My mom reviews the Grammy Awards 2013 nominees
Sunday night, the 2013 Grammy Awards will renew the now-impossible task of representing mainstream America's tastes and remaining relevant to those who care enough to seek music beyond an FM dial. All parties will inevitably leave feeling disconnected from the wider culture. Who can act as a true barometer of what is good and what is not, and help us find some sensible common ground? City Pages' newest cultural arbiter: my mother.
As is now the established practice, my mom was presented with the nominees in ten of the more relevant categories, and asked to choose some winners and losers. The following ensued:
|Photo via Justin's mom|
Justin: I can't help but think The Black Keys are going to clean up this year. They're in that indie-band-gone-mainstream sweet spot where everyone will feel good about handing them five or six awards in one night. It's their career achievement moment.
Mom: Taylor Swift is a lovely young lady but I can't stand her. She's cute. She has a shitload of personality. But her songs all sound the same. Have you ever noticed her range is like three notes? She uses four notes in her songs, max. She has no range at all. And they're always in a minor key. Boring. "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" -- what is this, sixth grade? For the life of me, I can't figure it out.
Justin: She's actually not up for that many awards this year, Mom.
Mom: Well, good. I don't care for The Black Keys, by the way.
On to the nominees....
10. BEST RAP/SUNG COLLABORATION
Flo Rida feat. Sia, "Wild Ones"
Jay-Z & Kanye West featuring Frank Ocean & The-Dream, "No Church In The Wild"
John Legend feat. Ludacris, "Tonight"
Nas feat. Amy Winehouse, "Cherry Wine"
Rihanna feat. Jay-Z, "Talk That Talk"
Justin: The John Legend/Ludacris song is great, but we know what's going to happen here.
Mom: Yep. They're going to give it to Amy Winehouse because she's dead. I was utterly fascinated by her. Her costuming and makeup were really over the top. She was just really fucked up. Poor thing.
9. BEST POP DUO/GROUP PERFORMANCE
Florence + The Machine, "Shake It Out"
fun., "We Are Young"
Gotye, "Somebody I Used To Know"
LMFAO, "Sexy And I Know It"
Maroon 5, "Payphone"
Justin: I can tell you who's not getting a Grammy: LMFAO, which is actually stupid because "Sexy And I Know It" might be the one song we remember from this whole nominee pool in ten years. Hopefully Gotye gets this one because otherwise he's getting shut out.
Mom: "We Are Young" is a great song. It has words about physical assault and getting drunk off your ass, which disturb me, but I love the tune! I love the drums -- can I say that?
8. BEST POP VOCAL ALBUM
Justin: Are we sure they didn't just invent this category so that Adele and Florence Welch always win awards?
Mom: I love Pink's songs! I find them so intriguing. She was so mean to her boyfriend or her lover or whatever he was. She's a volatile person and she writes about it. But the musicality is inviting. And she certainly is whole lot more original than Taylor Swift.
7. BEST POP SOLO PERFORMANCE
Adele, "Set Fire To The Rain (Live)"
Kelly Clarkson, "Stronger"
Carly Rae Jepsen, "Call Me Maybe"
Katy Perry, "Wide Awake"
Rihanna, "Where Have You Been"
Justin: This is Adele's award.
Mom: Katy Perry is done this year. All the other girls are totally out-shining her now. "I'm wide awake wide awake wide awake" -- that song is totally repetitive. Who nominates these things?
6. BEST RAP SONG
Wale feat. Miguel, "Lotus Flower Bomb"
Kanye West, "Mercy"
Drake, "The Motto"
Jay-Z & Kanye West, "N****s In Paris"
Snoop Dogg feat. Bruno Mars, "Young, Wild & Free"
Justin: "N****s in Paris" needs to win just so we can see what the Academy decides to do about the n-bomb on national television. Do they send a black presenter out to let it fly and just bleep it? Or do they censor the presentation somehow and pray to God that Kanye doesn't decide to make another scene?
Mom: Why would they even a write a song with that in the title? And now he's with Kim Kardashian and he's impregnated her. That's as bad as one of Taylor Swift's songs. How could he go up there and give Taylor Swift a hard time and then become Kim's baby daddy? It's so hypocritical.