The Wednesday Pop Culture Rant sends kudos to Adele for acknowledging she had no business winning a Grammy for album of the year when Lemonade was nominated. She did everything but offer to adopt the twins and raise them as her own.
The upset should come as a surprise to no one as the mostly ancient Grammy voters always go for for what they know, in this case a big voice with lush production, over truly innovative music, especially when the singer appears to be threatening them with a baseball bat.
Just how out of it are Grammy voters? The Rant offers you 2001 when Steely Dan, yes “Rikki Don’t Lose that Number” Steely Dan, won Album of the Year for Two Against Nature after having done nothing interesting for twenty years, including Two Against Nature. Let’s ignore the Paul Simon nomination that year, another old fogey hand-out, and take a look at the others. Beck, Eminem, and Radiohead. And not just any Radiohead album but Kid A. The Rant doesn’t even care for Radiohead, but we know with the exception of Nevermind, Kid A would have to wander back about thirty years to get any real competition. This injustice is comparable to Perry Como’s The Scene Changes1 defeating Rubber Soul for best album of 1965.
This nonsense points out the problem of trying to sort out quality in the heat of the zeitgeist. Creed anyone? We see you staring at your shoes; don’t try to hide your shame. We’re waiting to forgive you with arms wide open.
Enjoy that ear candy pop music, but don’t try to pretend you can make any judgements without a bit of distance. The Rant wonders why people get so worked up about these things. Time passes out the honors that truly matter. People will always discover greatness, so just hunker down and keep making that beautiful music and poetic language and stunning image.
Just remember that Gary Cooper won the Oscar for Sergeant York over Orson Welles in Citizen Kane. And the sap-fest How Green Was My Valley defeated Kane, The Maltese Falcon, and Suspicion for best picture that same year. The Rant will take the immortality of whispering “Rosebud” over a worthless statue any day of the week.
- Go ask your grandparents who Perry Como was and get the hell off my lawn. Como was so square and so laid back comedy sketches often portrayed him singing from a hospital bed in a nearly comatose state. This album at least had the good sense to feature a couple of songs from up and coming songwriter Willie Nelson. But we’re assuming credit for that goes to the producer, guitar legend Chet Atkins. The Rant enjoys trying to picture Willie and Perry in the same room together, mellow for oh so different reasons.