Saturday, February 9, 2013
Record Of The Year
Black Keys - "Lonely Boy"
Kelly Clarkson - "Stronger"
fun. - "We Are Young"
Goyte + Kimbra - "Somebody That I Used To Know"
Frank Ocean - "Thinkin' 'Bout You"
Taylor Swift - "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together"
Really tough category. The Black Keys are my favorite artist in this category, and I love the way their whole El Camino album sounds. Is a stripped down garage rock sound the work of a great producer? Well, to be minimal is a production choice, and in their case, it's the right one. I also love Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger" - straight up, great pop song. fun. I don't buy into them as much, and I actually think their song "Some Nights" is a better song and a better sounding song than "We Are Young," so that gets eliminated. "Somebody That I Used To Know" is an incredible production. It's like a Peter Gabriel song, it's amazing. Taylor's song is great, too, and the production made it her biggest hit yet. Just when you thought she couldn't get any bigger, she got bigger, mostly because of the production on this song.
My Vote: Frank Ocean Like I said, minimalism is a choice, and in the case of this song, it really brought out the heart, and the hurt, in this song. I don't buy into Frank Ocean the way everyone else does - I think his Channel Orange is a bit overrated - but "Thinkin' 'Bout You" is probably the best song of the year (and I can't believe it wasn't nominated in that category).
Album Of The Year
Black Keys - El Camino
fun. - Some Nights
Mumford & Sons - Babel
Frank Ocean - Channel Orange
Jack White - Blunderbuss
First off, I produced a series of "Inside The Album Of The Year" video packages around these albums. See them all here, or follow the above links. Secondly, Bruce Springsteen got ripped off. This isn't as egregious as 2007, when Bruce's Magic wasn't nominated, but lesser albums by Vince Gill and Herbie Hancock were. All of these albums figured heavily into the conversation about pop music this year. fun. was a huge band this year, but they feel more like a singles band than an album band. As I mentioned, I don't think Frank Ocean's album is a classic, but I'm in the minority there. And I didn't think Mumford & Sons' album held up to the first one. But whatever. For me, it breaks down to the Jack White/Black Keys rivalry. Blunderbuss was my second favorite album of the year, after Bruce's Wrecking Ball. El Camino was my 4th favorite album of 2011 (it came out in December of that year).
My Vote: El Camino by a teeny, tiny margin. It just felt like it was The Black Keys' year.