The Stills up for New Artist?

Juno nominations that make no sense

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

The Juno nominations for 2009 have been announced and, as usual, there’s a few that will leave you scratching your head.

Montreal’s The Stills, who gained international recognition with its 2003 hit “Still in Love Song” " and who got a lukewarm review for its second album Without Feathers from Rolling Stone in 2006 " have inexplicably been nominated for New Group of the Year.

The fact that The Stills’ latest album, Oceans Will Rise, was nominated for Album of the Year is slightly off-putting on its own, but I feel like it’s poor judgment to nominate an already established Canadian band for New Group of the Year in the perfect venue to help out a deserving young Canadian group. Here’s hoping Montreal up-and-comers and LOLA 2008 alums Plants and Animals, who were also nominated for New Group of the Year, take home the award instead.

While albums from around the world (Southern California mostly) nominated for International Album of the Year include offerings from heavyweights Guns N’Roses, Metallica and Jack Johnson, nominees for Canadian Album of the Year are far more depressing. Simple Plan, Hedley and Nickelback are the anglo-artists fighting for this honour. If Hedley doesn’t win Album of the Year for Famous Last Words, I hope one of the French groups also nominated " Sylvain Cossette or The Lost Fingers " are the winners. An embarrassment at the hands of a younger and lesser-known group might just be what it takes to get Nickelback to disband.

Strangely, Sam Roberts and Dallas Green of City and Colour both had their albums shunned in the Album of the Year category.

The Junos’ disregard for Radiohead’s In Rainbows in the International category, which is ranked 13 on CHRW’s list of top 100 albums of 2008, is also quite regrettable. None of the nominees for International Album of the Year are anywhere to be found on CHRW’s top 100.

Surely the unprecedented amount of airplay given to Kardinal Offishall’s hit “Dangerous” makes it a shoe in for the winner of Single of the Year, but the high profile artists he’s up against still give me pause.

Nickelback’s single “Gotta Be Somebody” is a cheesy, forgettable plead for a true love that sounds like a way less sincere version of Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody.” Equally forgettable is Celine Dion’s slow-paced single “Taking Chances,” in which Dion does exactly the opposite, playing it safe with an acoustic ballad that progresses into some very light rock.

Divine Brown’s nominated track “Lay it on the Line” is, unfortunately, not a cover of the Triumph song of the same name so I’m already a little biased against it " however, it is a decent song.

Brown’s “Lay it on the Line” and Michael Bublé’s “Lost,” also nominated, both have classic sounds influenced by long-loved genres, but the infectiously catchy hit by Kardinal and Akon just might have that special something to take home the Single of the Year Award.

In spite of my many complaints " and even though the awards are probably just going to wind up crowding the mantelpieces of artists already up to their knees in honours " the Junos provide a good opportunity to take a close look at Canada’s musical elite. Any examination that delves deeper than Simple Plan and Nickelback is sure to discover a true wealth of musical talent coming out of our vast northern expanses.The Juno nominations for 2009 have been announced and, as usual, there’s a few that will leave you scratching your head.

Montreal’s The Stills, who gained international recognition with its 2003 hit “Still in Love Song” " and who got a lukewarm review for its second album Without Feathers from Rolling Stone in 2006 " have inexplicably been nominated for New Group of the Year.

The fact that The Stills’ latest album, Oceans Will Rise, was nominated for Album of the Year is slightly off-putting on its own, but I feel like it’s poor judgment to nominate an already established Canadian band for New Group of the Year in the perfect venue to help out a deserving young Canadian group. Here’s hoping Montreal up-and-comers and LOLA 2008 alums Plants and Animals, who were also nominated for New Group of the Year, take home the award instead.

While albums from around the world (Southern California mostly) nominated for International Album of the Year include offerings from heavyweights Guns N’Roses, Metallica and Jack Johnson, nominees for Canadian Album of the Year are far more depressing. Simple Plan, Hedley and Nickelback are the anglo-artists fighting for this honour. If Hedley doesn’t win Album of the Year for Famous Last Words, I hope one of the French groups also nominated " Sylvain Cossette or The Lost Fingers " are the winners. An embarrassment at the hands of a younger and lesser-known group might just be what it takes to get Nickelback to disband.

Strangely, Sam Roberts and Dallas Green of City and Colour both had their albums shunned in the Album of the Year category.

The Junos’ disregard for Radiohead’s In Rainbows in the International category, which is ranked 13 on CHRW’s list of top 100 albums of 2008, is also quite regrettable. None of the nominees for International Album of the Year are anywhere to be found on CHRW’s top 100.

Surely the unprecedented amount of airplay given to Kardinal Offishall’s hit “Dangerous” makes it a shoe in for the winner of Single of the Year, but the high profile artists he’s up against still give me pause.

Nickelback’s single “Gotta Be Somebody” is a cheesy, forgettable plead for a true love that sounds like a way less sincere version of Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody.” Equally forgettable is Celine Dion’s slow-paced single “Taking Chances,” in which Dion does exactly the opposite, playing it safe with an acoustic ballad that progresses into some very light rock.

Divine Brown’s nominated track “Lay it on the Line” is, unfortunately, not a cover of the Triumph song of the same name so I’m already a little biased against it " however, it is a decent song.

Brown’s “Lay it on the Line” and Michael Bublé’s “Lost,” also nominated, both have classic sounds influenced by long-loved genres, but the infectiously catchy hit by Kardinal and Akon just might have that special something to take home the Single of the Year Award.

In spite of my many complaints " and even though the awards are probably just going to wind up crowding the mantelpieces of artists already up to their knees in honours " the Junos provide a good opportunity to take a close look at Canada’s musical elite. Any examination that delves deeper than Simple Plan and Nickelback is sure to discover a true wealth of musical talent coming out of our vast northern expanses.

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