As most of you know (or have read), I’m a sucker for music awards shows. When the Grammys came up in February, I was ready and raring to go, studying the nominees like sports fans study the stats on their favorite athletes. And for the most part, I was spot on about my picks winning the coveted gramophone. But, that was chosen by a committee of professionals in the music industry, while the American Music Awards, which aired this past Sunday, was chosen by the fans.
The American Music Awards this year were…to say the least, underwhelming. Well, at least a few of the auto-tuned performances (aka, everyone EXCEPT P!nk, who always rocks any televised performance she has ever done) and fashion statements (Nicki Minaj needed to up her extreme fashion and NOT copy an already-worn style). But when it came to the nominations, I was on pins and needles – hoping for an outcome that screamed more head-bopping and less teeny-bopper. (Even though Beiber seemed to score the most awards – I am still confused as to how.)
I managed to call every winner (even though I may not have agreed with the fans for their choice in music – such is the life of a music critic!) And even though I was (slightly) sad to see my favorites not make the cut with the voters, I decided to share with you my picks for some of the top categories on the AMAs.
1) Artist of the Year: True, Beiber snagged this category and did possibly the cutest thing by dragging his mother up for his acceptance speech, yet I would not have minded seeing Maroon 5 snag this award. It’s been a banner year for Adam Levine and Co., especially with such hits as “One More Night”, “Stereo Hearts”, and “Payphone”. (All of which are in current rotation in my iTunes collection!) And sorry Beibs, but Levine is just better eye candy!
2) New Artist of the Year: Without hesitation my boyfriend, Matt, and I called Carly Rae Jepsen as the winner, clearly based on principle that “Call Me Maybe” was parodied more than “Somebody That I Used To Know” by roller derby girls, the Harvard Men’s Baseball team, and one of the most famous of all – the 2012 Summer Olympics. All of that aside, it would have really been wonderful to see Fun. win this award instead. “Call Me Maybe” had catchiness, but “We Are Young”, coupled with “Some Nights”? Fun. (and their music) have anthem quality!
3) Favorite Album Pop/Rock: Ahhhhh, another Beiber win…but I was (secretly) rooting for One Direction! Yes, they’re a little boy-bandish for my taste – although my high school self would have gone absolutely NUTS for their perfectly coifed look and even more cheesy harmonies! (Yes, I was in LOVE with boy bands for many years…I hang my head in a bit of guilty shame for this one.) Yet 1D had all the components to clearly win this category with the fans. Maybe next year?
4) Favorite Band, Duo, or Group – Country: Oh, Lady Antebellum clearly had this one in the bag. “Need You Now” catapulted their country stardom into the mainstream and they never looked back. But while country is a genre I clearly know very, very little about, Zac Brown Band has all the makings (in my mind) for a powerhouse! (Well, that and Matt played “Chicken Fried” and “Toes” so many times during the summer that I could sing those songs in my sleep.)
5) Favorite Artist – Electronic Dance Music (EDM): It was announced on the AMAs that this is the first year Electronic Dance Music has been acknowledged as a growing trend…hence this new category! David Guetta obviously had this one all wrapped up, especially with some of the artists he has had the chance to work with recently (Usher, Black Eyed Peas, LMFAO…to name a few!) Calvin Harris also has great musical charisma, but my pick? Have to go with Skrillex. He has an original sound in the industry and normally, while I am dead against the idea of electronic music having any bearing on the music industry…its growing popularity has caused me to adapt to respecting the trend.
Whatever your preference, be sure to check out the full list of nominees and winners from the 2012 American Music Awards by clicking here. And for next year’s show – remember, like the election season, your vote counts!