Volume 94, Issue 79
Tuesday, February 13, 2001
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Disc of the Week
Grammy Nominees 2001EMI
If the Grammy Awards salute what is widely considered to be the best of the best in the music industry, it should follow that the album, Grammy Nominees 2001 is also littered with pieces of musical greatness.
However, if one thinks the past year produced nothing but non-descript, manufactured boy bands and lollipop princesses, then that's what one should expect at this year Grammys.
Each year, the Grammy Nominees album highlights four categories in particular. This year, the categories of choice are record of the year, best female pop vocal performance, album of the year and finally, best pop performance by a duo or group with vocal.
Opening with last year's hit, "Say My Name" by Destiny's Child, a vocal group also known as the En Vogue for the new millennium, the album is a 70-plus-minute ride through Top 40 radio, including stops at Macy Gray, Madonna, *NSync and Backstreet Boys.
There's even an Eminem track, proving once and for all that the producers of this album have an insatiable appetite for irony. On "The Real Slim Shady," the sly rapper tersely raps: "If you think I give a damn about a Grammy/ Half of you critics can't even stomach me/ Let alone stand me/ But Slim, what if you win? Wouldn't it be weird? /Why? So you guys can just lie to get me here, so you can sit me here next to Britney Spears/ Christina Aguilera better switch me chairs."
The plot thickens as both Britney and Christina contribute songs, sandwiching two of the album's better tracks, Aimee Mann's Magnolia soundtrack anthem, "Save Me" and Joni Mitchell's re-recorded classic "Both Sides Now" in a twist of wait for it irony.
And then there's U2, Radiohead, Paul Simon and Steely Dan, each in their own way seeming a little awkward on an album otherwise marketed to pre-teen girls whose parents drop them off at Wal-Mart on Friday nights so they can spend all their hard-earned baby-sitting dollars on Lip Smackers, Bop magazine and Salon Selectives hair care products.
The year 2000 was certainly a strange one and the album Grammy Nominees 2001 remains, for better or worse, all the proof one needs.
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