It’s time to drop trowel and get dirty with this one. Any album, of any genre, of any decade – what’s the greatest made? Now, that may be a tall order, but I know you can at least suggest a few contenders. Or, maybe you’re ballsy and know the greatest music album created already. Whether it be from a forum you read impartially or whether it’s from your own intellectual thoughts of music knowledge and understanding, pit them against one another in the comments and we can get angry with one another. I mean, if it comes to that. I doubt it would though, as you guys are all great.
Weak punchlines, awkward moments, chaotic introductions and female artists stealing the show, the Brit Awards 2021 had all types of funny and momentous occasions.
Despite popularity trumping musicality with these award shows, it’s still a good laugh and a watch from all things current in the music industry.
With the controversial work of Jack Whitehall returning to host the show again for the third year in a row, the show was flux with jokes that failed to hit the mark, jokes that trump a snort or chortle, or jokes that didn’t catch on at all. But despite the awkward moments with the socially distanced audiences, and flight-testing COVID-friendly live performances, the award show allowed us to delve a little deeper into what we should expect post-lockdown for our live music industry.
Lapping up the fame and notoriety of powerful women in the music industry, Dua Lipa, Little Mix, Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish and HAIM all made stellar appearances for Best British Group, Best British Album, Best International Group and International accolades that trifled a new domination, the Global Icon award, where previous winners have been Bowie and Elton John.
As they fed off male counterparts with the likes of The 1975 and Biffy Clyro, they made a point to prove for their cultural impact with their music – and rightly so.
Swift and Lipa also both discussed within their speeches, the power of stepping up and rising against resistance from those before them. The iconic moment captured, and taken aboard as every single woman up and down the country effortlessly echo and agree their words.
After the sham of The Grammys, Awards for the Brits wanted to get on the good side of chart-topping electro-pop maestro, The Weeknd as he collected his Best InternationalMale Artist while singing in the rain with his song, Save Your Tears, pre-recorded due to the inability to fly outside the Green Zone into and out of the United States.
The rising scenes of drill music also made an appeareance with J Hus and Headie One making fantastic live show performances and appearances at the awards show, demonstrating just how unique and varied our music scene really is.
Fashion-favourite and pop-lovin’ soloist, Harry Styles swept up the surprises with him taking home the Best British Single with Watermelon Sugar, whilst my favourite artist from the year, Arlo Parks got the fantastic praise she deserves by winning Breakthrough Artist for the year.
My top wtf moments from this year has to be the incontrollable use of ITV’s decision to mute the audio on some explicable language – despite it being past the watermark hour of 9pm. Whitehall made them hit the button a fair few times with him celebrating the majority of the audience being made up of our key workers – and the “corporate wankers” to boot in the boxes too. Capaldi also was a favourite of the mute, as his off-the-cuff introduction speech was simply hilarious and ridiculous at the same time.
“Hello motherfuckers! Listen guys… I’m fucking sweating – it’s like a swamp down there, I’m telling you. Sweaty bollocks.”
In an attempt to follow the controversial steeds of Oasis before him, he certainly made it more entertaining to watch nearing the final strands of the 2-and-a-half runtime of the show.
All in all, it was somewhat of a showing of what British music has to offer and really shows just how iconic and varied our scenes really are. Despite the fact that there are thousands more artists who create more compelling music than those who won but … popularity trumps musicality with these awards shows.
Romp with frenetic energy, stellar line-up and an amazing concoction of noise,the band’s 2005 second album has become an instant cult classic.
Irrespective of the number of albums they sold (which stands at over 5 million) or how many emphatic tunes are within this album (which stands at 6 for the well-known), A Beautiful Lie is a nostalgic trip into creating a rock masterpiece for all the ages. The flaship of Thirty Seconds to Mars, ruled the rock roster from ’05 to at least 2011 across the western world.
With their collective reaching infamous heights such as, “The Kill”, “From Yesterday,”“Kings and Queens,” and “Closer to the Edge,” they are the flagship of breaking barriers and selling platinum in not only their home continent, but onto international soil, too.
However, I am also tempted to state the band in past-tense for their musical history, but believe or not – – they are a band that are still active and alive today in the industry.
Despite recent releases that don’t usually resemble the Thirty Seconds to Mars we witnessed back in ’05.
But, this is not new news for a band to change with the times, strip their chaotic rock anthems, and blossom into the ventures of pop to strike resemblance and relevance among an ever-growing listening audience – their rife trap-beat and achingly simple 2018 album, AMERICA showed us exactly that.
But, A Beautiful Lie was something else. Ripe with angst, passion and strong intentions, it ultimately set the precedence for the industry, swung opposing heads to the LA brothers, and allowed them to dominate the tempting top-position in the rock world.
Despite the rock teetering out to enter the plethora of mass culture, it still allowed them to achieve critical acclaim, notable accolades of awards and sell over 15 million albums worldwide – when we were still purchasing albums, that is.
In a first for the academy show, stand-in president, Harvey Mason Jr. declared a speech last night, to join together and share the love of music, as it should be loved.
Amongst the controversy and boycotting drama with The Weeknd and Zayn Malik, Mason addressed these concerns in an aid to “build a new Recording Academy that we can be proud of.”
“Tonight I’m here to ask the entire music community to join in – work with us, not against us – as we build a new Recording Academy that we can all be proud of. One that will continue to do the work and serve everyone in the industry. Now we might not get it right 100 percent of the time and we certainly won’t be able to make everyone happy, but we will provide support in times of need.
We will preserve music and educate the next generation. We will advocate for the rights of all creators to make sure they can continue to earn a fair living making music. And we will stand up for what’s right and fight for greater diversity and more equal representation. This is not a vision for tomorrow, but the job for today. Our work is important because music is important.” –
HARVEY MASON JR, Interim President and CEO
It certainly seems that the GRAMMYs are keeping themselves barely above water, and making us all aware that they themselves are aware of the outcries and rebuttal the award show has recently received. Striving for “greater diversity and more equal representation” – in an age where it seems easier to do so than ever before with our immense talent from all areas – only time will tell if the Recording Academy will set out to what they’ve promised over the next few years.
Let me know if this will ring true, or is merely here-say to protect their image.
Here all the winners from the Grammys 2021:
Questionable nominations; inconsistent qualities – is this the same case of “Popularity over Musicality”?
Record Of The Year
‘Black Parade’, Beyoncé ‘Colors’, Black Pumas ‘Rockstar’, DaBaby featuring Roddy Ricch ‘Say So’, Doja Cat ‘Everything I Wanted’, Billie Eilish – winner ‘Don’t Start Now’, Dua Lipa ‘Circles’, Post Malone ‘Savage’, Megan Thee Stallion featuring Beyoncé
Album Of The Year
‘Chilombo’, Jhené Aiko ‘Black Pumas’, Black Pumas ‘Everyday Life’, Coldplay ‘Djesse Vol.3’, Jacob Collier ‘Women In Music Pt. III’, Haim ‘Future Nostalgia’, Dua Lipa ‘Hollywood’s Bleeding’, Post Malone ‘Folklore’, Taylor Swift – winner
Song Of The Year
‘Black Parade’, Beyoncé ‘The Box’, Roddy Ricch ‘Cardigan’, Taylor Swift ‘Circles’, Post Malone ‘Don’t Start Now’, Dua Lipa ‘Everything I Wanted’, Billie Eilish ‘I Can’t Breathe’, H.E.R. – winner ‘If The World Was Ending’, JP Saxe featuring Julia Michaels
Best New Artist
Ingrid Andress Phoebe Bridgers Chika Noah Cyrus D Smoke Doja Cat Kaytranada Megan Thee Stallion – winner
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
‘Un Dia (One Day)’, J Balvin, Dua Lipa, Bad Bunny and Tainy ‘Intentions’, Justin Bieber featuring Quavo ‘Dynamite’, BTS ‘Rain On Me’, Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande – winner ‘Exile’, Taylor Swift featuring Bon Iver
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album
‘Blue Umbrella’, Daniel Tashian ‘True Love: A Celebration Of Cole Porter’, Harry Connick Jr. ‘American Standard’, James Taylor – winner ‘Unfollow The Rules’, Rufus Wainwright ‘Judy’, Renée Zellweger
Best Pop Vocal Album
‘Changes’, Justin Bieber ‘Chromatica’, Lady Gaga ‘Future Nostalgia’, Dua Lipa – winner ‘Fine Line’, Harry Styles ‘Folklore’, Taylor Swift
Best Dance Recording
‘On My Mind’, Diplo & Sidepiece ‘My High’, Disclosure featuring Aminé & Slowthai ‘The Difference’, Flume featuring Toro y Moi ‘Both Of Us’, Jayda G ’10%’, Kaytranada featuring Kali Uchis – winner
‘Axiom’, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah ‘Chronology Of A Dream: Live At The Village Vanguard’, Jon Batiste ‘Take The Stairs’, Black Violin ‘Americana’, Grégoire Maret, Romain Collin & Bill Frisell ‘Live At The Royal Albert Hall’, Snarky Puppy – winner
Best Rock Performance
‘Shameika’, Fiona Apple – winner ‘Not’, Big Thief ‘Kyoto’, Phoebe Bridgers ‘The Steps’, Haim ‘Stay High’, Brittany Howard ‘Daylight’, Grace Potter
Best Metal Performance
‘Bum-Rush’, Body Count – winner ‘Underneath’, Code Orange ‘The In-Between’, In This Moment ‘Bloodmoney’, Poppy ‘Executioner’s Tax (Swing Of The Ace) – Live’, Power Trip
Best Rock Song
‘Kyoto’, Phoebe Bridgers ‘Lost In Yesterday’, Tame Impala ‘Not’, Big Thief ‘Shameika’, Fiona Apple ‘Stay High’, Brittany Howard – winner
Best Rock Album
‘A Hero’s Death’, Fontaines D.C. ‘Kiwanuka’, Michael Kiwanuka ‘Daylight’, Grace Potter ‘Sound & Fury’, Sturgill Simpson ‘The New Abnormal’, The Strokes – winner
Best Alternative Music Album
‘Fetch The Boltcutters’, Fiona Apple – winner ‘Hyperspace’, Beck ‘Punisher’, Phoebe Bridgers ‘Jaime’, Brittany Howard ‘The Slow Rush’, Tame Impala
Best R&B Performance
‘Lightning & Thunder’, Jhené Aiko & John Legend ‘Black Parade’, Beyoncé – winner ‘All I Need’, Jacob Collier featuring Mahalia & Ty Dolla $ign ‘Goat Head’, Brittany Howard ‘See Me’, Emily King
Best Traditional R&B Performance
‘Sit On Down’, The Baylor Project featuring Jean Baylor & Marcus Baylor ‘Wonder What She Thinks Of Me’, Chloe X Halle ‘Let Me Go’, Mykal Kilgore ‘Anything For You’, Ledisi – winner ‘Distance’, Yebba
Best R&B Song
‘Better Than I Imagined’, Robert Glasper featuring H.E.R. & Meshell Ndegeocello – winner ‘Black Parade’, Beyoncé ‘Collide’, Tiana Major9 & Earthgang ‘Do It’, Chloe X Halle ‘Slow Down’, Skip Marley & H.E.R.
Best Progressive R&B Album
‘Chilombo’, Jhené Aiko ‘Ungodly Hour’, Chloe X Halle ‘Free Nationals’, Free Nationals ‘Fuck Yo Feelings’, Robert Glasper ‘It Is What It Is’, Thundercat – winner
As they snub favourite artists such as The Weeknd and Kendrick Lamar from their acclaimed prizes, sift through the mud of allegations from racism, sexism and a lack in diversity to artist picks – it shows just howunfit they are as judges to music.
With the Grammys receiving such a subjective onslaught each year and as interest rates fall on their overall importance as awards, do the Grammys even matter anymore?
Short answer simply is: no.
Unlike the Oscars, the prestigious academy award for music has seemingly lost its original tact, and is out of touch with the rest of the world. Unlike the Oscars that actually awards films based on glowing prospects, reputations and sheer camera-rolling etiquette, The Grammys is a congruent cess-pit of odd nominations, shameless bigotry and is showing a side to the music industry that is rather ugly.
With so many prestigious and culturally-defining artists in the industry that have been snubbed of such an award (Queen, Bjork, ABBA and Jimi Hendrix to name a few) it is easy to understand why The Grammys has been scrutinised for their lack of desire to produce a decent academy award show to celebrate the best of music – as they choose to instead award their “white friends and counterparts” in the industry – and receive backlash of racism and bigotry because of it – and not the distinctive artists that have made a impact against the status quo of the industry.
Because if they start awarding acts who go against the “system” of upending gender stereotypes (Queen) and make albums that go against their specified genre (The Weeknd) what does that say about the system of the industry itself? Something that cannot be controlled it seems …
But its important to note that something like the Grammys is not so definitely clean-cut like other competitions like the Olympics. When it comes to who sang the most impressive or made a defining moment to the world of music, well then, that becomes a bit more objective. With it, comes the usual backlash and sparks of fury as such an award because it is such an opinionated sport.
But to me, I think this is what makes Grammys not matter most, because at the end of it all, while it is fun to see who will win a Grammy, it ultimately doesn’t affect how we (me included) view an artists’ work. When we listen to a piece of work, do we define how “good” it is if it won a Grammy? No, we think it’s good because it’s simply good music. For me, they are not one and the same.
So with that being said, I think that the sheer novelty of awarding music based on something so objective certainly makes it an easier target than most other award shows. But, let’s be honest, they haven’t helped themselves in the past, have they?
Let me know what you think to this topic of conversation – and more importantly, will you be watching tonight?
Former suspended CEO stating on how ‘rigged’ the ceremony is …
Grammy’s controversial moments show just how implausible it is as an awards ceremony …