Monday, February 14, 2011

CD Smackdown: Grammy vs. Platinum Vinyl

The 2011 Grammy Awards are over, and now the second guessing can begin. Here at The Night Beat there is plenty of second guessing to do. Of course the only categories we are concerned with are the categories named Gospel, but that still provides plenty of fodder.

My biggest gripe with Grammy gospel award is its limited scope. There are only five genre-specific sub categories (Rock/Rap Gospel, Pop/Contemporary Gospel, Country/Southern Gospel, Traditional Gospel, and Contemporary/R&B Gospel). On the other hand, the Platinum Vinyl Awards have ten genre-specific categories (Pop, Rock, Hard Rock/Metal, Alternative, Hip-Hop/Rap, Gospel/R&B, Dance/Electronica, Techno, Folk/Folk Rock, Modern Worship and Kids Music). As long as we are clear on who belongs in a category, the more categories the better. After the jump, I will take on each of the Grammy Winners with a who won, who should have won format.
Best Rock/Rap Gospel Album
  • Who Won: Hello Hurricane, Switchfoot  
  • Who Should Have Won: For Those Who Wait, Fireflight 
  • The Night Beat Fix: I love Switchfoot since their New Way to be Human, but they are mis-categorized this year. They aren't really Rock/Rap, Alternative or possibly Pop. Gungor would be Alternative or Modern Worship, So would DCB, I would have put Fireflight, Lecrae, and TobyMac here. I don't know who would have been the other two nominees at the moment but this is a start.
Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album: This one was one of the real head scratchers for me. Israel Houghton, TobyMac, Steven Curtis Chapman, Sanctus Real, and Ricky Skaggs? In the same category? What were they smoking? The five nominees are on different planets, musically speaking. Ricky Skaggs is country, I'd put Sanctus Real in Rock with Toby Mac, Fireflight, and DCB, Lecrae and Gungor. I'll put Switchfoot here. There, one category saved.
  • Who Won: Love God, Love People, Israel Houghton
  • Who Should Have Won: This is a tough one, since my fix would probably decimate this category, but as a reach I'll go with Pieces of a Real Heart by Sanctus Real.
  • The Night Beat Fix: First Toby Mac goes to Rock/Rap. Ricky Skaggs goes to Country, and Israel Houghton is only here because they gave his proper slot in Contemporary/R&B Gospel to BeBe & CeCe Winans, which I wasn't impressed with and wasn't nominated for a Platinum Vinyl Award. I wasn't impressed with Houghton either, I thought it lacked focus, so it didn't make the PVA nominees either. I think SCC could stay with Sanctus Real and Switchfoot. The other nominees: I'll go with Newsboys and Addison Road.
Best Country/Southern Gospel Album: I'll pass on this one, seeing that I do not have a category to compare to it. Needless to say, I think it fair that Ricky Skaggs would better be in this grouping. On to the next category.

Best Traditional Gospel Album: Due to my tastes, how I classify things, I really didn't have anything in this category but one entrant. And I really didn't hear any of the others except for Marvin Sapp, so for this category I will dispense with the Night Beat Fix.
  • Who Won: Downtown Church, Patty Griffin
  • Who Should Have Won: I only picked one Album that was put in this category. So, though I'm not tipping my hand to the eventual winner of the Platinum Vinyl Award, I will go with The Experience by Vanessa Bell Armstrong 
Best Contemporary/R&B Gospel Album: I am the most pleased with the people who run the Grammy Awards on this category, and really don't have a gripe with their choices, except for the fact that I didn't really like BeBe & CeCe Winans album, so I don't think it should have been included, but of the five nominees for this category THREE OF THEM were nominated for a Platinum Vinyl Awards. I will also forgo a Night Beat Fix for this category because of that fact. I will say that if we swap out BeBe & CeCe and swap in Israel Houghton it may have been perfect.
  • Who Won: Still by BeBe & CeCe Winans 
  • Who Should Have Won: Obviously I didn't think that it would have been the Winans. My picks for this Category included Get Ready by Forever Jones, Triumphant by VaShawn Mitchell, and the self titled release by Aaron Sledge. Love Unstoppable by Fred Hammond rounded out the nominees of the Grammy Awards. I'm going to say, once again, without committing myself in the Platinum Vinyl Awards, that Forever Jones would have been a better choice overall. When you realize that this isn't a gospel choir, but simply an everyday family, although somewhat large at seven members, then you can't help but be greatly impressed by the sound. It is a great debut album. My Choice.
There you go, the Official Night Beat Wrap-up of the Grammy Awards. All that has been said that can be said, all other recaps are irrelevant. The next recap will be the Dove Awards, and possibly I will be done with the Platinum Vinyl Awards by then.