(Left to right in the banner pic: Mark Foster from Foster the People, Lil B, Dave Grohl from Foo Fighters, Alison Mosshart from The Kills & The Dead Weather, Kendrick Lamar)
This is the
most least important award show you’ll ever be a part of. Here’s what I think the best and worst music of 2011 was through the first 8 months.
The Based God Award for Best Song by Lil B this year:
Winner: “I Hate Myself” by Lil B — This is a surprisingly deep and serious song by Lil B that’s actually pretty decent musically. Songs like this one prove that he’s just having fun when he makes the ridiculous stuff like “I’m Miley Cyrus”.
Lifetime achievement award for sucking an incredible amount throughout their career:
Winner: The Black Eyed Peas — I’m not sure if they even released any music this year but just in case they did I’m giving them this award.
Award for the album that got good reviews but I hate:
Winner: Death Grips – Exmilitary — I don’t get it. Is this getting praise just because it’s different? A guy randomly yell-rapping over some really lo-fi production doesn’t make for interesting music.
Runner-up: James Blake – James Blake
Best album opener:
*This isn’t necessarily the individual song that I liked the most. This is a combination of how much I like the specific song and how well it works to set up the rest of the album.
Winner: Foo Fighters – Bridge Burning — That opening riff, man. Add that to Dave Grohl screaming “THESE ARE MY FAMOUS LAST WORDS” and you get one of the more memorable album openers in recent memory.
Runner-up: CunninLynguists – Predormitum (Prologue)
Best music video:
Winner: Radiohead – Lotus Flower
Thom Yorke’s dancing is still funny to me.
Worst album art:
Winner: Yuck – Yuck
I know that judging a book (or an album) by its cover is a remarkably dumb thing to do but I did it for this album. I HATE that cover and refused to give it a shot just because of it. Eventually I did listen to this album and it’s alright indie rock. Still hate this cover.
Best album art:
Winner: EMA – Past Life Martyred Saints
I don’t really know why I like this cover as much as I do. I think the colors EMA used on it just create a really cool effect when combined with the shadowing and the lens flare on her fingers.
Trend that I really wish would go away:
Look at these three.
I didn’t even have to go digging for when they looked the most ridiculous because all three of these pictures were taken at the same award show. The message I’m getting from the likes of Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, and Nicki Minaj is “my music isn’t good enough to stand out on its own so I have to fake being as weird as possible to get people to pay attention to me”. It was a funny image when the VMAs held their Amy Winehouse tribute and the camera panned to Katy “I’m gonna wear a giant block on my head” Perry. I don’t really care about Amy Winehouse but when you see something like that it makes the “tribute” seem like a clown show.
I have nothing against eccentricity in music. To use another solo female singer as an example, Lykke Li has a bit of an eccentric personality but she doesn’t try to prove it to other people by dressing up like a weirdo at every award show there is. She lets the music speak for itself. Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, and others like them are just trying way too hard.
Award for the album I didn’t care for at all at first but now I love:
Winner: Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes — Thank god I gave this a second chance after thinking it was pretentious boring crap at first. I don’t know what was wrong with me the first time I heard it.
Runner-up: The Kills – Blood Pressures
Award for the album I really liked at first but got almost no replay value:
Winner: Elzhi – Elmatic — I still think this is very well-made for what it is. Elzhi put years of work into this remake of Nas’ Illmatic that includes live instrumentation for the beats. Unfortunately it’s pretty much still Illmatic; Illmatic’s a great album but I’ve already heard it a hundred times. I think the same could be said for virtually anybody who would have been interested in this. After a little bit it sounds stale.
Runner-up: Pac Div – Mania!
Award for the most underwhelming album:
Winner: Lupe Fiasco – Lasers — This has all the signs of a label influencing an artist’s creative process. Lupe has enjoyed the most radio play/mainstream recognition of his career thanks to Lasers but that’s because this album was “dumbed down” (which was something he railed against in his previous album).
Runner-up: Red Hot Chili Peppers – I’m With You
Award for the album I keep telling myself I’ll listen to but never get around to it:
Winner: The Throne – Watch the Throne – I would probably really like this.
Runner-up: TV on the Radio – Nine Types of Light
Award for the album I feel like I should like but don’t:
Winner: Bon Iver – Bon Iver, Bon Iver – I think the effect Justin Vernon uses on his vocals are what ruins it for me.
Runner-up: PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
Best song that sounds happy but is actually about a really depressing topic:
Winner: Foster the People – Pumped Up Kicks — I think it’s safe to say that this is the catchiest song ever written that centers around a school shooting.
Runner-up: Cults – Abducted
Top 5 albums from 2010 now that I’ve had 8 more months to think it over:
5. The Naked and Famous – Passive Me, Aggressive You
4. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
3. The Dead Weather – Sea of Cowards
2. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
1. Big Boi – Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty
Kno’s Death is Silent, which was originally my #1 of 2010, is now #6. I still like it but it doesn’t have the replay value the rest of these did for me. I haven’t even thought about listening to it for months.