Some folks view the Grammy Awards as a congratulatory pat on the back for music executives and record industry types, and they’re partially right. However, not all 12,000 members of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences are the Clive Davises of the world. Actually, a good chunk are the artists, songwriters, producers and engineers themselves. However, that’s not to say that even the folks behind the scenes can’t get things wrong sometimes. Here’s a look at some of the gimmes, the “huh?”s and the “WTF”s that today’s nomination announcements brought:
Kanye West led the pack with eight nominations, surprising no one. Actually, up against this year’s Album of the Year field (which features Amy Winehouse, Vince Gill, The Foo Fighters and Herbie Hancock), Grammy practically paved a path for him to walk up and claim his very first Album of the Year prize. His only true competition is…
Winehouse, whose nutty factor makes her a wild card. Will she show up at the ceremony? Will she live to see the ceremony? Will she deliver one of her famously off-kilter performances? Will she impale herself on any award she wins? Will that aforementioned wild card hurt her chances as the one award which should be a landslide for her, Best New Artist?
The Best New Artist nominees also include Canadian hipster fave Feist, MTV-anointed metal band Paramore, neo-soul also-ran Ledisi and country hitmaker Taylor Swift. Conceivably, Swift and Feist could both challenge Winehouse for the award. Although Winehouse would have faced stronger competition from four artists who didn’t even get nominated-soul singer Robin Thicke, American Idol castoff Daughtry (who got nods in several other categories), folk-pop singer Colbie Callait (the most surprising omission) and Amy’s fellow Brit Lily Allen (who inexplicably is in the Best Alternative Music category), despite the fact that Allen’s “Alright, Still” is as pop as Gwen Stefani.
Herbie Hancock and Vince Gill’s nominations in the Album of the Year category (Gill’s album is a 4-CD box set) are both surprises, beating out predicted nominees like Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney. Hancock’s album, in particular (a Joni Mitchell tribute record) seems a bit out of place.
Where the hell is Linkin Park? They have the biggest-selling non-soundtrack album released in 2007, and all they have to show for it are empty hands. With members appearing at the nomination ceremony, you figure they’ve gotta be a little pissed? They’re this year’s most surprising shut out, and the only glaring omission I can think of (aside from Thicke, who enjoyed nealy double-platinum success this year…I’m a bit surprised at Pink’s absence this year as well).
The Foo Fighters? Seriously? I like Dave Grohl as much as the next guy, but has he not made the exact same album six times over the past twelve years?
“Hey There Delilah”, a song even easier to hate than Soulja Boy’s “Crank Dat” (which was also inexplicably nominated…for Best Rap Song) gets nominated for Song of the Year?
There are enough female rockers out there. Why has Grammy not yet reinstated the award for Best Female Rock Vocal?
While it’s a bit early to speculate on potential winners, you can find a complete list of this year’s nominees at