Friday, April 17, 2015

The 50th Annual ACM Awards: Who SHOULD Win and Who WILL Win

     The 50th Annual ACM Awards will be taking place on Sunday, April 19 in Dallas, Texas. The ACM Awards have been under intense scrutiny the past few years, as the legitimacy of the awards has been called into question due to inconsistent criteria for awards and the implementation of fan voting for major awards. Frankly, the ACM Awards are the little brother to the CMA Awards, so they are trying to pump life and excitement into the show. Look no farther than the eyebrow raising performers list that includes Christina Aguilera and Nick Jonas. Bringing in pop stars to apologize for being country is nothing new, but it seems to be more and more egregious each year. I feel shortly we will see Wiz Khalifa debut his new single on the ACM or CMA Awards. Fortunately, while we will have to put up with out of place pop stars and country wannabes like Sam Hunt and Cole Swindell, we will get some good performances from Alan Jackson, Eric Church, Miranda Lambert, and a Brooks & Dunn reunion. It is also possible that Garth Brooks will be lip-syncing his performance. So, there’s a decent chance the ACM Awards will be a train wreck. However, we will still all probably rubberneck to see the disaster. Without further ado, here are my picks for who SHOULD win and who WILL win at the 50th Annual ACM Awards.

Vocal Event of The Year

 Lonely Tonight- Blake Shelton featuring Ashely Monroe
Meanwhile Back At Mama’s- Tim McGraw featuring Faith Hill
Somethin’ Bad- Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood
The South- The Cadillac Three featuring Florida Georgia Line, Dierks Bentley, and Eli Young Band
This Is How We Roll- Florida Georgia Line featuring Luke Bryan

Who SHOULD Win: The best song of this bunch is easily “Meanwhile Back At Mama’s”, so that my choice. This isn’t a particularly strong group this year.

Who WILL Win: Tim and Faith have a shot, but I think the ACM will try to further legitimize bro-country by giving this to the worst song I’ve ever heard. They can see their meal ticket beginning to wane in popularity, so they will pull out all the stops to keep the trend alive. Look for a big night for the bros.

Video Of The Year
 American Kids- Kenny Chesney
Cop Car- Keith Urban
Drunk On A Plane- Dierks Bentley
I’m Not Gonna Miss You- Glen Campbell
Somethin’ Bad- Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood

Who SHOULD Win: There isn’t an artist on here that is more deserving than Glen Campbell. This is certainly the song with the most heart and emotion behind it, and certainly the most artistic.

Who WILL Win: I think Glen gets it. This is an untelevised part. When the traditionalists throw a fit about the joke of a lineup in the live performances, they can point to this to claim they are “balanced”. Who watches music videos anymore?

Song of The Year
 American Kids- Kenny Chesney (written by Rodney Clawson, Luke Laird, Shane McAnally)
Automatic- Miranda Lambert (written by Nicolle Galyon, Natalie Hembry, Miranda Lambert)
Drink A Beer- Luke Bryan (written by Jim Beavers, Chris Stapleton)
Follow Your Arrow- Kacey Musgraves (written by Brandy Clark, Shane McAnally, Kacey Musgraves)
Give Me Back My Hometown- Eric Church (written by Eric Church, Luke Laird)
I Hold On- Dierks Bentley (written by Dierks Bentley, Brett James)

Who SHOULD Win: Wow, what a mediocre group for Song of the Year. Only one of these made my Top 10 last year, so that’s my choice for winner. “I Hold On” is a perfect example of a modern sounding, fresh country song that still has emotion and a story to tell. We could use more like it.

Who WILL Win: “Follow Your Arrow” is probably a lock. The ACM doesn’t want to risk looking less inclusive than the CMA, so they will be sure to award Kacey here. While I despise giving a song an award based on political grandstanding, there are worse songs and artists that could get this recognition.

Single Of The Year
American Kids- Kenny Chesney
Automatic- Miranda Lambert
Dirt- Florida-Georgia Line
Drunk On A Plane- Dierks Bentley
I Don’t Dance- Lee Brice

Who SHOULD Win: Man, what’s with all the “American Kids” love? I mean, it was an alright song I guess, but it’s all over the place on this show. I guess when the landscape was as barren as it was last year in the mainstream world, mediocre passes as excellence. This is another fairly weak list, but based on performance alone, which this award is supposed to be based on, “Drunk On A Plane” earns it. It isn’t the best song you’ll hear, but I’ve heard worse, and there’s no denying it was everywhere when it came out. Plus, Dierks is a good guy and deserves some hardware.

Who WILL Win: This is a two horse race. On one side, you have the critical darling, Miranda Lambert, who always seems to win when she gets nominated. On the other, you have Florida-Georgia Line, whom the ACM would love to see in the headlines again as bro-country sales wind down. I’m giving the edge to Lambert, but I reserve to right to gloat about being right if Fla-Ga Line win.

Album of The Year
Old Boots, New Dirt- Jason Aldean
Pain Killer- Little Big Town
Platinum- Miranda Lambert
Riser- Dierks Bentley
The Outsiders- Eric Church

Who SHOULD Win: Well, Old, Boots, New Dirt sucks. Pain Killer was a let down. The Outsiders was gutsy and entertaining, but not really country. That leaves us with Riser and Platinum. Between the two, I simply like Riser better. That would be my pick.

Who WILL Win: It sucks that my favorite category has some pedestrian efforts in it. Of course, none of the picks and pandering matter, we all know Miranda Lambert will walk away with this one hands down. Platinum is a good album. It made my top 10 last year. That being said, the mainstream country leadership has fawned over this like it was Live At San Quentin. It will win and it probably deserves more than many others in the mix, but let’s tap the brakes on this a little.

New Artist of The Year
 Sam Hunt
Cole Swindell
Thomas Rhett

Who SHOULD Win: Nobody. This is the most piss poor group of crappy country artists I have ever witnessed. Cole Swindell is as boring and dry as can possibly be with his pandering bro-country, Thomas Rhett is an entitled son of a songwriter who stumbled into this career that many work their lives away for, and don’t get me started on the pathetic joke that is Sam Hunt being labeled a country singer. I refuse to pick from this group. They all suck.

Who WILL Win: Sam Hunt. This guy shouldn’t even be sniffing a country music award. If they have any artist who is slightly older present this, he will have to be on Wikipedia before the show to find out who the old guy is. Where is Charlie Rich when you need him?

Vocal Group of the Year
 Lady Antebellum
Little Big Town
Rascal Flatts
The Band Perry
Zac Brown Band

Who SHOULD Win: Zac Brown and the boys have a highly anticipated new album on the way, a single on the charts, and they guest starred on Saturday Night Live this year. It’s time to give them the award they greatly deserve. I would not mind The Band Perry getting this as well. They released “Gentle On My Mind” as a single, and I’d like to see that rewarded.  Also, did you know Rascal Flatts was still a thing?  Huh.

Who WILL Win: This is the second closest lock of the night, other than duo. Little Big Town will win this running away. After all of the fake controversy they contrived to get their single up the charts, they should be getting shunned. Instead, the ignorant masses are praising them for being “tolerant” instead of crooked. It is a telling portrait of American politics when the people in the spotlight completely use a group for their own gain, yet get praised by that same group. Baffling. But, that’s a different discussion for a different day.

Vocal Duo of The Year
 Brothers Osborne
Dan + Shay
Florida-Georgia Line
Maddie & Tae
The Swon Brothers

Who SHOULD Win: Flatt & Scruggs

Who WILL Win: Douche Canoe x2

Female Vocalist of The Year
 Brandy Clark
Martina McBride
Miranda Lambert
Kacey Musgraves
Carrie Underwood

Who SHOULD Win: Man, this is sad. The complete lockout of female artists from the radio is at critical mass. Miranda Lambert is the obvious choice here, as she is the only one who consistently put out radio hits. Carrie had success as well, but she has been mostly on mom duty this year, and rightfully so. It’s nice to see Brandy Clark nominated. It’s also depressing that two artists who charted a grand total of 0 songs had to be thrown in to round this group out. Get with the program, country radio.

Who WILL Win: Miranda in a landslide. It will be made into a big deal that she has been so dominant. Don't get me wrong, she is deserving. However, what’s the competition? Country music has GOT to fix their female artist problem in a hurry.

Male Vocalist of The Year
 Jason Aldean
Dierks Bentley
Luke Bryan
Eric Church
Brad Paisley
Blake Shelton

Who SHOULD Win: half of these guys don’t even qualify as country. As far as the people who have had success, and stand for the ideals of country music, I have to go with Dierks Bentley. He has always been a solid artist with great album cuts and decent singles. He also gets mostly ignored come award season. I’d love to see him win here.

Who WILL Win: This is tough. With the exception of Brad Paisley, any of these guys have a legitimate shot. For the sake of being interesting and different, I’ll go with Eric Church. I could see it happening and it would be an interesting choice.

Entertainer Of The Year
Jason Aldean
Garth Brooks
Luke Bryan
Miranda Lambert
Florida-Georgia Line

Who SHOULD Win: Well, this was once the most prestigious award, but turning it into a fan vote has delegitimized this to begging for votes on Twitter to determine the best artist in the genre. Give me a break. As far as these artists go, I’d like to see Garth or Miranda, as they are the only two who qualify as country.

Who WILL Win: Whichever artist decides that begging for votes and lowering themselves to a stupid popularity contest is worth their dignity. Seriously, some awards being fan-voted are fine. But the main award of the night doesn't need to be decided by someone whose bedtime is 9:30. I have no clue who WILL win, but if it is Florida-Georgia Line, I will be embarrassed for country music. That would be a travesty.

There you have it. The ACM Awards do not look too promising, but maybe we will be surprised. Tune in Sunday to find out! Keep it country, kids!

No comments:

Post a Comment