Tag Archives: Grammy nominations 2022

Looking Forward to the Grammys, Part XIII

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Today is my last installment of the “Looking Forward to the Grammys” series, and we are listening to the nominees for Best Metal Performance. I don’t listen to a lot of metal, and I’m not familiar with any of these artists.

Genesis, performed by Deftones. If you’re prone to seizures, you may not want to watch this video:

The Alien, performed by Dream Theater:

Amazonia, performed by Gojira:

Pushing the Tides, performed by Mastodon:

The Triumph of King Freak (A Crypt of Preservation and Superstition), performed by Rob Zombie:

Not really having a frame of reference, I struggled to evaluate these songs. To me, they all sounded remarkably similar.

The Triumph of King Freak didn’t appeal to me at all.

I didn’t know what to think of Genesis, so I watched the video that shows the lyrics. They’re actually pretty deep. I don’t care for the screaming, though.

The Alien has a driving rhythm and invigorating guitar riffs.

Again, I could not interpret the vocals of Amazonia, and had to refer to the lyric video. Very powerful. Proceeds from Amazonia benefit The Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB), who advocate for environmental and cultural rights of indigenous tribes in the Amazon who have suffered from deforestation, land loss, forced labor, violence, and harassment. I like that kind of artist activism.

Here are the lyrics to Pushing the Tides, if you’re interested.

My personal preference is for Amazonia. I hope Gojira wins the Grammy for Best Metal Performance.

I had also wanted to do a post on Album of the Year, but I didn’t get very far. I don’t subscribe to a music streaming service, since I’m old and prefer to play my CDs. I do have Amazon Prime, though, and I found a few of the albums on there. I listened to We Are by Jon Batiste, which was a pleasant half hour. I like the version of Cry on the album better than the live video I posted on Looking Forward to the Grammys, Part XI. I listened to Sour by Olivia Rodrigo, also a half hour, but I was disappointed by the number of f-bombs. Then I listened to Evermore by Taylor Swift, a full hour of wonderful songs. My goodness, she works hard, and she gives good value to her fans.

Not all of the Album of the Year nominees are on Amazon Prime. At first, I tried to listen to as many as I could, but the next one I chose was Planet Her by Doja Cat, and the first song was so explicit (and ever other song on the album was marked with an E) that I thought, Andrea, what are you doing to yourself? So I gave up. Of the three albums I listened to, I liked Evermore the best, but is it fair of me to say that it’s the best if I didn’t listen to all 10? Probably not.

Sunday we’ll find out who gets the Grammys. Here are my picks for the 13 categories I reviewed:

  1. Best Music Video: Freedom, Jon Batiste
  2. Song of the Year: A Beautiful Noise
  3. Best Global Music Performance: Mohabbat, Arooj Aftab
  4. Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance: Jireh
  5. Best Dance/ Electronic Recording: Hero
  6. Best Rock Song: Distance, Wolfgang Van Halen
  7. Best Country Song: Cold
  8. Best Traditional R&B Performance: Bring It On Home to Me
  9. Best Improvised Jazz Solo: Humpty Dumpty (Set 2), Chick Corea
  10. Best Gospel Performance: Help
  11. Best American Roots Song: Cry
  12. Best Instrumental Composition: Eberhard, Lyle Mays
  13. Best Metal Performance: Amazonia, Gojira

Now it’s your turn. Which nominee do you think should win the Grammy for Best Metal Performance, and why? Please share in the comments below.

Have you read all the other parts of this series? Part I: Best Music VideoPart II: Song of the YearPart III: Best Global Music PerformancePart IV: Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/ SongPart V: Best Dance/ Electronic PerformancePart VI: Best Rock SongPart VII: Best Country SongPart VIII: Best Traditional R&B PerformancePart IX: Best Improvised Jazz SoloPart X: Best Gospel Performance/ SongPart XI: Best American Roots Song and Part XII: Best Instrumental Composition.

Looking Forward to the Grammys, Part XII

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We’re in for a treat! Today we are listening to the nominees for Best Instrumental Composition. I did not know how much fun this category would be, or I would have listened to these long ago. I also was not familiar with any of these composers.

Beautiful Is Black by Brandee Younger (harp):

Cat and Mouse by Tom Nazziola (marimba):

Concerto for Orchestra: Finale by Vince Mendoza (performed by the Czech National Symphony Orchestra featuring Antonio Sanchez and Derrick Hodge:

Dreaming in Lions by Arturo O’Farrill (performed by the Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble):

Eberhard by Lyle Mays:

Wow, right? These are all wonderful. Who doesn’t love a harp (Beautiful is Black)? Vince Mendoza’s Finale is a perfect finale, no? I love the polymeters in Dreaming in Lions. And when I heard Cat and Mouse, it catapulted me back to when my oldest daughter, Carly, was in high school, because she was a percussionist. I thought Cat and Mouse was going to be my favorite, until I heard Eberhard.

Eberhard is my choice for the award. It’s complex, flowing, engaging, long but never boring.

Now it’s your turn. Which piece do you think should get the Grammy for Best Instrumental Composition, and why? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Have you read the other parts of this series? Part I: Best Music VideoPart II: Song of the YearPart III: Best Global Music PerformancePart IV: Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/ SongPart V: Best Dance/ Electronic PerformancePart VI: Best Rock SongPart VII: Best Country SongPart VIII: Best Traditional R&B PerformancePart IX: Best Improvised Jazz SoloPart X: Best Gospel Performance/ Song, and Part XI: Best American Roots Song.

Looking Forward to the Grammys, Part XI

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Today we are listening to the nominees for Best American Roots Song.

Avalon, performed by Riannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi; written by Rhiannon Giddens, Justin Robinson, and Francesco Turrisi:

Bored, performed by Linda Chorney featuring Becca Byram, EJ Ouellette, and Trevor Sewellzz; written by Linda Chorney:

Call Me a Fool, performed by Valerie June featuring Carla Thomas; written by Valerie June:

Cry, performed by Jon Batiste (I didn’t know he could play bass guitar!), written by Jon Batiste and Steve McEwan:

Diamond Studded Shoes, performed by Yola; written by Dan Auerbach, Natalie Hemby, Aaron Lee Tasjan, and Yola:

Nightflyer, performed by Allison Russell; written by Jeremy Lindsay and Allison Russell:

I had to look up what “American Roots” means. I was kind of thinking of American folk music, but the category is actually broader than that. The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences established this award in 2015 to recognize quality songs in genres such as blues, bluegrass, folk, Americana, and regional roots music. I can see how each of the nominated songs fits in. Which one deserves the award?

I love Rhiannon Giddens, but I really had to listen to Avalon a few times without watching the video. As much as I like the dancing, it distracts me from the music.

I started out being bored by Bored, but after more listenings I like it better.

Valerie June’s voice in Call Me a Fool is so harsh that I find it unpleasant.

Listening to Diamond Studded Shoes and Nightflyer without looking at the videos improved them greatly for me.

But I was very surprised that Cry, which I did not like on first hearing, grew on me in subsequent hearings to a degree that the other songs did not. I don’t usually like motifs that are repeated over and over, but in this song, they’re haunting. I think it was Batiste’s mournful voice that got to me. Cry is my choice for the award.

Now it’s your time. Which song do think deserves the award for Best American Roots Song, and why? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Have you read the other parts of this series? Part I: Best Music VideoPart II: Song of the YearPart III: Best Global Music PerformancePart IV: Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/ SongPart V: Best Dance/ Electronic PerformancePart VI: Best Rock SongPart VII: Best Country SongPart VIII: Best Traditional R&B PerformancePart IX: Best Improvised Jazz Solo, and Part X: Best Gospel Performance/ Song.

Looking Forward to the Grammys, Part X

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Today, we’re listening to the nominees for Best Gospel Performance/Song.

Voice of God, performed by Dante Bowe featuring Steffany Gretzinger and Chandler Moore; written by Dante Bowe, Tywan Mack, Jeff Schneeweis and Mitch Wong (the full song is twice as long as this, but I prefer this abbreviated version):

Joyful, performed by Dante Bowe, written by Dante Bowe and Ben Schofield:

Help, performed by Anthony Brown and group therAPy; written by Anthony Brown and Darryl Woodson. Considering the world situation right now, I want to raise my voice with this song:

Never Lost, CeCe Winans:

Wait On You, performed by Elevation Worship and Maverick City Music; written by Dante Bowe, Chris Brown, Steven Furtick, Tiffany Hudson, Brandon Lake, and Chandler Moore. This is the shortened version; the 13 minute video has had more than 35 million views:

Dante Bowe is well-represented in this category. Scripture exhorts us to rejoice, but what does that look like, exactly? Joyful is a good example of rejoicing.

I like all these songs. Which one is best? I’m leaning toward Help. It’s so beautifully performed–the vocal quality of the choir is amazing, and the harmonies are gorgeous. It draws me right in, especially because I’m so concerned about Ukraine and I don’t know how to pray about it.

Now it’s your turn. Which song should win the Grammy for Best Gospel Performance, and why? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Have you seen the other parts of this series? Part I: Best Music VideoPart II: Song of the YearPart III: Best Global Music PerformancePart IV: Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/ SongPart V: Best Dance/ Electronic PerformancePart VI: Best Rock SongPart VII: Best Country SongPart VIII: Best Traditional R&B Performance and Part IX: Best Improvised Jazz Solo.

Looking Forward to the Grammys, Part IX

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Today we’re listening to the nominees for Best Improvised Jazz Solo. I’m only familiar with Jon Batiste and Chick Corea among these nominees.

Sackodougou, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, trumpet soloist. This is a little long, so if you’d like to cut to the solo, it starts at about 4:49:

Kick Those Feet, Kenny Barron, piano soloist. Barron lays down the theme in the first 30 seconds, then improvises for the next three minutes. He then supports bassist, then recaps the theme at the end:

Bigger Than Us, Jon Batiste, piano soloist. The improvisation starts around 0:40:

Absence, Terence Blanchard, trumpet soloist. He’s improvising almost all the way through:

Humpty Dumpty (Set 2), Chick Corea, piano soloist. Yep, he’s also improvising almost all the way through:

I like Sackodougou, but Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah’s solo gets kind of shrill. Bigger Than Us is lovely, but short; Batiste does a great job. Absence is nice, but a little dissonant at times. Kick Those Feet is an absolute delight–sweet, neat, it keeps me engaged the entire time. Amazing piano playing by Barron. But Humpty Dumpty (Set 2) is also all of that, and it’s 12 minutes long, and it was recorded live. I gotta vote for Chick Corea.

Now it’s your turn. Which of these nominees is your favorite? Tell us why in the comments below.

Have you seen the other parts of this series? Part I: Best Music VideoPart II: Song of the YearPart III: Best Global Music PerformancePart IV: Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/ SongPart V: Best Dance/ Electronic PerformancePart VI: Best Rock Song, Part VII: Best Country Song, and Part VIII: Best Traditional R&B Performance.

Looking Forward to the Grammys, Part VIII

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Today’s category is Best Traditional R&B Performance. I confess that Jon Batiste is the only artist on this list that I know.

I Need You, Jon Batiste:

Bring It On Home to Me, BJ The Chicago Kid, PJ Morton, and Kenyon Dixon featuring Charlie Bereal:

Born Again, Leon Bridges featuring Robert Glasper:

Fight For You, H.E.R. (This song is also nominated for Song of the Year):

How Much Can a Heart Take, Lucky Daye featuring Yebba:

Born Again doesn’t sound like traditional R&B. How did it end up in this category? Bring It On Home to Me is an old standard, and the most traditional of the bunch, sung in 4-part harmony just a little differently than I’m used to. I didn’t like Fight For You before, which is also up for Song of the Year, but after repeated listenings, it’s growing on me. I didn’t see Judas and the Black Messiah, so I don’t really know how it fits into the context of the movie. I Need You is not my favorite Jon Batiste song. How Much Can a Heart Take is pretty good, but I like Fight For You more. But since the category is Best Traditional R&B Performance, my gut says Bring It On Home to Me should win.

Now it’s your turn. Which song do you think deserves the Grammy? How traditional do you think it needs to be? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Have you seen the other parts of this series? Part I: Best Music VideoPart II: Song of the YearPart III: Best Global Music PerformancePart IV: Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/ Song, Part V: Best Dance/ Electronic Performance, and Part VI: Best Rock Song.

Looking Forward to the Grammys, Part VII

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Today we are listening to the nominees for Best Country Song. I don’t listen to a lot of country, so I was surprised that I really enjoyed hearing the songs in this category.

Better Than We Found It by Jessie Jo Dillon, Maren Morris, Jimmy Robbins, and Laura Veltz; performed by Maren Morris. An important question:

camera roll by Ian Fitchuk, Kacey Musgraves, and Daniel Tashian; performed by Kacy Musgraves:

Cold by Dave Cobb, J.T. Cure, Derek Mixon, and Chris Stapleton; performed by Chris Stapleton. I love the piano intro:

Country Again by Zack Crowell, Ashley Gorley, and Thomas Rhett; performed by Thomas Rhett:

Fancy Like by Cameron Barolini, Walker Hayes, Josh Jenkins, and Shane Stevens; performed by Walker Hayes:

Remember Her Name by Mickey Guyton, Blake Hubbard, Jarrod Ingram, and Parker Welling; performed by Mickey Guyton:

So. Which song deserves the Grammy? There are two message songs, and you know how I love message songs. But Better Than We Found It feels just a little preachy to me; I like Remember Her Name just fine. I’m intrigued with the premise of camera roll, a different take on a heartbreak song. Country Again and Fancy Like are certainly good representations of country songs. The nominee I like the best, though, is Cold. But it doesn’t even sound like country; I’d categorize it as blues. If a country artist sings the blues, does that make it a country song? I guess if the nomination is legitimate, Cold is my pick for Best Country Song.

Now it’s your turn. Which song do you think should win the Grammy for Best Country Song? Do you also feel Cold doesn’t sound like country? Is there a different country song that came out in the past year that you think should have been nominated, but wasn’t? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Have you seen the other parts of this series? Part I: Best Music VideoPart II: Song of the YearPart III: Best Global Music PerformancePart IV: Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/ Song, Part V: Best Dance/ Electronic Performance, and Part VI: Best Rock Song.

Looking Forward to the Grammys, Part VI

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Today we’re checking out the nominations for Best Rock Song. I can’t believe I’ve never heard any of these. I really am an out-of-touch old lady.

All My Favorite Songs by Rivers Cuomo, Ashley Gorley, Ben Johnson, and Ilsey Juber; performed by Weezer:

The Bandit by Caleb Followill, Jared Followill, Matthew Followill, and Nathan Followill; performed by Kings of Leon:

This one brought me to tears. The songwriter is the son of Valerie Bertinelli and Eddie Van Halen, who passed away at age 65 on October 6, 2020, of a stroke, after a long battle with cancer. The video features home movie footage of the family at play, and the affection between father and son is so palpable. The song is dedicated to his father. Distance by Wolfgang Van Halen; performed by Mammoth WVH:

Find My Way by Sir Paul McCartney:

Waiting on a War by Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Rami Jaffe, Nate Mendel, Chris Shiflett and Pat Smear; performed by Foo Fighters:

I must be old. I don’t really care for most of these songs. They don’t move me.

I listened to the Bandit lyric video, hoping to mine some meaning from the words. It seems to be about ennui. I never heard of Kings of Leon before. They are talented. I like the song; I’m just not bowled over by it.

I have a great deal of respect for Paul McCartney. He is a genius and an incredible musician. It appears he did everything on Find My Way—the vocals, all the instrumentals (is that an electric harpsichord in there?), and the mixing. He deserves accolades—not everyone is as multi-faceted as he is. But it’s just not a great song.

I hope Distance wins the Grammy for Best Rock Song. It is the only song in the bunch that really connected with me emotionally. As a love song, it works on more than one level.

Now it’s your turn. Which of these songs is your pick for Best Rock Song, and why? Or is there another rock song that came out last year that you think would be the perfect choice? Please share in the comments below.

Have you seen the other parts of this series? Part I: Best Music VideoPart II: Song of the YearPart III: Best Global Music Performance, Part IV: Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/ Song, and Part V: Best Dance/ Electronic Performance.

Looking Forward to the Grammys, Part V

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Today we’re looking at the nominees for Best Dance/ Electronic Recording.

Hero, Afrojack and David Guetta:

Loom, Ólafur Arnalds featuring Bonobo:

Before, James Blake:

Heartbreak, Bonobo and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs (This video has a strobe warning, so if you’re prone to seizures, you might want to watch the music-only version on YouTube):

You Can Do It, Caribou:

Alive, Rüfüs Du Sol:

The Business, Tiësto:

This category made me realize how much I’m influenced by visuals. For example, You Can Do It should get the award for Most Annoying Vocals (sorry, Caribou, that’s not a real category, or you’d win it for sure), but the dogs in the video are so engaging I didn’t really notice at first what a horrible song it is. Also, I didn’t like Before and Heartbreak when I looked at the music-only videos; but I liked them a lot with the videos shown here. Also, I like the dancing in Before much better than the dancing in Loom, so I want to judge Before more favorably, which isn’t exactly fair. And then, the video for The Business is a little creepy, which made me not want to like it at all.

So, to be fair, over the course of a couple of days I listened to the songs while playing solitaire so I wouldn’t see the videos and be influenced by them. The repetitive nature of You Can Do It and Loom disqualified them for me. The rhythms of Hero, Before, Heartbreak, Alive, and The Business all make me want to dance. But each of the songs has elements of repetition, and with repeated listenings, I found them annoying. The one that annoyed me least was Hero, and its upbeat mood and great message make it the best candidate for the award, in my opinion.

Now it’s your turn. Did you also find yourself judging the songs on the basis of the videos? Which one do you think should get the award for Best Dance/ Electronic Recording on the basis of the music? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Have you seen the other parts of this series? Part I: Best Music Video, Part II: Song of the Year, Part III: Best Global Music Performance, and Part IV: Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/ Song.

Looking Forward to the Grammys, Part IV

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Today, let’s look at the nominations for Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song. I used to be much more tuned in to this category. I’m familiar with Kirk Franklin and CeCe Winans, but the other nomineed performers are new to me.

We Win, performed by Kirk Franklin and Lil Baby; Kirk Franklin, Dominique Jones, Cynthia Nunn and Justin Smith, songwriters. This song was written for the new Space Jam movie:

Hold Us Together (Hope Mix) performed by H.E.R. and Tauren Wells; Josiah Bassey, Dernst Emile and H.E.R., songwriters

Man of Your Word performed by Chandler Moore and KJ Scriven; Jonathan Jay, Nathan Jess and Chandler Moore, songwriters. I have reservations about Christian worship songs that repeat one or two phrases ad infinitim:

Believe For It performed by CeCe Winans; Dwan Hill, Kyle Lee, CeCe Winans and Mitch Wong, songwriters. Oh my, toward the end, this song is very much like Man of Your Word in that the same words are repeated over and over:

Jireh performed by Elevation Worship and Maverick City Music featuring Chandler Moore and Naomi Raine; Chris Brown, Steven Furtick, Chandler Moore and Naomi Raine, songwriters:

These are all wonderful performances with beautiful vocal harmonies, but the one that gives me chills is Jireh, though I could do without the repetitive ending. Jireh’s my pick.

Now it’s your turn. Which of these songs do you think deserves the Grammy for Best Contemporary Christian  Music Performance/Song, and why? Please share in the comments below.

Have you seen the other parts of this series? Part I: Best Music Video. Part II: Song of the Year, Part III: Best Global Music Performance.