If you were waffling on whether or not the Grammy Awards were simply irrelevant, this year's nominations for Best Album should settle that debate: the Grammys is OVER. The nominations this year for Best Album are: Taylor Swift's Red, Daft Punk's Random Access Memories, Sara Bareilles' The Blessed Unrest, Kendrick Lamar's Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City, and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' The Heist. I cordially invite you to join me for a resounding "WTF?" at the fact that there is such a dearth of talent on the roster for Best Album nomination, including some of 2013's most talked-about and influential artists. Namely: Kanye West's Yeezus, Vampire Weekend's Modern Vampires in the City, Lorde's Pure Heroine, Drake's Nothing Was the Same, and Justin Timberlake's The 20/20 Experience. Basically any album that topped a "Best Album of the Year" list was snubbed for a Grammy Best Album nod. Not to say that these artists didn't show up in other Grammy categories, but the fact that they were left out of the biggest honor of the awards is pretty suspect. Of course, Beyoncé's BEYONCE missed the cutoff for the nomination, but perhaps that's for the better, because if she were snubbed, we'd be picketing.
Obviously we can't pretend to even TRY to understand how the nominations are doled out, but here are five artists that we couldn't shut up about this year that were not nominated in the Album of the Year category.
While Yeezus was nominated for Best Rap Album and "New Slaves" picked up a nomination for Best Rap Song, Kanye's record was passed over for album of the year. Sure, it could be because after last year's Grammy Awards Kanye made a bit of an unsavory comment about the awards show ("the Grammys can suck my d**k"), but are they really SO vain that they'd let withhold a nomination out of spite? To say that Yeezus made headlines this year is a laughable understatement. From the strange, excellent weirdness of his electronic beats and the invectives against the perils of superficiality in the fashion world, Kanye deserved a Grammy nomination in the Best Album category, if, for nothing else, for his willingness to take risks and reinvent notions of what hip-hop is.
VAMPIRE WEEKEND—MODERN VAMPIRES OF THE CITY
Was named by Rolling Stone the best album of 2013, was totally passed over by the Grammys in the Best Album category. Credit due, etc: Modern Vampires of the City was recognized for Best Alternative Music Album, but god, doesn't the world "alternative" just sound so 90's now? Daft Punk's Random Access Memories was included (deservedly!) in the Best Album category, but if you wanna talk alternative, Daft Punk's funky celeb cameo disco album is heaps "stranger" than Modern Vampires. I hope in addition to their apathy about oxford commas, Vampire Weekend doesn't put too much stake in Grammy nominations.
Um... what? And also, how? Lorde impressed all of us this year by being the most well-spoken teenager on our radar since Tavi. Not totally unnoticed, she was nominated in four categories: Best Record and Song of the Year for "Royals," Best Solo Pop Performance, and Best Pop Vocal Album for Pure Heroine. Surprising enough that Lorde was not nominated for the Album of the Year category, but she was also passed over for Best New Artist (a nomination which absurdly went to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, who, I just realized, are two different people). I'm gonna go ahead and give this tiny girl with big hair and a bigger voice our honorary nomination for Best New Artist of 2013, and hopefully she will write a very biting and critical song about how the Grammys are cliquey.
DRAKE—NOTHING WAS THE SAME
OMG quick somebody find Drake and hug him immediately. He's melancholy on a good day! Not getting a Best Album nomination for Nothing Was the Same must be breaking what's left of his already broken heart. He picked up a spattering of nom's in other categories, thankfully including Best Rap Album, but Nothing Was the Same had some of the most gorgeous and new rap tracks of 2013 (thinking specifically of "Hold On, We're Going Home" and "Too Much") and some of the most ubiquitous and most played—who hasn't used "started from the bottom now we're here" as a caption on an Instagram? It's a shame that Nothing Was the Same wasn't given an album of the year nomination, because it's one of the most lasting and lyrically rich records of the year.
JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE—THE 20/20 EXPERIENCE
The album that every fangirl waited seven years for after Future Sex/ Love Sounds. Though its first single, "Suit and Tie," was initially underwhelming, JT came out swinging with the rest of the album which was pretty damn sexy and a little mushy in love. To be fair, he did get a whopping nine nominations this year, but that's all the more reason it's puzzling that he wasn't considered for the Album of the Year. The 20/20 Experience was the best-selling album of 2013, which I guess means nothing to the Grammys. It wasn't the deepest artistic meditation, but it had some vocally amazing tracks with accompanying amazing music videos—obviously I mean "Mirrors," which at least got nominated for Best Pop Solo performance.
In conclusion, no one knows how the Grammy nominations for Best Album are chosen, but probably some names-in-a-hat sort of thing. You should still watch the Grammys, though, because the performers are INSANE! Beyoncé and Jay Z just confirmed, along with a slew of great new acts and some legends too (Paul McCartney, anyone??!) And in the Best Album category, top contenders/ best surprises would be Daft Punk or Kendrick Lamar as winners—both Random Access Memories and Good Kid, m.A.A.d city were solid, exciting albums that showcased great talent from so many people. If Macklemore and Ryan Lewis win, I quit earth.