Monday, March 4, 2013

“Blunderbuss” should have won “Album of the Year”

By: Jared Casto

                For a while now, I have analyzed the importance of awards shows. I know which ones matter, those that do not, and which were simply created to publicize celebrities who are doing things that the mass media cares about. For example, the Oscars clearly matter and winning one is a top honor for anyone involved in a film. However, the Golden Globes do not matter and exist solely just to capitalize on the fame of popular movies and raise awareness that the Oscars will be in a few weeks.
The Grammys, what many consider to be the Oscars of music, is an award show that absolutely does not matter. It’s essentially the equivalent of MTV’s Video Music Awards, only with a trophy that is not completely ridiculous. The same undeserving and untalented “artists” are there trying to promote their latest single, only this time they are winning awards that the general public finds important. But the general public has proved again and again that they seek only what comes to them easily (such as music from the iTunes Top 100 or any horrible Top 40 radio station). In a sense, the artists at the Grammys appeal to the least common denominator and rarely challenge their audience. This is all good and well until you realize that there are musical artists out there who actually deserve to win these awards.
When considering all of this, anyone can see that the Grammys are not a measurement of talent and are instead a measurement of popularity. However, the most frustrating part about the Grammy Awards is the fact that they tease people who actually know of good music by nominating a couple artists who actually deserve it…and then making sure that they lose. For instance, I cannot understand how anyone can honestly think that Mumford & Sons’ “Babel” is better than Jack White’s “Blunderbuss” or Frank Ocean’s “channel.ORANGE,” two albums that appeared near the top of every “Best Albums of 2012” list. Though Mumford & Sons are not exactly the worst band ever, they are not entirely worthy of winning an award with a title such as “Album of the Year.” “Babel” sounds absolutely no different than 2009’s “Sigh No More,” has received very mixed reviews from critics, is musically and lyrically boring, and even more pretentious than this article (Mumford & Sons apparently think they are the saviors of music). And let’s just be honest here. Mumford & Sons never have and never will match the level of excellence that Jack White achieved in the days of The White Stripes and is currently achieving in his solo career. Notable songs from White’s “Blunderbuss” that are better than everything Mumford & Sons have ever done include “Love Interruption,” “Blunderbuss,” and “On and On and On.”
Disregarding the fact that “El Camino” is probably The Black Keys’ worst album, it was still miles ahead of “Babel” and FUN’s “Some Nights” which honestly has no place being nominated for any musical award. However, the committee who chooses the winners know nothing from “Blunderbuss” has received any Top 40 radio play and, even though there have been many popular singles from “El Camino,” it still has not made The Black Keys into a huge successful mainstream band yet. Frank Ocean’s “channel.ORANGE,” though decently popular, is much too “strange” for the committee who nominates Bruno Mars and Rihanna for awards. And they probably realized that there would be an uproar from anyone over the age of 12 if FUN’s “Some Nights” nabbed the “Album of the Year” award; thus, Mumford & Sons were the only choice.
This is just one example of how horrible the Grammy Awards are. I could honestly go through each category, choosing the artists who do not deserve to win due to their lack of talent (which is sort of my opinion, but still) and replacing them with those who actually deserve to be rewarded for their achievements. But this would be useless because the Grammys won’t change until the public opinion on what is good and what is not changes. Until then, we will see artists like Rihanna, Katy Perry, and Nicki Minaj being rewarded for horrible pop songs that require absolutely no thought on part of the listener. These “artists” realize this and will continue exploiting the stupidity of the least common denominator and giving them exactly want they want, pure trash.

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