The Grammys proved once again that, except for Jack White and Frank Ocean’s performances, they are a waste of time.
A huge waste of time.
This year’s Best New Artist was fun. which is an insult to the American music industry as a collective whole.
I will admit that fun. had an excellent year when it comes to chart performance. Three hits, two of which were in the top ten, one of which was a number one hit.
And yet each and everyone of their songs sounds derivative, contrived and downright boring.
So it’s no wonder that pop success didn’t elude them.
Nate Ruess and his crew walked out on February 10to perform their hit, “Carry On.” The boring chord changes and sloppy rhythm section left Ruess’ vocals sounding flat and dare I say, even off-key.
Now I respect the guys from fun. I think they seem like genuinely okay dudes who want to make some money and write some catchy pop tunes. And for the most part, they have succeeded in their goals.
But what we have seen from fun. winning the Grammy for Best New Artist was basically an unwillingness by The Recording Academy to take any type of risk. They picked the clear favorite, and for that, they failed.
Because what is the point of the award for Best New Artist?
Recognition. Respect. Basically a pat on the back and the support to move forward and make some good music.
Let’s be clear right now: there isn’t anything new about fun.’s sound. But, their isn’t anything new about fun. either. Because fun. released their debut in 2009.
Meanwhile, you have the Alabama Shakes or Frank Ocean who have released their genuine debut albums to lackluster commercial success.
So what does it take to win a Grammy then?
Chart success. A popular fan base. Broad record company support.
For the most part, fun. had all of the advantages required to make a run for an award they should not have even been allowed to be nominated for (since by literal definition, they are all but “new”). So others were left in the dust.
This isn’t to take anything away from fun. They had a great year filled with mediocre tunes, loads of cash and probably roves of new fans at their shows.
But it takes away something from the spirit of music. Essentially, the Grammys become a money-making scheme meant to garner funds from advertising.
And that’s it.
Which is disheartening and disappointing.