drake for Best Rap Song and Album (though, I’d bet anything Macklemore’s taking both). OK, and Taylor Swift “Red” goes hard. I hope Kanye doesn’t even show up to this.”
Find out what more music experts thought of the 2014 Grammy nominations after the jump.
“Has the Grammy nominating committee even heard Yeezus?’ This was the question running through my head as I perused the unlikely Album Of The Year nominees, which included the obscure choice of Sara Bareilles, among other, more predictable choices liked Macklemore, Jay Z, Kendrick Lamar, and Taylor Swift.”
“This year’s Grammy nomination slate could be looked at in two ways: On the one hand, you have the rise of the seeming upstart — the DIY-first Macklemore & Ryan Lewis got nominations in all the Big Four categories (Album, Song, and Record Of The Year, as well as Best New Artist), while Universal’s alt-pop creation Lorde got name-checked in Record and Song.
But drop down to the genre categories and you’ll see a creeping conservatism — the Best Rock Album category, for example, has classic-rock stalwarts Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Neil Young, and Black Sabbath up against the relatively baby-faced Queens of the Stone Age and Kings of Leon. (Team QOTSA.) That conservatism even bubbled up to the cross-genre categories; Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories, if anything, hearkened back to the days of the 12-song maxi-single, being as it was “Get Lucky” and a pile of inferior tracks, while Ed Sheeran’s nomination for Best New Artist is curious given that he was up for the Song Of The Year trophy at last year’s ceremony.”
Keith Caulfield, associate director of charts at Billboard, was surprised that Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience failed to be recognized in the Grammys’ top categories, and pointed out a MAJOR surprise: No nominations for Miley Cyrus??
“The lack of nominations for Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience in the top categories (Album, Record, and Song Of The Year) is a bit of a surprise — though he did receive a number of nods in genre fields. The 20/20 Experience is currently the top-selling album of the year in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan. … Zero nominations for Miley Cyrus is also a little shocking.
By far the most surprising Album of the Year contender is Sara Bareilles’ “The Blessed Unrest.”
There were a bevy of new artists that could have grabbed a Best New Artist nomination this year — everyone from Florida Georgia Line to Imagine Dragons. Of the five contenders, James Blake is likely the most surprising. And least known among the general public.
Also, David Bowie is up for a couple nominations. It’ll be interesting to see if he wins any, as he’s only won one previous award, for Best Video, Short Form, in 1984.”
And finally, an artist’s perspective: Singer-songwriter Morgan Kibby, aka White Sea (download her gorgeous track “They Don’t Know” here), herself a 2013 Grammy nominee for her work with M83 on their Grammy-nominated sixth album, Hurry Up We’re Dreaming, gushed over James Blake’s nomination, and unabashedly hoped for a Lorde Grammy win.
“Considering the Grammys are traditionally a forum to recognize ’popular’ music (read: sales), some of the names I saw on the nominee list were very exciting. James Blake for Best New Artist? Yes, please. Tame Impala for Best Alternative Album? YES! And frankly, Kendrick Lamar’s domination makes me exceptionally excited for what’s happening in pop music today. Last, but not least, LORDE. While I’m sure she will walk away with at least one statue, that’s almost beside the point. This young woman has inadvertently hit a re-set button we were desperately in need of. I, for one, am excited to see these varied artists recognized. Whether they win or not is not really the question — the nomination in many of the above cases is almost validation enough for artists that I’m sure would never have dreamed of being recognized in so large a forum, and hopefully this is an indication of what future grammy nom lists will look like.”
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