Monday, January 9, 2012

The Year in Music: 2011 - Part V

Hope everyone had a great holiday season! Hopefully, 2012 will bring some great new music. For now, I leave you with the second to last category in my year-end Jerammy nominations - Song of the Year. As the real Grammy voters typically ignore the distinction between this and Record of the Year, I will point out that these nods are supposed to be for achievement in songwriting, and hence, go to the songwriters...not necessarily the same as the performers. To me, excellence in songwriting doesn't have to indicate some deep, world-changing lyrical passage, but there should be something unique and non-cliched about both the lyrics and the music. The melodies should also grab you - an engaging hook is definitely part of masterful songwriting. That having been said, the nominees are:

Song of the Year

Fuckin' Perfect - Pink, Max Martin, and Shellback (performed by Pink)
Nothing too complicated or poetic here. It's a simple song with an admirable message and a tight melody. Enough to be my top choice.

Werewolves - Alex Dezen (The Damnwells)
Another song that isn't exactly treading any new topical territory, but Dezen certainly has a way with words, which lifts this one to a higher level. The hook is great too, with the backing vocals to the chorus even featuring a sort of "howling" tone to them. It's the details that count when you're deciding on the best.

Someone Like You - Adele Adkins, Dan Wilson (Adele)
Nine years after the release of Semisonic's signature rock tune, "Closing Time," lead singer Dan Wilson scored a Song of the Year Grammy win for co-writing the Dixie Chicks' "Not Ready to Make Nice." Four and a half years after that, he notched his first #1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 with this Adele track. I am personally not the biggest Adele fan in the world, and think she is overhyped. However, the raw emotion conveyed in this song warrants that props be given to both Adele and her writing partner, Wilson. Plus, I'm such a huge Dan Wilson fan, that I wanted to recognize him here. I wish he had more of his OWN music out there, and that he had more success with those songs. The fact that he's so ably adapted his writing across genres through the years shows that he is simply one of the most talented songwriters out there today.

Give Me Something - Danny Bemrose (Scars on 45)
Love Shines - Ron Sexsmith (Ron Sexsmith) 
The Cave - Marcus Mumford (Mumford & Sons)

Jerammies 2011 - Song of the Year by Jeremy Sand on Grooveshark

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