CEPHAS' PRE-GRAMMY REVIEW
The 1999 Grammy Awards is upon us and
what I am going to do
My guesses will factor in chart listings, sales, airplay and the unchartable factors such as the idiocy of the judges and their biases and known stupidities from the past. If I feel there is a reason for me to stand behind my choice, I shall list them below. Since there are so many awards handed out, I won't give explanations for everything. Only the more important ones.
|RECORD of the YEAR||Shania
Twain - "Still the One"
I think she'll win over Celine Dion, Madonna, Goo Goo Dolls, and Brandy/Monica because she is the most cross over artist nominated for this award. Brandy/Monica, I think is on the list merely for respect. It d3tefinetly wasn't THAT good to get a Grammy. Goo Goo Dolls waas good too, but again, not Grammy-Good. Madonna deserves this, but because she is sooo commercially poppy/dancey, they won't give it to her. Even though she once again expanded the horizons of the music industry in her genre. Dion will most likely get this because the judges are still crying from the damned film. C'mon, the freakin' American Music Awards gave TITANIC best soundtrack award. Even though the CD was from 1997 and not 1998 which is when the award was supposed to be for. So I give it to Miss Twain for her versatility in the industry and amazing croos-over appeal.
|SONG of the YEAR||Aerosmith -
"I Don't Want To Miss A Thing"
This song is so beautiful, so moving, it deserves to win! I could mention that these Boston City rockers have been around for 25 years and deserve an award for being able to top the charts still to this day, but I won't. Two other soundtrack hits are nominated (proving once again that there is a huge surge in movie soundtracks and their large marketing tactics): "Iris", by Goo Goo Dolls and that insufferably over-played Celine Dion song from TITANIC. Kirk Franklin is nominated for his song "Lean On Me" (which I never heard, and it is also a religious song which means that it it's lucky it was even nominated.) Miss Shania Twain was nom'd also but will lose to Aerosmith. If Aerosmith doesn't win, it'll be a close call between Dion and Twain.
|ALBUM of the YEAR||Madonna -
"Ray of Light"
I chose this as the winner for a couple reasons: 1) I love her and she deserves this. 2) This is an astounding album that broke new grounds in her genre by cross-contaminating techno with pop she created not the chintzy cluab tracks we hear so often but rather a mature, classical techno/pop sound that has never been done in her field before. It also rings in the new maturity of this Material (Maternal?) Girl with a manucured voice and authenticity of her abilities that can only get better with time like a good wine. Her only competition is the repetitive nominations of Shania Twain and Celine Dion. Hey, I love Twain, okay? SHe deserves these nominations at the very least and maybe a coupel awards. But Dion's nominations are for something that is so commercially passe now. That TITANIC thing is from 1997, which, if I'm not mistaken are invalid for an award but since the damn song played so freakin' long on the radios and in car stereos they nominated it. Blame the radio station and the people who kept buying it if it wins.
|BEST NEW ARTIST||Dixie
This is a dangerous award. A lot of times, when a artist receives this award it signifies the death of the group. It's almost a curse! (Remember Men At Work? An awesome group whom I still listen to intently in my car and at home. But they broke up after three records! They won this award in 1983 i think?) There are some awesome artists in this category: Lauryn Hill, Backstreet Boys, Andrea Bocelli and Natalie Imbruglia. Personally, I think Imbruglia deserves this, but she isn't worthy in the judges' eyes. She just screams "One Hit Wonder"! Bocelli isn't actually new, but he is to the mainstream public. Backstreet Boys are strong in this but while they have the glimmer of a wonder band, I think they'll make like New Kids on the Block and Hotie & The Blowfish and leave us after a few years if not sooner. Lauryn Hill is the strongest competition here with her cross-over apeal in the rap/R&B/pop genres. If Dixie Chicks don't win, Laurn will.
|BEST RAP ALBUM||Jay Z. -
"Vol. 2...Hard Knock Life"
What? You think I know anything about this category, never mind even heard these guys? pshaw! But I know who'll win, though. I looked at the winning ballot already. :-)
|BEST RAP SOLO PERFORMANCE||Wycleaf
Jean - "Gone 'Till November"
A very competitive nomination. Personally I'd like to see nominee Busta Rhymes win. He's beginning to grow on me like mold. He's got a fast, commercially appreciated, mummbling rap style that is fun to listen to. Lauryn Hill may have a chance, but I expect this male dominated category in the male dominated genre to be won by the majority. Will Smith is old hat now and Jay Z. is good enough for album but not for a solo. Wycleaf has a more proffessional mannere to his rap and therefore, ergo and herewith will win such award.
|BEST RAP PERFORMANCE by a DUO or GROUP||Beastie
Boys - "Intergalactic"
Hands down, homies! Hands down. The awards almost always look over real talent like these guys when they release something. This time they'll get what they deserve.
|BEST ALTERNATIVE MUSIC PERFORMANCE||Tori Amos -
"From the Choirgirl Hotel"
Ever hear this Diva perform? If so, then you'll know why I chose her. This lady is a remarkable pianist who recently combined her classicalist style recordings with a full backing band to once again challenge the audiences and come away smiling.
|BEST FEMALE VOCAL PERFORMANCE||Ani
DiFranco - "Glass Houses"
I never really heard her stuff before. She's a dominately female audience artist and also a independant artist. It's tough to be Ani. But a strong audience base has always helped her. Also, know what I said about the Beastie Boys? Same applies here.
|BEST ROCK PERFORMANCE by a DUO or GROUP w/ VOCAL||The Verve -
"Bitter Sweet Symphony"
With its classical violins and, dare I say it?, sweet melodies, it'll win over fan faves Aerosmith, Hole and Wallflowers.
|BEST MALE ROCK VOCAL PERFORMANCE||John
Mellancamp - "Your Life Is Now"
It'll be tough for him up against John Fogerty and Lenny Kravitz. But this aging rocker has all the right ingredients to win this one. The album may have been low on the charts and still sitting, practically untouched in my store's shelves, but I have high hopes on this award for him.
|BEST HARD ROCK PERFORMANCE||Jimmy Page
& Robert Plant - "Most High"
I wish these guys didn't put out an album the same year as Pearl Jam. Otherwise my faves would win this for sure. The only other competition for this is classic hard rockers, Kiss. Marilyn Manson is given a nod, but has no chance.
|BEST METAL PERFORMANCE||Rammstein -
I would rather Metallica have this award, but I have to admit, these Germans can rock! I don't know what the Hell they're singing, but it sounds good to me.
|BEST ROCK SONG||Semisonic -
Seems like all the nominations are alternative songs except for Hiatt and I really don't think he'll win. If he does, it'll be as a default for his being the only rock song here. Semisonic is the only other one close to being a rock song. (Of course the American Music Awards had all kinds of screwed up choices and wins. So why not the same here?)
|BEST ROCK ALBUM||Dave
Mathews Band - "Before These Crowded Streets"
I'd rather see Garbage win, but they have no chance even though their new CD kicks ass! The strongest competition here is nominees Sheryl Crow and Hole. But with the lasting versatility of this band, I....see....Grammy!
|BEST POP ALBUM||The Brian
Setzer Orchestra - "The Dirty Boogie"
Okay, I really think it'll be Eric Clapton, but I'm going out on a limb here and voting for Brain Setzer cause it's a kick ass CD and helps broaden teh scop and come-back of swing with the new modern sound that Setzer made more visible than ever! My other fave here is Madonna, but I gave her props earlier, it's some else's turn now.
|BEST FEMALE POP VOCAL PERFORMANCE||Sarah
McLachlan - "Adia"
She wasn't nom'd for anything else, so she'll get this one. Remember what I said about the Beastie Boys? Same applies here. This woman's talented, she deserves a Grammy here.
|BEST MALE POP VOCAL PERFORMANCE||Eric
Clapton - "My Father's Eyes"
He's a classic artist in every sense. He's been making classics since the 60's and even though the new album wasn't his best, this was still a good track and he's practically guaranteed an award just because of who he is. The strongest competition here is Sting, and it's a weak one at that. (Shawn Mullins is nom'd here, why wasn't he nom'd for Best New Artist??)
|BEST POP PERFORMANCE by a DUO or GROUP w/VOCAL||The Brian
Setzer Orchestra - "The Dirty Boogie"
If he doesn't win for best Pop Album, he'll get this one for sure. It's a strong category with a lot of great artists including Aerosmith, Dave Mathews Band, Barenaked Ladies (Who may win this instead because it's their only nomination and deserve at least one award) and Goo Goo Dolls.
|BEST DANCE RECORDING||Madonna -
"Ray of Light"
Hands down! There is only one other song nominated here that I adore, and that's Daft Punk's "Around The World". The rest of th enominations are week and remember all the stuff I said about Madonna earlier? It still applies here too. But there's always the chance of a suprise winner and that would be Gloria Estefan. The industry adores here even if her new CD didn't move any better than Mellancamp's.
|BEST R&B PERFORMANCE by a DUO or GROUP w/vocal||K-Ci &
Jojo - "All My Life"
It seems like this song has become a new standard at weddings. I keep hearing about people who play this at the weddings. I heard it and I don't care for it, but that don't mean it ain't gonna win! It's here. Get over it. The only other that may win instead is Brandy & Monica's thing about that boy being theirs. Hidden here is the Temptations - am I the only one who never knew they put out a new song? Did you know this? They won't win.
|BEST FEMALE R&B Vocal PERFORMANCE||Lauryn Hill
- "Doo Wop (That Thing)"
I told you she was cross-over into R&B, here's where she wins for that achievement.
|BEST MALE R&B VOCAL PERFORMANCE||Stevie
Wonder - "St. Louis Blues"
Who knows when he'll get another nomination? He'll win this one unless they go with a more contemporary artist, then Usher will get his way.
|BEST R&B SONG||Brandy &
Monica - "The Boy Is Mine"
They won't win Best Female, but they'll get this gem. Just hope they don't fight over who gets to hold the award on stage.
|BEST R&B ALBUM||Lauryn Hill
- "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill"
She'll nab this beauty too. It's practically a gimmee. It's artistically better than the other nominations of Erykah Badu (a live album); Brandy (she wants more than th eboy. too bad for her!); Aretha Franklin (Hill's only competition on this award); Maxwell (consider this male - undeliverable.)
|BEST LATIN POP PERFORMANCE||Enrique
Iglesias - "Cosas Del Amor"
I can't even pronounce most of their names never mind tell you what the hell they say! I just recognized this name and chose him. :-)
|BEST LATIN ROCK/ALTERNATIVE PERFORMANCE||Aterciopelados
- "Caribe Atomico"
Again, I don't know what the hel is says, but doesn't it look cool?
|PRODUCER of the YEAR, NON-CLASSICAL||Lauryn Hill
What? No Puff-Daddy or Master P? LOL Frankly, I wished that William Orbit was given a nod here, he did do a lot of the producing on Madonna's "Ray of Light" album. Instead I'll go for miss Hill for her work on her solo album and Aretha Franklin's. Tchad Blake is nominated here and he did the new Girl Bros. CD which is awesome, but he won't win for that. If he did anything else last year I never heard of it.
|REMIXER of the YEAR, NON-CLASSICAL||David
I don't they'd let Frankie Knuckles win two years in a row in this category. So I'm giving it to Morales for his amazing work in the past and I think'll he'll be given the award for those merits in consideration since this award was first introduced last year and they were waiting for him to remix something in time for this year's award.
|BEST SHORT FORM MUSIC VIDEO||Pearl Jam -
"Do the Evolution"
Finally, my boys from Seattle will get theirs here. they were overlooked in the Alternative categories for th emost part and wil get their Grammy here. I haven't seen the video, but from what I understand it's a kick assed view of the world's history in 3 1/2 minutes with a look at the future in a disturbing manner that gets to ya. The best part of it? It's animated! The only thing they have to worry about is Madonna's "Ray of Light" which is a brilliant work of cinematography and deserves this award too! Ack! I give it to Pearl Jam so they can get their Grammy they deserve.