Album Review: 2014 GRAMMY Nominees – Various Artists2 min read
The GRAMMY Nominees compilations have been around since 1995. Nothing can beat the 1996 compilation, with One Sweet Day, Gangsta’s Paradise, Kiss from a Rose, Waterfalls, You Are Not Alone and You Oughta Know on ONE album. Or the 1998 collection, which included The Boy Is Mine, My Heart Will Go On, Iris, Ray of Light, You’re Still the One, Everybody (Backstreet’s Back), Doo Wop (That Thing), Torn, Save Tonight and Lullaby.
Unfortunately this year’s collection does a poor job in reflecting the diversity of the nominations and categories.The big global radio hits are here, such as the footstomper Locked Out of Heaven (by upcoming 2014 Superbowl Halftime Show performer Bruno Mars), Blurred Lines (Robin Thicke), Get Lucky (Daft Punk), Roar (Katy Perry) and Just Give Me A Reason (P!nk and Nate Ruess). This reflects the fact that GRAMMY nominations are going to increasingly popular songs, to attract more viewers for the GRAMMY’s television broadcast.
Lorde’s hypnotic Royals makes an appearance on this album, having accrued several nominations including Record of the Year. So too does Justin Timberlake’s uplifting Mirrors, which is a far better inclusion than the tepid Suit & Tie.
The inclusion of James Blake’s eerie Retrograde proves that solo artists that perform, write and produce their own tracks continue to be recognised. It is a worthy inclusion, along with the thought-provoking Swimming Pools (Drank) by rising rap star Kendrick Lamar and Ed Sheeran’s tender Lego House.
It’s the remaining tracks that will cause listeners to scratch their heads. Taylor Swift already has Begin Again on the album, so there is no need for another track featuring her on this disc (Highway Don’t Care). Kacey Musgraves’ Merry Go ‘Round is nice enough, but must THREE male country stars in Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw and Jason Aldean be included in the tracklisting?
Imagine Dragons’ Radioactive is bizarrely the only nominated track from the rock categories, considering that other rock nominees include David Bowie, Queens of the Stone Age and Led Zeppelin. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ Same Love, despite its amazing message, doesn’t quite standout musically like Thrift Shop. Out of the ‘Best Pop Vocal Album’ selections, only Lana Del Rey’s Paradise (which includes career highlight Ride) is unrepresented on 2014 GRAMMY Nominees.
Some Grammy categories are totally ignored. Where are the euphoric dance tracks like Sweet Nothing (Calvin Harris) and Clarity (Zedd)? Alternative artists like Neko Case and Vampire Weekend are also nowhere to be seen.
Ultimately, 2014 GRAMMY Nominees and future GRAMMY nominee compilations could do with a bit more variety.