Monday, November 28, 2011

2012 Grammy Nomination Predictions

Nominations for the 54th Grammy Awards will be announced during their annual concert on Nov. 30. In what has also been a tradition for me, I like to predict who will get nominated.

Album of the Year

I'm not sure that I've seen anything as close to a sure thing for AOTY over such a long period of time, but Adele's 21 has been leading the charge since the beginning of the year with astoundingly consistent sales numbers from week to week. The album has been at or near the #1 spot on the Billboard 200 and the fact that her music is accessible and inoffensive pretty much makes her a lock. It also doesn't hurt that she's a previous Best New Artist winner as well. Things couldn't be set up any better.

I don't have any other definite locks, but I feel very confident in a few other favorites. One of them being Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. It may not have had the hit singles that his previous albums did, but it had universal glowing reviews in the same stratosphere as Speakerboxxx/The Love Below and OK Computer, both previous nominees in this category. The fact that it wasn't the commercial juggernaut that his other AOTY entries were might be overlooked for the chance to reward what many consider a masterpiece by one of today's most important artists. One outlandish scenario where I don't see it getting nominated is if his collaboration with Jay-Z, Watch The Throne, cancel both albums out and leaves room for Lupe Fiasco's Lasers to slide in. Lupe just happens to be a performer at the nomination concert and although he had a successful year, I don't think too many people saw him as a frontrunner for any of the general fields. It's definitely something to keep an eye out for since most performers who are asked to be at the nomination concert end up getting a nod in a big category.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ten on Tuesdays: Reasons Why I'll Never Lose Faith In Eddie Murphy

It's not easy being an Eddie Murphy fan these days. If you looked at his resume for just the past ten years, you would find a body of work that's mostly disappointing and not fitting for one of Hollywood's greatest talents. What's been so frustrating about Murphy is that he seems to be drawn to scripts that only a bank account could love. Despite his crap radar needing a tune-up, Murphy could still succeed even at this stage in his career given the right vehicle. Based on the reviews, his recent role in Tower Heist appeals more to his adult audience, which will hopefully be a direction that he continues in given that's what made him a superstar in the first place. There was the possibility that he could have reminded the world just how talented he was on a grander stage if he had stayed on as host of the Oscars, but a reminder shouldn't even be necessary given his obvious talent. That's simply what years of bad movies will do to a career. Throughout his many downs, I kept holding out hope that the next project would be the one to get him back on track. Needless to say, there has not been much encouragement for a long time, but here are ten reasons why I'll never give up on the man.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Little Jackie - "Time of Your Life" & "Cryin' For The Queen"

After only being available digitally since the summer, Little Jackie's second album, Made4TV, was finally released on CD a few weeks ago. It's encouraging because I think that a physical release causes a bit more hype and I firmly believe that the duo of Imani Coppola and Adam Pallin should already have a few songs on the Hot 100 under their belt by now. Made4TV picks up where The Stoop left off—which by the way, was one of my favorite albums from last decade—and continues to perfect their approach of marrying sunny hip hop beats with Motown-esque melodies. One of the highlights, "Time of Your Life," is a colorful track about taking a chance on love that feels youthful, but not wide-eyed. Coppola has always played the role of streetwise girl pretty well, so whenever she applies that same wit to a song that allows her heart to open up, she creates something that feels like its overjoyed with love without coming off as sappy.

Time Of Your Life (click here to download)

During the summer of 2008, The Stoop was my daily soundtrack. It was bright pop music filled with an attitude and its short running time made it easy to squeeze into my listening schedule. I still go back to it very often, especially now with the release of Little Jackie's latest album. One of the easiest ways to tell if I love an album is how often my favorite song changes. Sometimes it's "Black Barbie." For a while it was "The World Should Revolve Around Me." On many days, and as of right now, it has been "Cryin' For The Queen." Right out the gate, the song is gleefully profane and confident as Coppola chops down an entitled diva (I interpreted it as Amy Winehouse). It's a stretch to call this song hardcore, but from a pop perspective everything is blistering from the horns to Coppola's delivery.

Cryin' For The Queen (click here to download)

To download Made4TV from Little Jackie's Bandcamp website, click here and to buy The Stoop from Amazon, click here.