"You Too" and Stuff...

If it's "a penny for your thoughts" but you have to "put your two cents in", someone is making a penny somewhere.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Grammy Schmammy...

Well, they did it again. Nominations were announced today for the 2005 Grammy awards. I like to be surprised when nominees are selected...I want to be as surprised as those nominees who get nominated who know that they really deserve it, but think that they're going to be overlooked for the Nellys and Britneys of the world. Unfortunately, for myself and those really truly talented artists, it's another year of disappointment. Think of every irritating song that you've heard on the radio non-stop and those singing them are the ones with their eyes on the prize this year.

Now, I'm not saying that every nominee is lame because there are a few nominations, as predictable as they are, that I'm happy to see made the list. Note the number of young'uns on the list...

"Let's Get It Started" - Black Eyed Peas
This song is great because it's the perfect getting ready to go out or first dance of the evening at the local club song. It's upbeat, fun, and is sung by a former cast member of "Kids Incorporated."

"Burn" - Usher
Finally a song that doesn't force us to listen to a guy talking about bedding a catch. It's an actual song about a guy calling it off for honest, genuine, sincere reasons. Put it in the books kids...

"Heaven" - Los Lonely Boys
Mark my words, they're one hit wonders. However, I hope that this one hit pays off for them.

"The Reason" - Hoobastank
A hard rock song allowing us to understand the lyrics, say "awww", and eligible to be a 2005 prom theme song at the same time. Any song that starts with the words, "I'm not a perfect person" gets my attention.

"Live Like You Were Dying" - Tim McGraw
This song only works if you call up those people you don't say "I love you" to enough. It's worked for me. I can't see this song not making anyone want to spend another day without taking a risk.

"She Will Be Loved" - Maroon 5
Not only does this band have the cutest singer of all of the nominees, but it's also struck gold this year. It went from opening for John Mayer to headlining with three #1 hits all in a month's time. That's hard work, that's success, that's Grammy...

"Fell in Love with a Boy" - Joss Stone
The best cover song of the year, hands down. Ms. Stone is amazingly talented, raw, and honest for being so young. She sings from the heart while making lots of boys wish they were "the one." Kudos to her for refusing to use her voice and good looks to play a pop princess.

Norah Jones - "Feels Like Home"
She should win every award that she's nominated for. In fact, I would pay big bucks to see Ms. Jones go on tour with Joss Stone...maybe throw in a little Ani and Dar and I could die happily after the standing ovation. I love Norah Jones for several reasons. I feel that I have a distant personal connection to her since she is a friend of a friend of mine. She is brilliant. Her voice is flawless and classic. The duet with Dolly Parton on this CD is worth every penny you spend. I could keep going, but I say just give her the Grammy already. I don't care if she doesn't have any room in her trophy case after last year's awards. Norah Jones is the new Tom Hanks of acknowledgements.

"Daughters" - John Mayer
This is the best song on John's newest CD. It's simple, but so real. I feel a personal connection to this song following this year's events in my life. It's a lesson to be learned.

"You Raise Me Up" - Josh Groban
Unfortunately, the only radio stations that ate this song up this year were of the light rock format. I'm not exactly sure where Mr. Groban fits in. He's in that young eclectic category with some of this year's other nominees. If you've ever heard him sing, you don't have to figure out why he's nominated. The great thing about Mr. Groban is that if he doesn't walk away big on Grammy night, he'll have plenty more opportunities for years to come. This won't be the last time we hear from him.

Harry Connick, Jr. - "Only You"
This is Harry doing what Harry does. The best part about it is that I got to see Handsome Harry up close and personal this year on his "Only You" tour. You always know that a show is great when you walk out of the auditorium feeling that the Ticketmaster surcharges were all worth it. I've been a fan of Connick's for years. From the first note he crooned, I knew why. In addition to his smooth voice, his musical talent is untouchable. He is easily one of the best piano players I've seen in my life. HCJ is the new Sinatra...gasp...yeah, I said it.

"99 Problems" - Jay Z
Wow! From one extreme to the other, eh? Jay Z's performance on MTV's "Unplugged" is one of my favorite recordings. It's live, he's backed by The Roots, and, even though you're not in the crowd, you can feel the energy of the people at the show. He's certainly one of the most underappreciated rap artists out there. Last year's "Grey Album" virtually went unnoticed. I loved it because he sampled all of the songs on The Beatles' "White Album." Being a huge fan of The Beatles, I wasn't offended by the new sounds. I honestly couldn't tell you who enhanced the other's music more. "99 Problems" is one of Jay Z's new experiments. He meshes his spoken word abilities with a heavy beat to create something addictive and comfortable.

"All Falls Down" - Kanye West
I loved Kanye West before he hit the music scene and was a spoken word performer. The poem that inspired this song, "Self Conscious", is one of my favorite. I was disappointed in the CD overall, but I definitely think that this song is Grammy worthy.

"You'll Think of Me" - Keith Urban
This song is the one that made me teary the most this year. I'm not sure if the tears were out of shock that someone had the nerve to leave someone as yummy as Keith Urban, the sorry lyrics about the cat, or because I think we've all been in a similar situation of breaking up with someone and trying to convince them that they'll miss you more than you'll miss them. Great song...really great song.

"Save A Horse (Ride a Cowboy)" - Big & Rich
These guys are Grammy-worthy for one main reason...They had the courage to turn a cheezy bumper sticker saying into a hit song while nonchalantly referring to themselves as "Big" and "Rich" The song doesn't impress me, but the size of their kahunas does.

Jamie Cullum - "Twentysomething"
This is easily my favorite CD of the entire year. It's going to be tough to beat next year. I was first introduced to his music by a co-worker who heard about him on NPR. Jamie Cullum is as right-on as they come when it comes to describing the life of a "twentysomething." The biggest song off of the album, "All at Sea," with it's kick-ass piano intro. makes me wish that I were "all at sea" with British Cullum so as to not be bothered by life. He also does a mean cover of "The Wind Cries Mary." Cullum makes us hear the classics in a whole new way without any crooning, but still making us remember why those songs were classics in the first place. Grammy, here he comes!

"You Ain My One True Love" - Alison Krauss
Sting wrote this song for the movie "Cold Mountain." If you've seen the movie, you understand not only how important music is to it's existence, but also that there couldn't be a better song to capture the scenes of the Civil war. The music in this film makes you feel the film, not something that is conveyed so easily anymore. This movie without this soundtrack would be like "Footloose" without any dancing. They work beautifully together. Alison Krauss is a true song bird...and from Illinois. The entire score is up for a Grammy and I think that it'll be taking it home this year.

"De-lovely" - Soundtrack
Unfortunately I missed out on this film, but I had common sense enough to take a chance with the soundtrack. After seeing the preview, I knew that I couldn't pass it up. With artists such as Alanis Morrisette, Sheryl Crow, Elvis Costello, Robbie Williams, and Diana Krall taking on Cole Porter's hits, it's a refreshing listen.

"Avenue Q" - Soundtrack
It doesn't suck to be "Avenue Q" or anything related to it. This musical, which won the Tony last year for Best Musical, can be described as "Rent" meets "Sesame Street"...and Gary Coleman is the landlord. I have spent countless hours listening and laughing to this soundtrack. It's nice to see that it's popularity will remain around for a while longer thanks to this nomination.

And then there are those who I believe should have received honorable mentions but were overlooked this year:

"Everything" - Alanis Morisette
"Everything to Everyone" - Barenaked Ladies
"Measure of a Man" - Clay Aiken
Anything by The Streets
"I Believe in a Thing Called Love" - The Darkness
"Harmful if Swallowed" - Dane Cook
"Skanks for the Memories" - Dave Attell
"Like a River" - Kasey Chambers
"Come Home Soon" - SheDaisy
Anything by Kelis
"Hallelujah" - Rufus Wainwright
"Leave Get Out" - JoJo
"Over and Over" or "My Place" - Nelly (sorry, I'm guilty...they're good songs)
"Long Time Coming" - Jonny Lang
Anything by Jason Mraz
"Thankful" - Kelly Clarkson
"Whiskey Lullaby" - Alison Krauss/Brad Paisley
"Suds in the Bucket" - Sara Evans

Well, anyway, Congrats to all of the nominees! Anyone ready to place their bets yet?


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