“THE MOST IMPORTANT NIGHT IN MUSIC!” according to some, and as a music lover, I simply could not agree more. Thrills, spills, glitz, glam, rigged votes and blatant misogyny. It has all the makings of a classic mainstream media awards ceremony. And yet just like an ex-partners social media account, I can’t help myself running back to look and getting stung each and every time. But this time, it’s different.
2019 is the year where we all collectively realise that the world is terrible and a lot of us have made it that way, so we have to pull up our socks and get on with cleaning up the mess, making ourselves and everything around us, better. And for once, the Grammy Awards has taken note. For me personally, I’ve always had an issue with the diversity of the event, as in, there is absolutely none whatsoever, and the National Academy Of Arts and Sciences that run the ceremony are all dinosaurs, but it seems that this time around, they’ve been held at gunpoint to change things, and women have absolutely dominated it this year, and so they should! There are and always have been monolithic and powerful women swept under the rug by the men upstairs but not this time, they have taken over and I could not be happier. It’s finally happening, things are being done. Now for the rest of the show…
There were some amazing performances from artists all across the board, but you’re all here to look at a few of the winners from someone that moans about the prestigious event every year, so let’s get on with it as I’m hungry and I really fancy smashing a meal deal after this. (Disclaimer: I will only be looking at the most notable awards, the main few, the click baiters, as if I started going into Best Looking Bassist of 2018 then we would be at the next GMA’s by the time I finish, and just like Jennifer Lawrence, I’m just like you, I have a family to see and rent to pay for and friends to catch up with, come on, let me have this one).
ALBUM OF THE YEAR / Kacey Musgraves – Golden Hour
If your only source of musical enjoyment is contemporary pop, this is a head-scratcher, and I’d tell you to get off your high horse and listen to OTHER CONTENT, if you had your eye on the musical ball in 2018 though, you’d have seen Kacey Musgraves win Apple Music’s Album Of The Year, and a CMA for the very same accomplishment. The Guardian and The Independent both gave it a 5/5, Pitchfork gave it an 8.7/10 (which is good for the Pitchfork considering their entire office is just monkeys randomly hitting biscuit tins with wooden spoons, bashing keyboards and eventually finding their way to publishing). The fact that a female country singer beat the likes of the number one fan of youngsters Drake with his Scorpion, Cardi B’s Invasion Of Privacy and Post Malone’s Beerbongs & Bentleys, is an extremely impressive feat and a sure fire way of showing that Country music is no joke. An extremely deserved win and I hope Kacey Musgraves keeps raking in the gold this year. If Drake had won, I’d have snapped my laptop in half and hoofed myself under the 509 Megabus.
Song Of The Year AND Record Of The Year / Childish Gambino – This Is America
I find this one slightly difficult, as a pre-Camp Childish Gambino fan, I am overwhelmed with the amount of attention he’s finally getting for his artistry, but to be honest, outside of the music video, ‘This Is America’ as a track isn’t all that. There isn’t a lot to it lyrically, however it does have a consistently infectious beat, but you can’t help picture the music video when you hear it, and without that, it is just another rap song, I think if Lil Pump stopped flexing and took a look at the real world around him, he could’ve written it, and he’s only been around for around 5 minutes. That’s not to say ‘This Is America’ is bad, as by today’s mainstream rap standards, it’s fantastic, but it should not have beaten Lady Gaga/Bradley Cooper/Mark Ronson with ‘Shallow’. or Kendrick Lamarr and SZA’s ‘All The Stars’; SZA outshining most of the nominations. ‘God’s Plan’ only made it into nominations due to how much the young people love it, and they love that track as much as Drake loves them. At an alarming rate.
Best New Artist / Dua Lipa
I like this, this is the content I am here for!
The nominations are all fantastic artists very much deserving of the award but I feel like last year was their trial shift and this year is their proving grounds. However, that said, I can’t believe anyone like Greta Van Fleet actually exists and there are people out there that start their day by waking up, getting ready to go to work, check their socials, get on the bus/tube/bike/walk, open up their music app of choice, scroll down and select Greta Van Fleet and think that it’s fine to do so. These people walk among us and we need to look out, if they are capable of enduring and taking pleasure some such audio torture, then it sickens me as to what they’re capable of and will do next. If they are seen going towards an aux cable, disarm them at all cost, as you would a Trump supporter going towards a shooting range or a Tory going towards a child on crutches. Basically, I am saying this now, Dua Lipa is the new Queen Of Pop, the Taylor’s and Rihanna’s and Beyoncé’s are all Official Legends of course, they will never be moved, but for fresh blood in the pop game to shake things up, Dua Lipa is definitely the person to do it. A huge highlight for me was Dua making a pointed dig at Recording Academy President Neil Portnow’s comments after last year’s awards. “I guess we really stepped up!”, really kicking a fossil in the guts. Well played.
BEST RAP ALBUM / Cardi B – Invasion Of Privacy
Less said about this the better. I like what she’s about, and I agree with her ‘take no shit’ attitude, but good grief what a trash album compared to others on the nominations list. This album sucked, I did not get the appeal – if you take the lyrics about money and clubbing out of it, then it would be an instrumental album, and I cannot believe the academy flew over Mac Miller’s family and friends over to watch their amazingly talented relative get taken out of it by an album that just simply was not as impressive as the wordplay and lyrical writing on Swimming. Hell, I’d have even picked Astroworld, for the memes alone.
BEST ROCK ALBUM / Greta Van Fleet – From The Fires
BEST POP VOCAL ALBUM / Ariana Grande – Sweetener
Considering she has gone through absolute tragedy after tragedy that would cripple even the bravest of people to an emotional wreck, it’s inspiring to see Ariana Grande not just come out with music, but to deliver pieces as sweeping and unexpected as Sweetener (and most recently Thank U, Next, an album that will surely take this award this time next year). Very few artists can release albums that continually smash it out of the park every swing they take, especially, after so much horror they’ve had to experience in their lives, and it’s a staggering reminder that no matter what happens to you as a person, you can always pick yourself up, dust off, and change the world. I feel like Ariana has only just started to take on the industry alone, and what a strong start she’s had, without dropping quality once. Camilla Cabello in my eyes is the only artist nominated even close to winning the award due to solid work but Ariana has just destroyed the competition and again, this is only the first phase.
BEST ALTERNATIVE MUSIC ALBUM / Beck – Colours
I’m starting to think that Beck is sleeping with someone from the Academy as there is absolutely no way he can keep winning these things, I have never met a Beck fan once in my entire life, the only time was when Scott Pilgrim Vs The World came out, and now those ‘fans’ are all straight white males sliding into girls DM’s, pretending to be vegan and artsy, telling the poor victims that they remind them of Ramona Flowers. I’m not doubting the talent of Beck, he’s a massive talent, but past Radio 6, there is no chance people would actively vote Colours past the likes of St. Vincent, Björk and the genre shifter by Arctic Monkeys. I honestly think Beck could kick a dog in the ribs solidly for about 40 minutes and the Academy would give him some sort of artistic award, sort of like how Radiohead could torch a house with a family in it, lock them all inside, record it with Thom Yorke sobbing over the screams, and Pitchfork would give it a 10/10. But you’ve done it again Beck, well done you sneaky little fox. See you again next year.
I think that’s it for the awards people wanted to see and the results were fantastic this year, the awards ceremony was actually a lot of fun, you had great performances by Miley Cyrus and Dolly Parton, a nice little Post Malone/Red Hot Chili Peppers crossover, a monstrous performance of Shallow by Lady Gaga among other great performances, and a belter of an opening for the ceremony, by Camilla Cabello and Ricky Martin, finally representing the Latino community and the world of talent they have to offer. If the Grammy’s can change their ways, then so can everyone else, and after this ceremony, the future looks very bright, and I am looking forward to it more than ever before.
Words: Roscoe Martin