Grammy nominations yesterday and Lizzo, Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, and Lil Nas X, emerged as the Recording Academy’s new pop superstars cohort. For Taylor Swift, however, who received three nominations, including for Song of the Year (“Lover"), most of the headlines after the announcement were that she’d been snubbed, especially since she’s won Album of the Year two times before for Red and 1989. Reputation didn’t get much love from the Grammys but that wasn’t a surprise. Lover, being a stronger album, and her first with a new label, was expected to be in contention. And you know where the Grammys are concerned, Taylor always goes for it.
I wonder, though, if the results would have been different if Lover was rolled out differently. This is something I keep coming back to with the album in particular, with what Taylor decided to include on the album, and how she decided to set its tone: “ME!” followed by “You Need To Calm Down”.
They are the two of the weaker songs on the album, two of the songs you skip. The other song that’s an instant skip is the first song “I Forgot That You Existed”. Which would have made the first song on the album “Cruel Summer”, a song I love, a song that could have been a huge summer hit with the right promotion. Instead it was the annoying “ME!” and then the tryhardness of “You Need To Calm Down”. Taylor followed a formula that has worked for her in the past but this time, even though sure, Lover’s album sales were strong, because she has a massive fanbase, her music from Lover hasn’t taken over the culture, not in the way, for example, that 1989 was inescapable.
Still, even though Taylor may not have come through with as many Grammy nominations as she would have wanted, there are other awards to talk about. We are now just three sleeps away from the American Music Awards where she’ll receive the Artist of the Decade honour and perform a tribute to herself. Everybody’s waiting to see what she’ll do because of her ongoing skirmish with Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun and word is she could have other artists, like Selena Gomez and Halsey, joining her onstage for some of her biggest tracks before delivering a sermon about artists owning their masters. Whatever you think of how she’s played the situation in recent weeks, you can’t deny that the hype around the AMAs is now that much bigger because of the controversy.
After the AMAs, we look ahead to the Golden Globes. As I wrote last week, if ever there was a movie that was made for the Globes, it would be Cats. But it was reported last week that Cats is still not ready and may not make the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s deadline for screening, meaning it would be ineligible for Golden Globes consideration. Variety reported yesterday however that it looks like Cats could juuuuuuuust make the cut and will indeed be screened for the HFPA. And yet…
“Even with a Globes screening set, director Tom Hooper is still racing through Thanksgiving to finish a print by the deadline for HFPA voters. More than 100 visual effects artists were employed to work on “Cats,” which is using a lengthy and costly process to add CGI cat fur to the bodies of all the live-action actors.”
I mean, they are cutting it CLOSE.
Was it always intended to be this close? Or, again, as I’ve noted, did this happen because of reaction to the first trailer back in July when people were like… what the f-ck are we looking at?!
Doesn’t matter now. They’re clearly aiming for the Globes and they’ll obviously need Taylor Swift more than ever to hype the film. No doubt they’re hoping for a Best Musical/Comedy Golden Globe nomination and a Best Song nomination for Taylor and I can’t imagine that they won’t be pushing for the song, “Beautiful Ghosts”, to be contending for Oscar too. Taylor’s never been to the Oscars. She’s gone to the Vanity Fair Oscar party…but never to the Oscars proper. First time in 2020?