Friday, December 4, 2009

Grammy Nominations 2010

With artists spread among 109 categories, there's bound to be something for everyone in the full list of Grammy nominations. Once one gets past the 23 combined nods for three artists -- Beyonce, Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift -- the Grammys take an arms-wide-open approach. To be sure, there are plenty of adventurous choices, such as the ambient French pop of Phoenix or promising R&B newcomer Melanie Fiona. In the top three categories, the Grammys largely rewarded only a handful of artists. Rockers Kings of Leon are a potential spoiler if the aforementioned trifecta of female artists split the vote, and veteran jam act the Dave Matthews Band snuck in at album of the year, besting such Grammy and critical favorites as U2 and Green Day.

Yet the true surprises lie beyond the mainstream grip of the major categories. Pop & Hiss explores some of them below.

The 2011 best new artist class just got a little bit thinner. With all the drama over Lady Gaga not being considered for a new artist trophy, one would think labels and artists would have learned their lesson. Not so, because two of the prime candidates for a 2011 best new artist prize were found among the nominees. Rappers Drake and Kid Cudi will compete in the rap solo performance field next year, which will knock both out of contention for best new artist in 2011 (an artist with a previous Grammy nom cannot compete for best new artist in an upcoming year). With Grammy voters showing little designs on embracing new artists in album, record and song this year, the two may come to regret the move. Additionally, as noted earlier, potential R&B star Fiona scored a nom in best female R&B vocal performance for her slow-burning orchestral soul number "It Kills Me," which will knock her out of the best new artist field in 2011.

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