Opposing viewpoint: Pathetic Grammy noms show disparity between music taste and trash

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Cameron Hines, Copy editor

When the nominations for the 57th Annual Grammy Awards were announced, music purists cringed at the modern musical landscape’s state.

Unfortunately, the days of the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Nirvana appear long gone. Even more unfortunate, there appears no end in sight to the abysmal material currently being released.

As a huge music fan and musician myself, I could not ignore the nomination list. But as I browsed, my worst fears materialized. Atrocious acts such as Iggy Azalea, Meghan Trainor, and Coldplay sadly rank among top nominees. Miley Cyrus even makes an appearance.

Looking at the nominees for Record of the Year alone can make one squirm. I question whether “Fancy” can fall into the music category. Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” became extremely overhyped. Featuring a tired piano riff and generic lyrics, it epitomizes the modern lack of musical creativity. And although Trainor’s feeble, annoyingly repetitive “All About That Bass” maintains a facade of self-acceptance, it actually proves quite shallow in its own right.

Hopefully Taylor Swift, one of the few current performers with talent, and “Shake It Off” win, blocking the other nominees. Song of the Year, which features mainly the same nominees, should go to “Take Me to Church.” Written entirely by Hozier, a feat no other song can claim, it represents the dying art of thoughtfulness in songwriting.

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In addition to the subpar crop of contestants for awards, the inconsistency of the nominations proves baffling. Why did Pharrell Williams’ Girl receive nomination for Album of the Year, but megahit “Happy” was snubbed? Why is Jack White’s “Lazaretto” up for Best Rock Song, while his album runs for Best Alternative Album, and not Best Rock Album? What exactly differentiates between Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance? Random disparities like these tarnish the Grammys’ credentials.

Speaking of rock, my preferred genre, I cannot even make a compelling case for it to return to prominence right now, judging by the nominees. Yes, Paramore’s “Ain’t It Fun” sounds catchy and the Arctic Monkeys’ “Do I Wanna Know” was unique. But the overall state of rock music pales in comparison to past decades.

In all likelihood, the Black Keys will rack up the hardware. I like the Black Keys: they remain a solid rock band with a vintage sound and do not rely on gimmicks for success. The two-piece of Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney outshines anything else being released by miles. What they lack, though, is the musical ingenuity or pizzazz necessary to lead a genre.

Here’s to hoping 2015 begins a renaissance, the end of a musical dark age. We need more Royal Blood and less Maroon 5. More “Uptown Funk” and less electronic dance music. Criticism aside, things could be worse. Nickelback could be at large once again. Be thankful.