The official 2013 Grammy nominations list has been released and, as per usual, it takes the opportunity to laud and celebrate what the radios and mass media have been shoving down our throats for the past year (thank god we can use mp3 players and dictate what we want to listen to, right?). Now, I basically just completely ignored the vast majority of categories and immediately scanned down to find the four categories that interested me: Best Rock Performance, Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance, Best Rock Song, and Best Rock Album. And what I found was pretty…well, it was pretty confusing.
Here, let’s look at the categories and their nominations individually:
Best Rock Performance
“Hold On” – Alabama Shakes
“Lonely Boy” – The Black Keys
“Charlie Brown” – Coldplay
“I Will Wait” – Mumford & Sons
“We Take Care Of Our Own” – Bruce Springsteen
I’ll say this, I can totally understand Alabama Shakes, The Black Keys, and Bruce Springsteen. I get those choices. But Coldplay and Mumford & Sons? I listened to “Charlie Brown” and that song is basically dance pop, not rock. And Mumford & Sons are country/bluegrass. I don’t care if they have a rock attitude, they’re not rock. At all.
Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance
“I’m Alive” – Anthrax
“Love Bites (So Do I)” – Halestorm
“Blood Brothers” – Iron Maiden
“Ghost Walking” – Lamb Of God
“No Reflection” – Marilyn Manson
“Whose Life (Is It Anyways?)” – Megadeth
Alright, you know what? For as much as I wish that other artists, such as Baroness, Meshuggah, Gojira, etc…, were on the list, I will say that each of these bands are either “hard rock” or “metal”. At least they put them in the right category.
Best Rock Song
“Freedom At 21” – Jack White, songwriter (Jack White)
“I Will Wait” – Ted Dwane, Ben Lovett, Winston Marshall & Marcus Mumford, songwriters (Mumford & Sons)
“Lonely Boy” – Dan Auerbach, Brian Burton & Patrick Carney, songwriters (The Black Keys)
“Madness” – Matthew Bellamy, songwriter (Muse)
“We Take Care Of Our Own” – Bruce Springsteen, songwriter (Bruce Springsteen)
Again, why is Mumford & Sons on here? Also, Muse’s “Madness”? That’s not rock at all! Seriously, listen to the song and tell me it’s rock. Is Muse a rock band? Yes. Is this song rock? No. If you’re going to make a category that focuses on the merits of the individual track, then place the track in the right category.
Best Rock Album
El Camino – The Black Keys
Mylo Xyloto – Coldplay
The 2nd Law – Muse
Wrecking Ball – Bruce Springsteen
Blunderbuss – Jack White
Having not listened to Mylo Xyloto in the slightest, I can’t really say anything about that nomination. However, at least the others are rock, so I can’t knock them for placing them there.
As per usual, the Grammy awards are lauding bands that don’t really need the attention. And while I’m perfectly aware that it’s impossible to listen to every song and every release that the year puts out, it’s painful to see that they’re not even trying to dig a little deeper.