Grammys 2011: B.o.B., Eminem, Cee Lo and the record of the year crop
Quick reactions to some of the major Grammy categories. Pop & Hiss continues to provide analysis throughout the night, as well as in the days and weeks leading up to the Feb. 13 ceremony at the Staples Center.
"Nothin' On You" — B.o.B Featuring Bruno Mars
"Love the Way You Lie" — Eminem Featuring Rihanna
"... You" — Cee Lo Green
"Empire State Of Mind" — Jay-Z & Alicia Keys
"Need You Now" — Lady Antebellum
The highlight: Like the song of the year field, the standout here is Cee Lo's explicit "Forget You." Record of the year is a production award, and the innocence in which Cee Lo delivers his hits is downright admirable. But there's really not much to discuss, as this award is going to "Empire State of Mind," and it's hard to argue. Even those who are sick of songs about New York and Los Angeles (this guy) have a hard time resisting the anthemic pull that Jay-Z and Alicia Keys deliver.
The real winner: Bruno Mars. The deft songwriter/producer had a hand in two tracks in this category, "Nothin' On You" and "Forget You." A hitmaker is born.
Could do without: Lady Antebellum. See the song of the year post. Ditto for "Love the Way You Lie," an emotional bomb that hits with the subtlety of a John Williams score.
Robbed? Music fans, for one, who deserve an award show that's going to recognize popular trends while also highlighting below-the-radar artists. But beyond that, where's Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance, a song that deserves to be applauded in a production field? Or how about an act that has celebrated the art of production on each and every one of its albums such as LCD Soundsystem, who submitted the catchy-silly "Drunk Girls"?
-- Todd Martens
Photo: B.o.B. & Bruno Mars. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times