Why should you care about the Grammy Awards? Very valid question. But let’s face it: as the Writer’s Strike threatens to shut down more and more red carpet events, the 50th Annual Grammies may be the only constant in this year’s lagging awards season. In that light, the following is the fifteenth installment in my three-week countdown to February 10. Read below for my picks & pans in one of ’08’s many Grammy categories.
The award: Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals
Past five winners: Black Eyed Peas (“My Humps”); Maroon 5 (“This Love”); Los Lonely Boys (“Heaven”); No Doubt (“Underneath It All”); No Doubt (“Hey Baby”)
“(You Want to) Make a Memory,” Bon Jovi
“Makes Me Wonder,” Maroon 5
“Hey There Delilah,” Plain White T’s
“Window in the Skies,” U2
Who’s Missing: This year, there are a few allowable snubs in this category — among them Lifehouse (“First Time”) and Gym Class Heroes (“Cupid’s Chokehold”). But absolutely unforgiveable is the lack of a nomination for Matchbox 20’s “How Far We’ve Come.” Grammy voters love Rob Thomas when he’s not with the band; he earned 3 Grammies in 2000 for collaborating on Santana’s “Smooth” and garnered two nominations as a solo artist in 2006. Matchbox 20, meanwhile, has been nominated just once in a twelve-year career.
Who Shouldn’t Be There: U2. You might argue against my Matchbox 20 rant on the grounds that “How Far We’ve Come” is just a single added to their greatest-hits collection, Exile on Mainstream. But guess what: so is U2’s “Window in the Skies,” which was tagged on to U218 Singles back in November ’06. So if Matchbox 20 can’t get love for an huge pop hit add-on, why does U2 get a nomination for one that went nowhere on the charts?
Who Should Win: Plain White T’s. I’m not a huge fan of “Delilah,” but it is the most popular song here — and we all know what “pop” is short for. “Delilah” was the only nominee to reach the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2007; so by the numbers, Plain White T’s beats out the world’s biggest rock band (U2), the world’s biggest pop band (Maroon 5), the world’s biggest frontman (Jon Bon Jovi) and the third-biggest American Idol alum (Daughtry). And all because of some girl with a stupid name.
Who Will Win: Plain White T’s. In the last ten years, there have been just two times when a song nominated for Record of the Year was also up in this category. Both times, it lost: Hanson lost to Jamiroquai in 1998 and ‘N Sync to Steely Dan in 2001. But the one time in the last decade when a Song of the Year nom was up in this category, as “Delilah” is this year, it won for Best Pop Group Performance (U2 for “Stuck in a Moment” in 2002). Combine that convoluted logic with the song’s commercial success and you’ve got an almost guaranteed winner.