UnRated Magazine

Spacer

 

UnRated Magazine Review:
Band Review
2006 Grammy Awards: Will Mariah March the Road to the Grammy Gold?

2006 Grammy Awards: Will Mariah March the Road to the Grammy Gold?

By RJO Taduran

RECORD OF THE YEAR

“We Belong Together,” Mariah Carey
“Feel Good Inc.,” Gorillaz featuring De La Soul
“Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” Green Day
“Hollaback Girl,” Gwen Stefani
“Gold Digger,” Kanye West

Now it is official. Last year was one of the worst years for music, with CD sales dropping eight percent further. And all those lawsuits filed by the major labels to P2P networks and individuals just tarnished the already dull colors of the industry itself.

2005 marked the return of pop diva Mariah Carey. Her record “We Belong Together” was the most ubiquitous in airplay and the best seller of the year according to Billboard Magazine. This could be the reason why she bagged eight nominations, including three in the major categories, in the Grammy’s. This could be the industry’s way of “thanking” her for selling millions of CDs despite the overall decline in sales. Hey, how about 50 Cent? The controversial rapper also sold millions of CDs last year but he did not garner numerous nominations like Carey, since people see him more of a thug, or a gangster, rather than an artist.

Kanye West could be the leader in this category, but “Gold Digger,” however great it is in production, engineering and mixing, would never win because of gender issues. I doubt that women Grammy voters would vote for the said record.

“Hollaback Girl” and “Feel Good Inc.” are both exciting records, but who would take them seriously?

Green Day’s “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” a track from the ambitious and inspiring 2004 album American Idiot is the only rock record in the nominations. Besides, it is the only material with social relevance and this could be the clincher for this record in an ideal world. But this is not an ideal world, with all the wars and wiretaps happening, and voters usually prefer pop over rock, so I guess the winner would be the capitalist market’s choice—Mariah Carey!

Which record will win? “We Belong Together,” Mariah Carey
Which record should win? “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” Green Day
Which record could cause an upset? “Feel Good Inc.,” Gorillaz featuring De La Soul

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

The Emancipation of Mimi, Mariah Carey
Chaos and Creation in the Backyard, Paul McCartney
Love.Angel.Music.Baby., Gwen Stefani
How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, U2
Late Registration, Kanye West

Besides being one of the worst years in sales, 2005 was also one of the most disappointing years in terms of artistic merits. Most of the albums released were too eager to please rather than inspire the listening public. Coldplay could have been a strong contender for this category, but the quartet’s third effort X&Y was second-rate compared to the previous albums Parachutes and A Rush of Blood to the Head. Black Eyed Peas could have been nominated but their song “My Humps” was just too annoying (that graceless chorus, “My humps, my humps, my humps,” just get on your nerves).

And so we have Kanye West, U2, Gwen Stefani, Paul McCartney and hey, Mariah Carey, battling it out for the coveted Album of the Year plum. Carey’s Emancipation of Mimi was last year’s top seller, with almost five million units sold, as it gave us radio-friendly tunes about boyfriend troubles and, well, boyfriend troubles.

Paul McCartney’s nomination is a surprise, since his album Chaos and Creation in the Backyard is a bit mediocre compared to his works with the Beatles. But the Grammy loves to honor ageing or dead musicians just like in 1992 with Eric Clapton, 1998 with Bob Dylan, 2000 with Santana, 2001 with Steely Dan and last year with Ray Charles.

But the Album of the Year could be a race involving U2, Gwen Stefani and Kanye West. U2’s How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb is not as wonderful and rousing as The Joshua Tree and All that You Can’t Leave Behind, and Gwen Stefani’s Love.Angel.Music.Baby., on the other hand, offers us nothing but the idea of blondes having more fun in a very thrilling manner. Meanwhile, Kanye West, in Late Registration, proves once again that rap can be a potent medium to bring forth important issues, rather than the usual subjects of debauchery, murder, thug life and all the bling-blings.

For all its intrinsic worth, West deserves to win this award. But hey, the Grammy likes giving awards to top-sellers right?

Which album will win? Emancipation of Mimi, Mariah Carey
Which album should win? Late Registration, Kanye West
Which album could cause an upset? Chaos and Creation in the Backyard, Paul McCartney

SONG OF THE YEAR

“Bless the Broken Road,” Bobby Boyd, Jeff Hanna and Marcus Hummon (Rascal Flatts)
“Devils and Dust,” Bruce Springsteen (Bruce Springsteen)
“Ordinary People,” W. Adams and J. Stephens (John Legend)
“Sometimes You Can’t Make It on Your Own,” U2 (U2)
“We Belong Together,” J. Austin, M. Carey, J. Dupri and M. Seal (Mariah Carey)

This is an award given to the songwriters. Instead of production, engineering and mixing, the main criteria for this category are the lyrics and melody.

Should this be a popularity contest, Mariah Carey’s “We Belong Together, U2’s “Sometimes You Can’t Make It on Your Own” and John Legend’s “Ordinary People” would be the frontrunners. But the Song of the Year plum is full of bizarre twists—remember John Mayer’s win last Grammy ceremony? “Daughters” was a long shot, but its touching words and music catapulted Mayer to the Grammy gold.

Could this mean another trophy for Bruce Springsteen? The Boss has been known for his vivid metaphors, but “Devils and Dust” could fall short and be outshined by another nominee, “Bless the Broken Road.” With passionate lyrics, “God blessed the broken road that led me straight to you,” Rascal Flatts’ anthem is the veritable song of the year material.

But the Grammy usually gives the Record of the Year and Song of the Year in pair. And which song is nominated for both? Of course, it would be the comeback diva and the babe of the moment’s “We Belong Together.”

Which song will win? “We Belong Together,” J. Austin, M. Carey, J. Dupri and M. Seal (Mariah Carey)
Which song should win? “Bless the Broken Road,” Bobby Boyd, Jeff Hanna and Marcus Hummon (Rascal Flatts)
Which song could cause an upset? “Bless the Broken Road,” Bobby Boyd, Jeff Hanna and Marcus Hummon (Rascal Flatts)

BEST NEW ARTIST

Ciara
Fall Out Boy
Keane
John Legend
SugarLand

Is winning the Best New Artist award a gift or a curse? Unless the newbie who wins it has the staying power and ultra-talented like The Beatles (1964), The Carpenters (1970), Sheryl Crow (1995) and Norah Jones (2003), there won’t be a problem. Otherwise, extinction is inevitable, like other recipients: America (which beat the Eagles in 1972), Starland Vocal Band (1976), Christopher Cross (1980), Sheena Easton (1981), Cyndi Lauper (who beat Madonna in 1984), Tracy Chapman (1988), Hootie and the Blowfish (1995), Paula Cole (1997) and Lauryn Hill (1998).

Here’s a “Good luck!” to John Legend.

Which artist will win? John Legend

Which artist should win? John Legend
Which artist could cause an upset? Keane