Pop & Hiss

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Grammys: The Band Perry, Bon Iver and other best new artist nods

November 30, 2011 |  7:43 pm

Quick reactions to some of the major Grammy categories announced on tonight's Grammy's nominations telecast. Pop & Hiss continues to provide analysis throughout the night, as well as in the days and weeks leading up to the Feb. 12 ceremony at the Staples Center.

The Band Perry

Category: Best new artist

The nominees:

The Band Perry
Bon Iver
J. Cole
Nicki Minaj
Skillrex

The good: Nicki Minaj is already the favorite, and when she's guesting on tracks from Kanye West and Drake, she can steal the show with her speed and venom. Unfortunately, she hasn't harnessed those talents yet for a full album, but is certainly a newcomer worth watching. 

The bad: The Band Perry seems to be the token Nashville nod rather than the best choice. The pop-friendly, snappy dressers can claim to be less hokey than some other country youngsters. It almost feels wrong to quibble too much with Bon Iver getting the nod here, as it's rare for an independent artist to be represented, but this is nappy-time, '80s retro cheese — the underground world has so much more to offer. J. Cole has been hyped as Jay-Z's protege for so long it hardly feels right to call him a new artist, but nevertheless his album politely sashays its way out of anything interesting. As for Skrillex, it's nice to see a DJ nominated, but his brand of dubstep is so one-note and filled with rave cliches that it's hard to applaud. 

Who was missed? Locals Foster the People had a break-out year, as did Sub Pop's the Head and the Heart, whose saloon elegance shows off rootsy pop smarts. Folksy duo the Civil Wars deserved a closer look, as did irresistible dance-pop duo Cut Copy and hip-hop goofballs Das Racist. 

Earlier in the night: The nominations for song of the year were announced, and they were identical to record of the year, save for West's "All of the Lights" in place of Katy Perry's "Firework." That's a Theo Epstein-level blockbuster of a trade right there, but the rest of the category largely remains a disaster. As did a collaboration between Jason Aldean and Ludacris on "Dirt Road Anthem." 

ALSO:

Grammy nominations concert on CBS tries to find its rhythm 

Recording Academy aims for a more focused Grammys, slashes 31 categories

Herbie Hancock, Carlos Santana, Paul Simon protest Grammy category cuts; coalition leader calls decision 'blatantly racist'

-- Todd Martens

Image: Kimberly Perry of the Band Berry. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

 

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