This morning, Pharrell Williams (sans ten-gallon Vivienne Westwood chapeau) announced the 2015 Grammy nominees. It's a big list, with artists ranging from country boy Kenny Chesney to son-of-Bob Ziggy Marley, plus pop's biggest names: Swift, Beyoncé, Legend, Trainor (you know, the girl who sings the curve-anthem "All About That Bass"). While we don't have objections per se, the announcement did raise some questions—and no, none are about the authenticity of any female entertainer's behind. These are they.
How does Taylor Swift, the woman who sold 1.3 million copies in its first week, still pass herself off as an underdog?
Here's a follow up: How does the millionaire best friend (or whatever) of Victoria’s Secret angel KarlieKloss continue to give 12-year-old losers from the suburbs that “stars—they’re just like us” vibe? However she’s doing it (a Robert Johnson-style pact with a American Apparel-clad Devil?), she’s up for a Grammy for “Shake It Off,” a song about waggling one’s ass at haters. She's nominated? No shit.
Why is “urban contemporary” still a category?
“Urban” sounds like your racist aunt’s favorite euphemism and all new music is contemporary. Speaking of race, why is it still a determining factor for the Grammys? Beyoncé (by Beyoncé) contains a handful of beautiful soul ballads and is nominated under that iffy “urban” heading; In The Lonely Hour by the flaxen-haired Sam Smith contains a similarly soulful set, but gets nominated under the mainstream category, “pop.” Nashville's favorite girl (see above) lives in Manhattan. We're all urban.
Why do we still love Tom Petty?
Considering the increasing risk of a major cardiac event as a man hits his mid-sixties, it might be tempting fate for Tom to keep kicking around with a bunch of geriatrics calling themselves "heartbreakers." We’re glad he did and does and happy to see him on the Rock album list. "Hypnotic Eye" debuted at number-one on the Billboard 200 and would have been one of the best break-out albums of the year had it come from a new band—the fact that it came from a band who has been playing together for forty years and has released fifteen previous albums is even more impressive.
Where did Iggy Azalea’s voice come from?
Her vocal chords produce the jarring synthesis of bastardized African-American inflection and a Husqvarna on full boil. It makes no sense. We respect Azalea’s cast-iron work ethic and beach-babe looks, but her continuing appropriation of black culture, from that mangled voice to the way she dances, makes us a little uncomfortable. Yes, the hook from “Fancy” is irresistible, but otherwise, Iggy (or as Azealia Banks dubbed her, “Igloo Australia”) falls pretty low on the Minaj scale. The most concerning thing about the "Record of the Year" nominee's voice is the way it puts certain people at ease.
How does Chrissy Teigen feel about the fact that “All of Me,” the song John Legend sang to her at their wedding, is destined to play forever in suburban sushi restaurants?
When Legend is trotted out for a performance (not every singer can equal their studio vocals), we hope he doesn’t give us “all of him." If you go home to a Sports Illustrated model, you gotta save some of that emotion up for her. Hopefully, the "Best Pop Solo Performance" was given in private.
What oversized item of sports memorabilia will Miley seduce next?
No one can forget last year’s VMA’s, during which Miley Cyrus pantomimed masturbating with an oversized foam finger. We’re left wondering what sexual hijinks the "Best Pop Vocal Performer" will get up to during this awards season. Will she rigorously hump a batter’s helmet? Fellate this Derek Jeter-autographed Louisville Slugger? Mount an unsuspecting Mr. Met? That dude is married by the way. He made Mrs. Met an honest projectile in the seventies.
What will Sia do next?
She made a video with a 12-year old in a nude leotard. She wrote Rihanna’s "Diamonds." Does she sound like Rihanna, or does Rihanna sound like her? She wrote Beyoncé’s "Pretty Hurts." This is clearly a capable woman, but what is she really capable of?