COURTESY OF MCT CAMPUS
With the Grammy Awards approaching at a rapid rate, one has to wonder which bands and artists will come out on top at this year’s ceremony. Considering the varied list of both performers and nominees, it seems the question of the night will be whether awards will be given to artists who truly have talent or those who simply have the novelty to get ample radio play.
While music is clearly a subjective matter, it is safe to say that most of the people who have reigned at the top of the music charts in the past year have possessed more flair than actual instrumental skills.
Arguably the most flamboyant of the crop, Katy Perry’s subtle attention-getter, “I Kissed A Girl,” is nominated for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. While Perry’s voice isn’t too bad and her ode to drunken exploration was certainly all over the airwaves, associating her vocal performance with the word “best” is, at most, far-fetched. Fellow nominees like Sara Bareilles, Adele and Leona Lewis arguably not only have stronger voices, but have also managed to gain popularity with their songs without wearing bedazzled onesies and proclaiming their experimental innocence.
Known for being a prominent and prophetic category, “Best New Artist,” presents a similar issue. While powerhouses Adele and Duffy have been nominated among others, the Jonas Brothers are also part of their competition. It is hard to ignore the success of the JoBros while their faces are plastered across magazine covers, TV shows and bedroom walls. But while they certainly are a unique and talented family trio, they obviously do not have the best vocals in their group of fellow nominees. It is categories with anomalies like these that truly test whether or not the Grammys are accurate measures of talent, or simply of monetary success.
The two leaders in the Grammy nominated pack seem to be of unlikely extremes - Coldplay and Lil Wayne. Up for seven and eight awards respectively, the two artists have reigned over both the radio and the charts.
Though Coldplay has been a constant hit in most music outlets, it has been hard to find a tune this year that Lil Wayne hasn’t had his hand in, including “Best Rap Song” nominee “Swagga Like Us,” accomplished by him and three other high-charting artists - T.I., Jay-Z and Kanye West. Wayne’s memorable hooks dominate all of the Grammys’ rap categories, as well as one of the more prestigious trophies, “Album of the Year” - the only category that pits him up against fellow multi-nominee, Coldplay.
Despite a plethora of talented musical artists nominated for this year’s Grammy Awards, it remains to be seen whether or not novelty will win out over vocal and instrumental skill. In the current business, where an excess of plunging fashion and flashy shtick are fast surpassing good, old-fashioned talent, it is difficult to determine whether or not the music industry’s biggest awards ceremony will reflect this change in its bestowal of the once-coveted trophies.