New guys vs pop icons at Grammys

SOUNDS FAMILIAR - Baby A. Gil (The Philippine Star) - December 13, 2013 - 12:00am

It is always elating getting the list of nominations for the Grammy Awards and finding a lot of my new favorites up for trophies. These were announced last Friday, Dec. 6 in the Grammy Nominations show hosted by L.L. Cool Jay at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles. The famous rapper has not been as active lately with his music as his fans may want. He seems to be happy acting in the TV series NCIS Los Angeles. But like last year when he did the job with Taylor Swift, L.L. was a lively, gracious host in the prologue to music’s biggest night.

The nominees feel like an affirmation. I thought those recordings were great and it makes me feel good that others think the same and ranked them among the best. I was happy to find Daft Punk, Imagine Dragons, Bruno Mars, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Kings of Leon among them. I was not happy that only a few of the girls made it.  Taylor Swift, Pink, Katy Perry, Sarah Bareilles, Fantasia and Lana del Rey. But there was also Lorde, the 18-year-old sensation from New Zealand. Truly a breath of fresh air with her debut Royals, she is proof that music is not only surviving but very much alive.

What is truly remarkable though is the variety of sounds that will be in contention at the 56th Grammy Awards, which will be held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Jan. 26 next year. It is just amazing to find that despite the hard times music lovers found so much to enjoy these past months. Pop, rock, rap, country and dance are competing with each other for the top honors. And even more of a surprise is to find the new guys like Imagine Dragons and Kings of Leon on a race with pop icons like David Bowie, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and even Neil Young with Crazy Horse. You can never put those great rockers down but it is a relief to know that there are upstarts who have the chops to hold up the future of pop music.

Rapper Jay-Z is the top man of the Grammys with the lion’s share of nominations. Mr. Carter romped off with nine calls, although none of these were in the General Field categories. The other biggies who got seven nods were Justin Timberlake, Pharrell Williams and the newcomers Kendrick Lamar and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis who are also up for Album of the Year and Best New Artist of the Year Grammys. Drake is the third placer with five nominations.

Here now are the General Field, Pop and Rock nominees at the 56th Grammy Awards.

Record of the Year: Get Lucky by Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams; Radioactive by Imagine Dragons; Royals by Lorde; Locked Out Of Heaven by Bruno Mars; Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke featuring Pharrell.

Album of the Year: The Blessed Unrest by Sarah Bareilles; Random Access Memories by Daft Punk; Good Kid M.A.A.D City by Kendrick Lamar; The Heist by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis; Red by Taylor Swift.

Song of the Year: Just Give Me A Reason by Pink; Locked Out Of Heaven by Bruno Mars; Roar by Katy Perry; Royals by Lorde; Same Love by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.

New Artist of the Year: James Blake; Kendrick Lamar; Macklemore & Ryan Lewis; Kacey Musgraves; Ed Sheeran.

Pop Solo Performance: Brave by Sarah Bareilles; Royals by Lorde; When I Was Your Man by Bruno Mars; Roar by Katy Perry; Mirrors by Justin Timberlake.

Pop Duo or Group Performance: Get Lucky by Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams; Just Give Me A Reason by Pink; Stay by Rihanna featuring Mikky Ekko; Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell; Suit & Tie by Justin Timberlake & Jay-Z.

Pop Instrumental Album: Steppin’ Out by Herb Alpert; The Beat by Boney James; Handpicked by Earl Klugh; Summer Hours by Dave Koz, Gerald Albright, Mindi Abair & Richard Elliot; Hacienda by Jeff Lorber Fusion.

Pop Vocal Album: Paradise by Lana del Rey; Pure Heroin by Lorde; Unorthodox Jukebox by Bruno Mars; Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke; The 20/20 Experience by Justin Timberlake.

Dance Recording: Need You by Duke Dumont featuring A*M*E & MNEK; Sweet Nothing by Calvin Harris featuring Florence Welch; Atmosphere by Kaskade; This Is What It Feels Like by Armin Van Burner featuring Trevor Guthrie; Clarity by Zedd featuring Foxes.

Dance or Electronica Album: Random Access by Daft Punk; Settle by Disclosure; 18 Months by Calvin Harris; Atmosphere by Kaskade; A Color Map Of The Sun by Pretty Lights.

Traditional Pop Vocal Album: Viva Duets by Tony Bennett; To Be Loved by Michael Bublé; The Standards by Gloria Estefan; Cee Lo’s Magic Moment by Cee Lo Green; Now by Dionne Warwick.

Rock Performance: Alabama Shakes by Alabama Shakers; The Stars Are Out Tonight by David Bowie; Radioactive by Imagine Dragons; Kashmir by Led Zeppelin; My God Is The Sun by Queens of the Stone Age; I’m Shakin’ by Jack White.

Metal Performance:  T.N.T. by Anthrax; God Is Dead by Black Sabbath; The Enemy Inside by Dream Theater; In Due Time by Killswitch Engage; Room 24 by Velbeat featuring King Diamond.

Rock Song: Ain’t Messing Around by Gary Clarke Jr.; Cut Me Some Slack by Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl, Kris Novoselic, Pat Smear: Doom & Gloom by The Rolling Stones; God Is Dead by Black Sabbath; Panic State by Muse.

Rock Album: 13 by Black Sabbath; The Next Day by David Bowie; Mechanical Bull by Kings of Leon; Celebration Day by Led Zeppelin; Like Clockwork by Queens of the Stone Age; Psychedelic Pill by Neil Young with Crazy Horse.

Alternative Music Album: The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You by Neko Case; Trouble Will Find Me by The Nationals; Hesitation Marks by Nine Inch Nails; Tonerism by Tame Impala; Modern Vampires Of The City by Vampire Weekend.

Do check out the R&B, Hip-Hop, Rap and other categories in my next column.

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