Saturday, January 2, 2010


No Expiration is a NARAS member and Grammy voter, and this weekend, I've spent time on my ballot. One category I'm stuck in is Best Rock Album. My favorite albums that would be considered for this category were unsuprisingly not nominated: The Cocktail Slippers' Saint Valentine's Day Massacre, Rancid's Let The Dominioes Fall, The Dead Weather's Horehound and Muse's The Resistance

The nominees in the category, though, are AC/DC's Black Ice, Eric Clapton & Steve Winwood's Live From Madison Square Garden (which is disqualified from my ballot, many of the songs on the album are as old as I am, and some are older, you can't compare albums that came out this year to Blind Faith and Traffic), The Dave Matthews Band's Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King, Green Day's 21st Century Breakdown and U2 's No Line On The Horizon.

So, Clapton/Winwood is disqualified. While I respect DMB, I'm not a huge fan and their album didn't seem to make any kind of impact. I really dig Black Ice, but I really think the best of the bunch are the Green Day and U2 albums.

Green Day's album was a bit disappointing to me: it comes on the heels of my favorite album of 2008, Foxboro Hot Tubs' Stop Drop and Roll (Foxboro Hot Tubs are actually Green Day playing old school garage rock). And before that was Green Day's greatest album, American Idiot. But there are a lot of classics here, I love "Know Your Enemy," "21st Century Breakdown," "Peacemaker," "21 Guns" and especially "Horseshoes and Hand Grenades" which sounds like a Foxboro Hot Tubs song.

U2's album, as always comes with huge expectations, and at first I felt a bit let down. It has definitely been growing on me, and I now realize that "Moment Of Surrender" is one of their greatest songs. And there are other great songs: "No Line On The Horizon," "Magnificent," "Breathe," "Stand Up Comedy" and "White As Snow." One of the problems with the album is that they led off with a kind of weak single, "Get On Your Boots," which was like a second rate version of "Vertigo." And their performance at last year's Grammy Awards wasn't great (the live version they've been doing on tour is much better), and the second single, "I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight" is also weak (the "remix" version that they were playing live was also better).

Tough decision: but a few years ago when I was doing interviews for VH1 at the 2004 Grammys, Bono himself told me that he was glad that they had won a bunch of Grammys (for "Vertigo") but that U2 would gladly step out of the way for another band -- he mentioned Green Day -- to get more acclaim.  There's room for everyone of course. Hmm, this is gonna be a touch choice.

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