With very little surprises as to the nominees, the CMA Awards generally serve as a feast for fashion commentary (see here for more on that) and/or a slate of commentary on presenters or performers. We'll cut to the chase. Here's our take on who won versus who should have won. (Sometimes the two coincide!) Read on, country music lovers.
The big 'un: Entertainer of the year. Kenny Chesney won this one again, and we'll start out our commentary on a positive note. He should win this award. Yes, he keeps winning it, which is a bit boring...but realistically, Kenny runs circles around the competition in this category. Editorial note: Why is Sugarland nominated here and not Rascal Flatts? Why is Brad Paisley nominated but not Tim McGraw? For the umpteenth time, where are the chicks in this category, save Jennifer Nettles? Is it worth it to even ask these basic and oft-repeated questions?
Male Vocalist of the Year: Kenny Chesney is THE vocalist of the year, but Brad Paisley is a fair decision here. George Strait is awesome but has been dialing it in for a while now. Keith Urban is too Hollywood boy and his wife talks too much about him in hushed terms in Vogue magazine-type articles. Alan Jackson made a credible shot at things this year with a great album and some humor (see "Good Time" video), but Brad still can goofball it up over him and hang out with Kellie Pickler and Taylor Swift and Andy Griffith.
Female Vocalist of the Year: Carrie Underwood. Analysis needed? Alison Krauss has the power of Zep, but nobody reading In Style or People really wants to speculate on who she's dating or what she's wearing, or what color nailpolish she's got on. Taylor Swift has-well, had-the power of Camp Rock, but perhaps that worked against her. Miranda Lambert is saucy and hot and talented, but your Aunt Jane in Florida doesn't know who she is. Martina hangs in there year after year, and she's lovely, but, whatever. Result? Carrie. Fine choice. Where's Faith Hill? She looked GREAT on the cover of Shape, dang it.
New Artist of the Year: Everyone in this category is immensely talented and fun to look at and listen to, but Lady Antebellum stands out as...well...the actual newest in a category dedicated to new. We here at Y! Music have dedicated considerable time and love already to the talents of Jason Aldean, James Otto, Rodney Atkins, and godloveusofcourse Kellie Pickler. (To be fair, we have also championed Lady A. But just weighing things on a timely scale.)
Vocal Group: Rascal Flatts won, as they should-but, why the hell does this group keep getting shafted? They are so beyond "vocal group." They are in the Kenny territory, for crying out loud. And, they've won this Group award like 80 times in a row by now. Should be ready to graduate to a bigger league, no? And, in all fairness, this blogger is still annoyed that they were beat out for a Grammy by the fracking Dixie Chicks for that mediocre anti-Bush song that nobody gives a crap about anymore, which seems especially forgettable a statement now that Obama is president elect and everyone's in a good mood.
Vocal Duo: Sugarland. Shallow note: Jennifer Nettles sure had a beautiful dress on-outdoing even Keith Urbans's famously fashionable wife. But, oooh, is Brooks & Dunn rolling in their graves? Er, shaking in their shoes, that is? (In a cynical mood tonight, sorry.) What is this Wreckers nomination, while we are being cynical?
Single of the Year: George Strait. Mmmm, I was feeling the Kenny track a bit more, but I suppose since Ken won the big award that they had to spread the love a bit.
Album of the Year: George Strait again. No! Sorry. This one should have gone to Carrie Underwood, hook, line, and sinker. I won't even concede to George's legendary status here or the need to respect it. THE one country album that everyone, even country haters, was talking about (well, besides Jessica Simpson's) was Carrie's. This is a shaft.
Song of the Year: Well, I suppose this was a fairly evenly divided category. I felt both "Stay" and "Good Time" hit harder in terms of video, and the rest were an evenly divided match. So no real strong feelings on this particular category.
Musical event of the year: Alison Krauss and Robert Plant-okay, cool, fair enough. I prefer "Shiftwork," personally on a pure country-music basis, but recognize that Robert Plant doesn't just commit himself like this for nothing.
Music Video: Andy Griffith is a totally unfair advantage. But this was deserved. Even though Alan Jackson's line-dancing record actually did fool us into thinking it was, well, real! Fo' real. In fact, we even called his peeps to do some fact checking on whether the record was actually broken. (The coffeemaker was broken that day...okay?)
Until next year, signing off with a nod to Nashville and a tip of the hat. And, a prayer of thanks for being able to watch an event that hosts both Kid Rock AND Nicole Kidman.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Kenny Chesney
- George Strait
- Brad Paisley
- Carrie Underwood
- Rascal Flatts
- Jennifer Nettles