frank-ocean

Frank Ocean has had a pretty good year, and he’s closing it out in style, cleaning up on year-end lists and now, being nominated for Grammys in six categories: Album Of The Year, Record Of The Year, Best New Artist, Best Urban Contemporary Album, Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, and Best Short Form Music Video. The other big winners are Dan Auerbach, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Mumford & Sons, and fun., all nominated for six awards each as well. Also worth mentioning here is the fact that Dirty Projectors’ Dave Longstreth was nominated for Best Recording Package. Check out the competition in the Big Four cats below; for a full list of nominees, go to Grammy.com.

Album Of The Year
The Black Keys – El Camino
fun. – Some Nights
Mumford & Sons – Babel
Frank Ocean – Channel Orange
Jack White – Blunderbuss

Record Of The Year
The Black Keys – “Lonely Boy”
Kelly Clarkson – “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)”
fun. Featuring Janelle Monáe – “We Are Young”
Gotye Featuring Kimbra – “Somebody That I Used To Know”
Frank Ocean – “Thinkin Bout You”
Taylor Swift – “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”

Song Of The Year
Ed Sheeran – “The A Team”
Miguel – “Adorn”
Carly Rae Jepsen – “Call Me Maybe”
Kelly Clarkson – “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)”
fun. – “We Are Young”

Best New Artist
Alabama Shakes
fun.
Hunter Hayes
The Lumineers
Frank Ocean

The 55th annual Grammy Awards air 2/10.

Comments (78)
  1. If somehow Chris Brown beat Frank in that Best Urban Contemporary Album, I’ll be in an ocean of tears

  2. They’ll probably go with Blunderbuss for Album of the Year. It’s got Dad Rock appeal written all over it

  3. fun. is the worst. please, no. FRANK’S GOT IT IN DA BANK

  4. what is the difference between song of the year and record of the year?

    • Song of the year goes to the writer, and record of the year goes to the performer.

      • so I guess record is in case some makes an awesome cover of someone else’s song?

        • No, it’s because most pop performers either don’t write their songs or co-write them with a collaborator… or a committee. For example, a lot of pop divas who “co-write” just contribute some vocal melodies and lyrics to songs that , in terms of their basic composition, were already finished when the demo went out. In this year’s SOTY, Miguel, Ed Sheeran, and fun. actually wrote the songs they are nominated for, but if Kelly Clarkson or Carly Rae Jepsen takes it, they would share the award with like 4 other people.

    • Song of the Year goes to the song-writer, and Record will go to the performer, producer, and the engineer team.

  5. If fun. win’s anything over Frank Ocean, our family’s Grammy party will end on a very down, vulgarity filled note…

  6. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

    • All this proves is that Frank Ocean is popular, which was already established

    • As was proved when, in your world at least, Arcade Fire suddenly became terrible after winning best album.

      • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

        • I love Arcade for the same reasons you hate them , they want to make you feel , I guess that’s the purpose of the violins and humming ,I fooking loved Funeral ,English is my second language ,I normally listen to lyrics in the first play but I fell in love immediately Neighborhood(Tunnels) still gets overplayed in my devices today.

          About the performance , I love they’d be playing 2drummers,2 violins, 3 guitars,everyone on the vocals ., what’s not love about that ? it’s far from pretense , they are trying so hard to please their fans and succeeding too.

          I understand If you don’t like them ,I don’t think they were meant for everyone .Guess that applies to all bands

          • I definitely think that bands should want you to have an emotional response to their music, and I don’t listen to any bands that don’t have that attitude toward music. However, if an artist is primarily invested in the mere IDEA of moving the listener, then the songs tend to be less like art and more like tools. The same is true of romantic relationships. If one is too in love with the idea of being in love, falling in love becomes a means to an end rather than the end in and of itself, as it should be. What I was saying above was that Arcade Fire tries way too hard, to the point that the songs, rather than simply being self-expression/self-reflection with which listeners happen to naturally forge a connection, are more like a product designed to emotionally manipulate listeners into loving the band and proclaiming them geniuses. It’s all very slick, polished, overly earnest, and theatrical. It makes me think of the sort of music corporate executives might make if they had never actually heard Neutral Milk Hotel but had read descriptions of their music. By the way, since you mentioned that English is your second language, may I recommend a screenname change? It’s really not doing you any favors.

        • i don’t get this. first off, i really don’t see that much a similarity between the two bands, other than the no-restraint, “sing your heart out” vibe. the music sounds nothing alike, and arcade fire surely doesn’t write melodies and lyrics in that verbose, jeff mangum-esque sort of way. so by that measure, are smashing pumpkins a neutral milk hotel rip-off band? m83? shout out louds? wu lyf? los campesinos?

          also, what’s wrong with making music with an eye toward the listener. i go to shows, i like to feel something and see a performance. that’s why i like my morning jacket, pearl jam, etc. i wouldn’t call those bands inauthentic, but there’s little doubt that they think of the live shows when they write. and as far as the songs being formulaic goes, i guess… that they have verses and choruses and whatnot. it’s certainly not free jazz.

          never change that name, masterbates.

          • No, I don’t think of those bands as NMH wannabes. The only one you mentioned who is even eligible for that dubious distinction is Los Campesinos!, but I’ll address that in a second. I would agree that the bands (other than Arcade Fire) you mention seem pretty authentic. There is a spectrum of theatricality, and Arcade Fire is on the far end of it. Arcade Fire is to Neutral Milk Hotel as Muse is to Radiohead. By the way, the cartoonish melodrama in Arcade Fire’s music was something I perceived before I ever saw any footage of the band performing. You might be interested to know that I wasn’t the first one on Stereogum to point out the connection between NMH and Arcade Fire. Someone mentioned it under the Mumford & Sons article last month. I was 18 in 1998, and after Aeroplane came out, there was suddenly a deluge of ultra-sincere indie songwriters writing anthemic songs. It’s funny that you bring up Los Campesinos! though because even though I don’t really consider them to be NMH wannabes I have felt for some time that there was something NMH-ish in their songs (well, at least the ones I’ve heard). Well guess what? I did a quick internet search and found an interview from 2009 where Tom from Los Campesinos! mentions NMH and the Decemberists (the biggest NMH wannabes on Earth) being influences and covering their songs in the early days of the band. I’m pretty good at this game. A few years ago, I mentioned that I thought Kurt Cobain was influenced by John Fogerty’s vocals. Some moron contradicted me, but you see, as it turns out, the first band Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic were in together was a Creedence cover band. Kurt wasn’t comfortable singing yet, but the point is that we know he liked CCR because at one point in his life all he was doing was playing their songs. But anyway, in short, I can spot an influence a mile away. I haven’t bothered to Google Arcade Fire, but I am 95% certain I have seen something in the last decade where somebody from that band mentioned NMH. I’ll bet you a million bucks you can find something. For better or worse, NMH’s impact has been seismic.

          • eh, all you’ve really said there is that arcade fire is likely influenced by NMH. well, probably. any musician that’s heard music before will inevitably have influences, and NMH is just one of those artists that hits hard in that area, e.g. the velvet underground or the pixies. a your favorite band’s favorite band kind of thing.

            but what you were saying earlier – that you don’t respect arcade fire because their sincerity feels over the top and therefore inauthentic – ok, well fine, it’s your respect. do whatever you want with it. but i don’t feel like there’s anything wrong with being theatric for the sake it. put otherwise, you don’t always have to be a radiohead. arcade fire and muse both write good-sounding songs for the most part, and i don’t think that either band comes off like they’re shamelessly ripping anyone else off (well, post-2004 muse).

            now, this… this is a shameless ripoff: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVvSfgiyCG8&lc=e5ofiwMl0iWXK8AF3Y2BppLqarGjQpX6qyZSS-S-dsY

          • Ben, I certainly don’t think Arcade Fire have plagiarized anything, but “good-sounding songs” (depending on the songwriter’s skill and intent) may or may not be art. I am contending that Funeral amounts to a moment of musical opportunism, the degradation of art into mere product, which was the wrong that punk rock (the antecedent of all the bands under the umbrella term, “indie rock”) was aiming to correct so many years ago. I mean, if you are content for music to be nothing more than something to consume that is ultimately disposable, then there is no way for you to understand my position here. I think Arcade Fire built a critical reputation on an album that in truth amounts to a commercial bastardization of a songwriting style originally intended for authentic emotional expression and communication, and I think there is something wrong with that. They got away with it because somehow critics failed to realize that Arcade Fire were engaging in musical opportunism. Muse certainly hasn’t gotten away with it. They have had commercial success but their methods (sterilizing Radiohead’s epics and pandering to, rather than challenging, audiences), which are similar to Arcade Fire’s, have damaged their critical reputation (and rightfully so).

          • i don’t think we’re gonna find any common ground on this one. i’m only responding because… well, i couldn’t resist:

          • Dude, I wasn’t saying “Exactly!” about the Arcade Fire lyrics. I actually didn’t even read them because they are Arcade Fire lyrics. I was responding to his first sentence. Now that I read them though, even though I obviously agree with what they are expressing, they’re not so good. I generally hate lyrics that are really on-the-nose, but if you’re doing that, you need to commit to it. Also, if you are writing in a more poetic style, commit to it. Here we have an example of a band daring to mix the two approaches. The marriage of them is about as harmonious as fingernails running down a chalkboard while a symphony attempts to play.

        • Hidden due to low comment rating.

      • i assume you were talking to someone else, since i never mentioned arcade fire…

        • Well yeah, I was responding to Simon Chapman, who mentioned them. That’s why the arrow of my first comment is indented to the right of his comment.

  7. Why is m83 nominated for alternative album of 2012?

    • The eligibility period has always been from the October of last year to the September of this year. So as long as your album is released in this time range and you/your label actually submit albums/songs, you will be considered for nominations.

      I know lots of people will complain about why this/that album isn’t nominated. That may be because the label didn’t even submit the work in the first place.

  8. Carly Rae has got song of the year in the bag.

  9. Well how about that – this year’s Grammy nominations don’t actually make me want to hurt something.

  10. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  11. Serious question – how does Frank Ocean differ from other run of the mill modern POP/R&B singers?
    All I hear is regular chart music.

    • I dont like Modern POP/R&B as well….. but frank ocean has had his year thanks to word of mouth, online , heck none of his songs are played on radio . even here in DC ,

    • Songwriting skill and taste mainly. While Channel Orange is R&B, most of the stuff on the top 40 now is EDM driven, shallow rubbish. Frank draws lots of influence from classic soul/R&B as well as from more alternative sources. Miguel is another example of this, they both could be and have been part of the mainstream, sales before all else business, but created exactly the albums they wanted to make for themselves, not what they thought would sell the most.

      It’s like asking what the difference between Tame Impala or Japandroids and the latest crappy mainstream Rock band is.

    • Yeah because “Monks” is virtually identical to Ke$ha’s “Die Young”.

  12. I actually have three of the five AotY nominations. That doesn’t happen too much with the Grammys.

    All told, I’m more or less pleased with most of these nominations, which again doesn’t happen too much with the Grammys. Usually I just roll my eyes.

  13. Anybody else notice that Mumford & Sons (who are ENGLISH) are up for Best Americana Album?

    Also, I kind of love the Best Alternative Music Album nominees this year! Fiona, M83, and Tom Waits. Tom Waits you guys!

  14. Last year, in my best of 2011 post (on which I had Nostalgia, Ultra at #3) I wrote the following:

    “If this guy doesn’t become a bonafide star it will be a real shame; this is one of the best debut albums I’ve ever heard.”

    (pats self on back)

  15. “Frank Ocean Nominated For 6 Grammys”

    Damnit, now I have to watch the Grammys

  16. What a year he’s having. Overall I thought the nominees were fairly decent (taking into account, at least, that these are the Grammys and thereby obligated to suck). One omission IMO was the new Solange. Just read this article the other day that convinced me to check it out, and it’s great.

    Interesting read: http://ahorizontalmyth.wordpress.com/2012/12/05/divergent-souls-solange-cody-chesnutt/

  17. Anyone who says Frank Ocean is generic Pop/R&B is right up there with people who say “Isn’t Frank Ocean a rapper?”

  18. It’s too bad the Grammys are a joke.

  19. Well I will tell you what sets Frank Ocean apart from mainstream R&B. Its subject matter and melodies. Frank Ocean sounds much more like the early 2000′s late 90′s Love Jones Soundtrack, HBCU R&B, that my sister and her friends loved so much in college. Its basically Neo Soul with a little different subject matter. I personally always hated Neo Soul, and I feel the same way about Frank Ocean. All the Neo Soul singers, John Legend, Lauren Hill, Frank Ocean, seem to be much more influenced by Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway. Who are personally my least favorite soul singers. And the newer soul singers, like The Dream, are much more influenced by people like Prince and R Kelly, who are much better than Wonder or Hathaway.

    I personally think that Ocean is much worse than the R and B you hear on the radio. Justin Beibers new song is much better than anything on Channel Orange. And The Dream’s worst songs are much better than even Oceans best.

    I think when it comes down to it. Frank Ocean is earnest, where people like The Dream and R kelly really aren’t. And I think that appeals to people who generally listen to MOR Indie. That would explain all the indie love for him and Kendrick Lamar, who I really dislike as well.

    Give me Chief Keef or the Dream over that Love Jones bullshit any day. So yes you are correct. Channel Orange is terrible, but it does sound quite different than most of what is on the radio these days. It sounds like what was on the radio in 2001.

  20. I’m not a Frank Ocean fan on a whole, but I still don’t understand why “Thinkin’ About You” was the lead single from that record. “Super Rich Kids” is my favorite song from it.

  21. Honestly the AOTY noms were a best case scenario for us. Fiona wasn’t radio friendly to get AOTY consideration and Shields hasn’t had a huge impact this year.

  22. I remember that when Beach House’s Bloom was leaked or released and most Stereogummers rejoiced at it that someone here said that this record was definitely going to be nominated for next year’s Grammy Album of the Year. Hmmm…

  23. Can we lose some of these ads popping up Stereogum? I don’t want to choose my sign or sign up for a 25 dollar serve card!

  24. I’m ready for the Grammy’s to not be a joke anymore…

  25. The Grammys have become aware of issues of with their perception; this suggests they’re at least taking some steps to try to correct it, as they did with Arcade Fire’s win. These choices are on the whole not bad and could have been much much worse. We will see who wins though. That will make the difference.

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  27. So, Frankly, an Ocean of tears?

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