Sunday, February 10, 2008

Herbie Hancock Wins Album Of The Year At The Grammys? Seriously?



Well, I'll give it to the Grammys: At least they're consistent in being wholly, utterly out-of-touch. In the stunner of the year, Herbie Hancock, a pianist/composer who, to be fair, is an incredibly well-regarded and influential jazz musician (though most people probably know his name because of Tommy Boy) and scored a video hit in MTV's early years with the song "Rockit" (see it at the top of this post), won album of the year at the 2008 Grammys over the likes of Kanye West, Amy Winehouse and Foo Fighters, just to name a few. The native Chicagoan (woot! woot!) won for his tribute album to Joni Mitchell, River - Letters To Joni.

This result shouldn't surprise anyone whose paid attention to the Grammys. A few years ago, Steely Dan beat out Eminem for album of the year and, back in 1989, the Grammy gave the first "Best Heavy Metal" album award to Jethro Tull. Their competition that year? Metallica, who the year before put out their poorly-mixed-but-nonetheless-classic-thrash-metal album ...And Justice For All.

And now they've given album of the year to Herbie Hancock.

Congrats?

(Jonathan Graef)

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2 Comments:

Blogger Tracy said...

I don't really pay attention to the Grammy's, but I am really happy that Herbie Hancock won. As the writer for a less mainstream and more eclectic music blog, I would have thought you would feel the same.

Kanye and Amy? 'Rehab' vs 'Stronger'? Just because it lands on the content-packed critically acclaimed TRL does not make it good music.

I'm glad there was at least one upset at the Grammy's this year

11:19 PM  
Blogger Jon said...

Tracy -
"As the writer for a less mainstream and more eclectic music blog, I would have thought you would feel the same."

Well, I do and I don't. I obviously prefer Hancock over the likes of Winehouse or the Foo Fighters. Also, the fact that its only the second jazz album to win album of the year is significant as well.

The problem is that the Grammys, in cases like Hancock's and Steely Dan a few years before, is that the albums being honored aren't their most cutting edge, innovative or interesting work. Did the Grammys give two hoots when Hancock was doing his work with the head Hunters? No.

In my mind, those wins are more like consolation prizes for having their essential work ignored in the past, as opposed to honoring albums which genuinely deserved it. In other words, the Grammys are saying "We're sorry we ignored you when you were an upstart, but hey, now that you're an established artist churning out pleasant, if unremarkable, material, here's an award."

Also, say what you want about Kanye and his ego, but he at least walks the walk. He's unquestionably a hip-hop innovator. In my book, as well as many others, 'Ye's 3 for 3 and, IMO, Graduation was easily the most deserving of album of the year.

"Just because it lands on the content-packed critically acclaimed TRL does not make it good music."

haha, indeed. But just as an idea isn't responsible for the people who hold it, artist aren't responsible for who enjoys their music. Except for Dave Matthews. I hold him wholly accountable for the 'bros who dig him.

Thanks for reading.

Jon

12:02 AM  

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