Some unreleased Frank Ocean has come out, and it proves to be his most radio friendly track that I’ve heard. There are rumors going around he’s hard at work on album #2 - one can only hope. I’ll be curious to hear how his sound evolves.
Talk soon, and check out the track linked above.
Throughout the last few years, The Grammy’s have been my personal version of the Super Bowl - granted this year was an exception because of Queen Bey - but that’s beside the point. Now I don’t claim to be the final say, but I was inspired by a lot of parts of last nights show, so I wanted to share my thoughts.
First off - the winners. I was thrilled for Frank Ocean winning Urban Contemporary Album, however one thing I wish would have been was 2 more nominees. I don’t think that would have impacted the outcome whatsoever, but it would haven’t added another level to the category, and showcased other albums in this realm that impressed in 2012. In the vein of Mr. Ocean, he was continually snubbed with the 3 other big awards, Best New Artist, Record of The Year, and Album of the Year. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of Mumford and Sons, however with “Babel,” I didn’t hear the sonic evolution I wanted, and it felt like too consistent of an album. Dare I say - a lot of the songs sounded the same. Regarding Best New Artist, fun. has created an anthemic hit with “We Are Young,” however everything following has been quite lackluster, and their live performance and album haven’t impressed me. Finally, with Record of The Year, I feel that this win had justification, this record was literally one of the biggest of the year (Gotye and Kimbra).
Moving on, I was thrilled for Kelly Clarkson. Her performance lit my soul on fire, and reminded me why she’s in the place she is. In my opinion, with the Inauguration aside, that was her best vocal performance of the last few years. I was rooting for P!nk in this category (Pop Vocal Album), but Kelly was my definite second choice.
On to the performances - Kelly has been covered. The two performances that floored me last night were Frank Ocean and Justin Timberlake. I was blown away by JT. He sounded incredible, looked ridiculous and moved like he hasn’t taken a 5 year hiatus. I’m so happy he has not gone the EDM route over powering the airwaves. With the performance last night, he paid homage to MJ, Prince, James Brown, and all the other greats that have created his path. I do, however, feel a bit bad for Robin Thicke, but that’s for another time. Frank Ocean getting the nominations he received was a monumental moment, not just for music, but for R&B and the queer community. The performance he delivered was a raw, innovative and soulful - it brought tears to my eyes. The other force from contemporary R&B that I adore - Miguel. He brought so much feeling on that stage, and even though Wiz Khalifa was rather unnecessary, it was a stellar showing.
I realized the length of this post could be perceived as rather obnoxious, so I will end it with my appreciation of seeing Mavis Staples on stage with the likes of Elton John and Brittany Howard, as well as others - it was a touching and soulful performance that paid a perfect tribute. All in all, I was rather impressed with this years Grammy’s, and with all the music coming out in 2013, I can’t wait for next years!
The LA Times pop music writer, Gerrick Kennedy, released his Best of 2012 Pop Music: Albums list today (linked above) and he is spot on. When I think about the last year in popular music, all of these albums are still playing through my speakers to this day.
Give the list a look over, and I encourage ya’ll to check out each and every album on that list if you haven’t.
Let’s be real about one thing right now…this.