I’m not big into award shows for the pageantry of it all but I do find them interesting for learning about culture I might not otherwise expose myself to. Sometimes I even care who wins, Arcade Fire and The White Stripes both come to mind for artists I was proud of. So, With all due respect to fans of Beyoncé, Pharrell Williams, Sam Smith, and Ed Sheeran, there is only one artist who deserves to win Album of the Year at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards. That award should be given to Beck for his album Morning Phase.
Now, good-better-best isn’t a perfect way to rank albums because tastes in music are subjective but I’m going to plead my case for Morning Phase as Album of the Year. A problem with a lot popular artists−and Beck has certainly gone in and out of this categorization−is that their albums tend to be built for clubs, bars, radio play, and I guess music videos. I have a hard time knowing why someone would buy an album by people like Lady Gaga, Eminem, or most of the Album of the Year artists. All the good songs will be singles with the rest of the album used as filler. Morning Phase is not like that. The album, all the way through, is part of the experience. There is no filler, and every song is worth listening to.
Unlike most people who listen to music, I still listen to albums. I dislike skipping around to just a couple of good songs and moving on. I like artists who have created an experience that only comes from a well paced, compete album. I can appreciate singular songs as much as the next person, but it doesn’t connect with me the way an album can. So people can like Beyoncé for her singles and her personality. People can like Pharrell for that Happy song. People can like Sam Smith for shrieking about how much money is on his mind. People can maybe like Ed Sheeran for, well, whatever people like him for.
I’ll take Beck’s Morning Phase, hands down the best and most complete of the albums nominated.