Gold Rush: Grammy Nominations 2012

Taking a break from the cinematic awards season for a spell, the music industry is prepping to dole out its most esteemed accolades, too.

I don’t get too into The Grammys; music is so subjective, and even more than the Emmys or Oscars, the Grammys often seem a little behind the times. Yes, they’re catching up — last year’s big victor, Arcade Fire, deservedly bested Katy Perry, Eminem, and Ladies Antebellum and Gaga. But was it a fluke?

We’ll see. This year’s nominations throw an Arcade Fire wild card into the pack — Bon Iver is found in Song/Record Of The Year amidst Bruno Mars, Adele, Kanye West, and Katy Perry.

But as for Album Of The Year, the choices are fairly uninspired. Rihanna’s Loud was a mixed bag and my least favorite of her most recent three albums; Lady Gaga’s Born This Way is interesting and probably even deserving of a nomination, but as listenable as it is, it’s a fairly incohesive sonic jumble. Adele is the Big Thing this year and I am all for her inclusion — however, it was a predictable nomination, and totally safe to boot. Ditto Bruno Mars, who is a terrific singer/songwriter we all expected to be named here. I can’t speak for the Foo Fighters’ latest album since they haven’t interested me since The Colour & The Shape, but that’s the closest thing we’ve got to an “alternative” choice here.

Will Amy Winehouse win a posthumous Grammy for her Tony Bennett duet? Probably. Kanye West is nominated against himself for Best Rap Album and noticeably snubbed for Album — a shame, since that’s a pretty good one, and it’s edgier than all the rest of them combined. Taylor Swift is also mercifully snubbed; I don’t hate her or anything, I’m just tired of her winning so many damn awards. (And acting so dam surprised every time.) I don’t consider myself much of a rap aficionado, but that’s the only genre where I can drum up much enthusiasm for the nominees. Nicki Minaj really brought it this year, and “All Of The Lights” is awesome.

Except — Dance. My girl Robyn is nominated twice, for Body Talk Pt. 3 and “Call Your Girlfriend.” To this I say: fuck yes. She released three albums without a single dud on any of them. (I will also throw my two cents in regarding the Deadmau5 album — it’s a good one.)

Oh, and who ever thought that fucking “Barbra Streisand” song would be a Grammy nominee? Utterly hilarious.

So congrats to Robyn, Bruno Mars, Adele, Kanye West, Lady Gaga, Deadmau5, Foster The People, and Nicki Minaj. To everyone else, I shrug.

Here are the nominees:


Record of the Year
Adele, “Rolling in the Deep”
Bon Iver, “Holocene”
Bruno Mars, “Grenade”
Mumford & Sons, “The Cave”
Katy Perry, “Firework”

Song of the Year
Kanye West, “All of the Lights”
Mumford & Sons, “The Cave”
Bruno Mars, “Grenade”
Bon Iver, “Holocene”
Adele, “Rolling in the Deep”

Best New Artist
The Band Perry
Bon Iver
J. Cole
Nicki Minaj

Album of the Year
Adele, 21
The Foo Fighters, Wasting Light
Lady Gaga, Born This Way
Bruno Mars, Doo-Wops and Hooligans
Rihanna, Loud

Best Pop Solo Performance
“Someone Like You” — Adele
“Yoü And I” — Lady Gaga
“Grenade” — Bruno Mars
“Firework” — Katy Perry
“F***in’ Perfect” — Pink

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
“Body And Soul” — Tony Bennett & Amy Winehouse
“Dearest” — The Black Keys
“Paradise” — Coldplay
“Pumped Up Kicks” — Foster The People
“Moves Like Jagger” — Maroon 5 & Christina Aguilera

Best Dance Recording
“Raise Your Weapon” — Deadmau5 & Greta Svabo Bech
“Barbra Streisand” — Duck Sauce
“Sunshine” — David Guetta & Avicii
“Call Your Girlfriend” — Robyn
“Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites” — Skrillex
“Save The World” — Swedish House Mafia

Best Dance/Electronica Album
Zonoscope, Cut/Copy
4×4=12, Deadmau5
Nothing But The Beat, David Guetta
Body Talk, Pt. 3, Robyn
Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites, Skrillex

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album
Duets II, Tony Bennett & Various Artists
The Gift, Susan Boyle
In Concert On Broadway, Harry Connick Jr.
Music Is Better Than Words, Seth MacFarlane
What Matters Most – Barbra Streisand Sings The Lyrics Of Alan And Marilyn Bergman, Barbra Streisand

Best Rock Performance
“Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall” — Coldplay
“Down By The Water” — The Decemberists
“Walk” — Foo Fighters
“The Cave” — Mumford & Sons
“Lotus Flower” — Radiohead

Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance
“On The Backs Of Angels” — Dream Theater
“White Limo” — Foo Fighters
“Curl Of The Burl” — Mastodon
“Public Enemy No. 1″ — Megadeth
“Blood In My Eyes” — Sum 41

Best Rock Album
Rock ‘N’ Roll Party Honoring Les Paul — Jeff Beck
Wasting Light — Foo Fighters
Come Around Sundown — Kings Of Leon
I’m With You — Red Hot Chili Peppers
The Whole Love — Wilco

Best Alternative Music Album
Bon Iver — Bon Iver
Codes and Keys — Death Cab For Cutie
Torches — Foster The People
Circuital — My Morning Jacket
The King of Limbs — Radiohead

Best Traditional R&B Performance
“Sometimes I Cry” — Eric Benét
“Fool For You” — Cee Lo Green & Melanie Fiona
“Radio Message” — R. Kelly
“Good Man” — Raphael Saadiq
“Surrender” — Betty Wright & The Roots

Best R&B Album
F.A.M.E. — Chris Brown
Second Chance — El DeBarge
Love Letter — R. Kelly
Pieces Of Me — Ledisi
Kelly — Kelly Price

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
“Party” — Beyoncé & André 3000
“I’m On One” — DJ Khaled, Drake, Rick Ross & Lil Wayne
“I Need A Doctor” — Dr. Dre, Eminem & Skylar Grey
“What’s My Name?” — Rihanna & Drake
“Motivation” — Kelly Rowland & Lil Wayne
“All Of The Lights” — Kanye West, Rihanna, Kid Cudi & Fergie

Best Rap Performance
“Look At Me Now” — Chris Brown, Lil Wayne & Busta Rhymes
“Otis” — Jay-Z & Kanye West
“The Show Goes On” — Lupe Fiasco
“Moment 4 Life” — Nicki Minaj & Drake
“Black And Yellow” — Wiz Khalifa

Best Rap Album
Watch The Throne, Jay-Z & Kanye West
Tha Carter IV, Lil Wayne
Lasers, Lupe Fiasco
Pink Friday, Nicki Minaj
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Kanye West

Best Country Solo Performance
“Dirt Road Anthem” — Jason Aldean
“I’m Gonna Love You Through It” — Martina McBride
“Honey Bee” — Blake Shelton
“Mean” — Taylor Swift
“Mama’s Song” — Carrie Underwood

Best Country Song
“Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not” — Jim Collins & David Lee Murphy
“God Gave Me You” — Dave Barnes
“Just Fishin’” — Casey Beathard, Monty Criswell & Ed Hill
“Mean” — Taylor Swift
“Threaten Me With Heaven” — Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Will Owsley & Dillon O’Brian
“You And Tequila” — Matraca Berg & Deana Carter

Best Americana Album
Emotional Jukebox — Linda Chorney
Pull Up Some Dust And Sit Down — Ry Cooder
Hard Bargain — Emmylou Harris
Ramble At The Ryman — Levon Helm
Blessed — Lucinda Williams

Best Blues Album
Low Country Blues — Gregg Allman
Roadside Attractions — Marcia Ball
Man In Motion — Warren Haynes
The Reflection — Keb’ Mo’
Revelator — Tedeschi Trucks Band

Best Folk Album
Barton Hollow — The Civil Wars
I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive — Steve Earle
Helplessness Blues — Fleet Foxes
Ukulele Songs — Eddie Vedder
The Harrow & The Harvest — Gillian Welch

2 thoughts on “Gold Rush: Grammy Nominations 2012

  1. Maybe I just listen to new music faster than I see new movies, but I’m always very confused by what is nominated. It all feels relatively old.

    Also, Bon Iver as a New Artist? I feel like people (and by that I mean NPR music) have been talking about him for 3 years.

    1. Yeah, the Grammys are notoriously slow to pick up on what’s popular and often nominate artists later than they should, if at all. Music releases aren’t really poised the way movies are, with most major Oscar contenders coming out in November/December. Their attempts to be hip don’t usually work — last year being the exception with Arcade Fire. But yes, most of the songs they nominate feel sooo old. Katy Perry’s “Firework”? Rihanna’s released a new album since the one she’s nominated for! I can’t really take them seriously — it’s a weird divide between mainstream tastes and industry tastes that doesn’t really find much of a happy medium.


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