Last week the Recording Academy announced the nominees for the 2013 Grammy Awards. Critics have noted that this new crop of nominees -- many of them newcomers like fun. and Frank Ocean (each with six nominations) -- could represent a changing of the guard in pop music.
But Billboard editor and Soundcheck regular contributor Joe Levy says that while these aren't the "big-tent" artists that the Grammys typically favor, some of them sound a lot like veteran acts. Levy explains:
"When you stop to think about it, all those albums -- even Frank Ocean -- are fairly classicist. Black Keys are stripped down Zeppelin, fun. are poor man's Queen, Mumford & Sons are every strummy troubadour from Simon & Garfunkel to Dave Matthews.
Frank Ocean is the most interesting of any of them, not particularly beholden to any vision of the past or future we've had before. But what's striking is the old-school moral center of that record -- it's bad that there aren't any parents around, and drugs and decadence lead to an emptiness older than Los Angeles itself."
Levy also points out the snubs, including the absence of women from the major categories, including Album of the Year and Record of the Year. He also addresses some surprises, including the nomination of relative unknown dance music producer Al Walser in the Best Dance Recording category, alongside industry heavyweights Skrillex and Swedish House Mafia.
The Grammy Awards will be announced on Feb. 10, 2013.