Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Album of the Year
1. Beyoncé - Beyoncé
What's in its favor: The world was turned upside down when Bey released her fifth album unannounced without any promotion and a music video created for each track. It became one of the biggest musical events of the decade. It also doesn't hurt that sales have been robust and it got not only some of the best reviews of her career, but for the year in general.
What might work against it: Albums by superstars in this category tend to have more than one big hit. So far it's only been "Drunk In Love."
2. Pharrell Williams - G I R L
What's in its favor: The momentum from all the goodwill he received during the summer of 2013 has carried over thanks to a little song called "Happy." The album has also been well-received by critics and yet to fall below #20 of the Billboard Top 200 nearly three months after its release.
What might work against it: Unless the critical reception has been absolutely astronomical, nominees here don't make it off the basis of just one song. Its chances hinge mainly on the chart performance of new single "Come Get It Bae" at this point.
3. Arcade Fire - Reflektor
What's in its favor: I've talked before about how the Grammys are trying to slowly regain credibility by rewarding acts that are seen as hip and purveyors of quality music. Arcade Fire has one of the strongest combinations of hip and mainstream going for them, which will continue to make them perennial contenders in AOTY. Reflektor was highly lauded upon release and in case you forgot, they actually beat out Eminem and Lady Gaga in this category a few years ago.
What might work against: The Suburbs, their past AOTY winner, was released during the summer and the surprise at its #1 debut shot them up in the eyes of the mainstream. By the time the eligibility period concluded at the end of September, the album was still relatively fresh. Reflektor was practically released at the beginning of the eligibility period, so there's a strong case it might already be forgotten.
Thursday, May 15, 2014
Pushing play now on Fleetwood Mac's Rumours. #classicalbumtweets— Ivan Mitchell (@hecticivan) May 15, 2014
"Second Hand News" just begs to be listened to in the sun while cracking open cold ones. #classicalbumtweets— Ivan Mitchell (@hecticivan) May 15, 2014
I'm not afraid to admit that I was first familiar with "Second Hand News" through Kid Rock's "Wasting Time." Had a strange aversion to Mac.— Ivan Mitchell (@hecticivan) May 15, 2014
Also, just assume that every song, my reaction is going to be "OMG, Lindsey Buckingham's guitar y'all." His picking is blissfully insane.— Ivan Mitchell (@hecticivan) May 15, 2014
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Adeline Michele of Escort
One of the things that I didn't take into account was the amount of bands on the concert bill for that night. What that meant was that there was nary a quiet spot to be found at Metro, so portions of this interview with Adeline was recorded on a stairwell. It was slightly chaotic, but it felt fun because it made us feel like little kids.
"Came Out Of A Lady" is such a well-crafted pop tune and it's not very often that you find folks with jazz backgrounds able to create something that catchy. We discussed a bit about what it was like to transition from a world of theory to one of modern songwriting.
I was fighting off a cold, which is why my voice sounded extra seasoned here. One of my favorite things to do when interviewing a band is to ask them a fun question to begin with. For me, it helps to distinguish the different personalities as a listener. Cloud Control was pretty game when the topic of Harry Potter movies came up and I think that helped to set the tone for the rest of the interview.
I was still kind of recovering on this one as well (although I'll never admit to being fully sick). Overall, he was pretty excited to talk about his creative process and I feel like with electronic artists, there's always so much more to delve into than the time I usually allow for interviews. If you listen to the songs, there's all kinds of things one could explore as far as moods and certain techniques.