BY DAN GARCIA
Earlier today the nominations were announced for the 57th Annual Grammy Awards. As with many years, there were noticeable snubs that left critics and fans scratching their heads. While many used to praise the Grammys for their ability to reward quality music versus music that merely sells well, in recent years the committee’s selections seem especially poor (especially in the category of rap). Why the selections are not the best this year is for a different conversation, however we have compiled a list of the five biggest snubs of today’s nominations.
5. Justin Timberlake – “Not a Bad Thing”
Category: Best Pop Solo Performance
Better Than: “Happy” (Pharrell), “Shake It Off” (Taylor Swift”)
While Justin Timberlake did not have any eligible albums for the Grammys this time around. His label submitted his songs ‘Not a Bad Thing’ and ‘Love Never Felt So Good’ for Grammy consideration. However, JT received no nominations this year. Most notably, ‘Not a Bad Thing’ was not included in the Best Pop Solo Performance category and lost out to John Legend’s ‘All of Me’, Sia’s ‘Chandelier’, Sam Smith’s ‘Stay With Me’, ‘Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake It Off’ and Pharrell’s ‘Happy’. While this category is fairly competitive this year, ‘Not a Bad Thing’ is clearly a better track than the radio hits of ‘Happy’ and ‘Shake It Off’. The song likely should not have won the award this year, but JT was definitely robbed of a nomination.
4. FKA Twigs
Categorys: Best New Artist, Best Alternative Music Album (LP1), Best Pop Solo Performance (‘Two Weeks’)
Better Than: Iggy Azalea, Bastille, Melophobia (Cage the Elephant), This Is All Yours (alt-J), Reflektor (Arcade Fire), Lazaretto (Jack White), “Happy” (Pharrell), “Shake It Off” (Taylor Swift).
FKA Twigs is one of the best new artists in music today, but the Grammys do not think so. For the 57th Annual Grammy Award’s nomination list for Best New Artists, Bastille, Iggy Azalea, Brandy Clark, Haim and Sam Smith all received consideration over FKA Twigs. FKA Twig’s debut album LP1 was highly acclaimed by critics (receiving 34 positive reviews and only 3 mixed reviews), while other Best New Artists’ albums were not. For example, Bastille’s debut Bad Blood received more mixed reviews than positive. The same holds true for Iggy Azalea’s The New Classic. FKA Twigs should have also received consideration in the Alternative Music Album and Pop Solo Performance categories. Her album should have received consideration over all included Alternative Music albums (with the exception of St. Vincent’s self-titled album) and her lead single ‘Two Weeks’ should have certainly received consideration over Pharrell’s ‘Happy’ and Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake It Off’.
3. Beyonce ft. Jay-Z – “Drunk In Love”
Category: Record of the Year, Song of the Year
Better Than: “All About That Bass” (Meghan Trainor), “Fancy” (Iggy Azalea), “Shake It Off” (Taylor Swift), “Take Me to Church” (Hozier),
Earlier this year, Parkwood Entertainment and Columbia Records submitted Beyonce’s smash hit ‘Drunk In Love’ for Record of the Year and Song of the Year (among other categories). However, after today’s announcements the Rolling Stone “Song of The Year” was not included for either category. While the two categories contained several crossovers, her track was beat out by Iggy Azalea’s ‘Fancy’, Sia’s ‘Chandelier’, Sam Smith’s ‘Stay With Me’, Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake It Off’, Meghan Trainor’s ‘All About That Bass’ and Hozier’s Take Me to Church’. While a couple of these songs may deserve consideration over Queen B, there are many that do not. ‘Fancy’ and ‘All About That Bass’ clearly stand out as tracks that are simply not as good (or as big) as ‘Drunk In Love’. ‘Shake It Off’ may be hot right now, but it also stands out as such. Luckily Beyonce received several nominations this year, but she definitely should have received two more for her 2013 album.
2. YG – My Krazy Life
Category: Best Rap Album
Better Than: Blacc Hollywood (Wiz Khalifa), The New Classic (Iggy Azalea), Nobody’s Smiling (Common), The Mashall Mathers LP 2 (Eminem), Oxymoron (Schoolboy Q), Because the Internet (Childish Gambino).
YG’s debut studio album My Krazy Life has had the most critical acclaim for a rap album since Kanye West’s game changing album Yeezus. Scoring a 8.1 (out of 10) Pitchfork score, and receiving no major negative reviews, My Krazy Life seemed like a shoe-in for Rap Album of the Year consideration and the likely rap selection for the Grammy‘s Album of the Year award. It would have been a snub alone for any other album to win the Rap Album of the Year award, so not even receiving a nomination was a major surprise. Not only was My Krazy Life received better than the category’s top albums, including Schoolboy Q’s Oxymoron, Common’s Nobody’s Smiling, and Childish Gambino’s Because the Internet, but the album is certainly better than Iggy Azalea’s The New Classic and Wiz Khalifa’s Blacc Hollywood (which both received mostly mediocre review). My Krazy Life has surged the reemergence of gangsta rap and certainly should have had won the Best Rap Album award in 2015.
1. Lana Del Rey – Ultraviolence
Category: Best Pop Vocal Album
Better Than: Bangerz (Miley Cyrus), My Everything (Ariana Grande), Prism (Katy Perry), x (Ed Sheeran), In The Lonely Hour (Sam Smith), Ghost Stories (Coldplay).
At least in terms of nominations there has been no bigger snub by the Grammys than this years snub of Lana Del Rey’s critically acclaimed album Ultraviolence (for Best Pop Vocal Album) since the snub of Kanye’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy for Album of the Year consideration. Not only should Ultraviolence have been included for consideration, but it should have also won the category. Lana’s third studio album was received better by critics than all other albums in the Pop Vocal category. While Ultraviolence currently holds a Metacritic score (which compiles scores from all major reviews) of 74, the next closest album in the Pop Vocal category is Ed Sheeran’s x which has a score of 67. Coldplay’s Ghost Stories, Miley Cyrus’ Bangerz, Ariana Grande’s My Everything, Katy Perry’s Prism and Sam Smith’s In the Lonely Hour all have scores in the low 60s. Ultraviolence is Lana’s best project to date and arguably the best album of 2014, and for her to receive no nominations this year should speak poorly on the the credibility of the Grammys. Sure, Lana may not be spun on the radio every second, but this is the Grammys not the People’s Choice Awards.