Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

On the Edge Improved Grammys Still Aren't as in Tune as They Think They Are

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

On the Edge Improved Grammys Still Aren't as in Tune as They Think They Are

Article excerpt

For years, Grammy bashing has been one of those casual pop culture pastimes. Pointing out another clueless nomination usually ranked on the originality scale pretty close to commenting on Dick Clark's surprising youthfulness.

If you believe the hype today, however, eloquent Recording Academy president and CEO Michael Greene has turned the Grammys around. Watch out, the spinmeisters say, 'cause now the awards have cred.

Gone are the days when Jethro Tull wins in the metal category, even though they don't play metal. And that whole Milli Vanilli debacle? Swept under the rug.

They tell us today's Grammy is hip because the Academy found a way to nominate rapper Eminem in the Album of the Year category, proudly defying all those mush-headed critics who thought his songs about rape, homophobia and spousal murder might deduct the just tiniest bit from the artistic merit of The Marshall Mathers LP.

Now, as champions of free speech, we can't properly suggest that Eminem keep his mouth shut. But we can certainly chide the Grammys for thinking they're suddenly relevant because they slobbered over a gifted wordsmith who uses his powers for evil.

To the Academy's credit, most of the artists are placed in their proper categories this year. Of course, pitting lite jazz saxophonist Kenny G and ambient electronica artist William Orbit against each other in the Best Pop Instrumental Album category is a classically boneheaded Grammy move, and the platinum-sellers in the Best Alternative Music Album category (featuring Paul McCartney, among others) also raise eyebrows. But the Grammys really are better this year than in years past. Really.

Radiohead's Kid A, a difficult but highly rewarding album, thankfully got a nod in the Album of the Year category, and will win if there's any justice in the house tonight. …

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