Junos go crazy for BublÈ
The Junos sure have some crazy love for Michael BublÈ.
The pop crooner and international superstar came out on top when this yearís award nominees were announced in Toronto on Wednesday.
BublÈ, his latest album Crazy Love and his single Havenít Met You Yet raked in six nominations ó eight if you count two nods for producers David Foster and Bob Rock.
The 34-year-old Vancouver singer, fresh off his bizarre performance at the Vancouver Olympics closing ceremony, is up for artist and songwriter of the year, plus the fan choice award. His disc is nominated in the album and pop album categories. Havenít Met You Yet is vying for single of the year, and earned Rock one of those production nominations.
Other multiple nominees this year include pop-punks Billy Talent, hip- hop phenom Drake and country singer Johnny Reid, each with four nominations. Teen-pop sensation Justin Bieber, indie-rockers Metric, hip-hoppers Classified and KíNaan, jazz superstar Diana Krall and Can-rock legends The Tragically Hip each have three nods.
If that sounds like a fairly diverse slate, well, it is. At first glance, this yearís Junos ó which are routinely, roundly and rightly criticized for favouring established acts and basing some awards on sales figures instead of artistic achievements ó seem to have done a fairly decent job of broadening their horizons, favouring hipper fare such as Japandroids, Handsome Furs and Thunderheist over the likes of perennial nominee Celine Dion.
This yearís trophies will be handed out April 17 and 18 in St. Johnís, Nfld.
Billy Talent, Blue Rodeo, Drake, Johnny Reid and Michael BublÈ are slated to perform at the annual televised ceremony, with Bryan Adams taking home a humanitarian award and April Wine being inducted into the hall of fame.
But since itís never too early to start second-guessing the nominations, here are my two cents on some of the top categories:
Fan choice award
Ginette Reno; Johnny Reid; Maxime Landry; Michael BublÈ; Nickelback.
Snap Judgment: No disrespect to Ginette, Johnny and Maxime, but this is a two-horse race. Nickelback won last year ó and since itís younger fans who vote, donít be surprised to see a repeat.
Rusted From the Rain, Billy Talent; Anybody Listening, Classified; Best I Ever Had, Drake; Havenít Met You Yet, Michael BublÈ; Love is a First, The Tragically Hip.
Snap Judgment: Nice to see the Junos jumping on the Drake bandwagon ó maybe heíll fare better on home turf than he did at the Grammys. But if the number of times I heard BublÈís song in the mall is anything to go by, heís the man to beat.
III, Billy Talent; Quiet Nights, Diana Krall; Dance With Me, Johnny Reid; My World, Justin Bieber; Crazy Love, Michael BublÈ.
Snap Judgment: Screamo vs. jazz vs. country vs. teen-pop vs. jazz- pop. Only in Canada, eh? Mashups like this are why some people love the Junos, and why others hate them.
Diana Krall; Jann Arden; Johnny Reid; KíNaan; Michael BublÈ.
Snap Judgment: On the plus side, Nickelback arenít nominated. But seriously, couldnít they have found somebody else besides KíNaan to appeal to the under-30 fans?
Billy Talent; Blue Rodeo; Hedley; Metric; The Tragically Hip.
Snap Judgment: I love Blue Rodeo and the Hip as much as the next guy, but really, what did they do to deserve a spot on this list? Billy Talent would seem to be the no-brainer in this category.
Best new artist
Carly Rae Jepsen; Danny Fernandes; Drake; Justin Bieber; Shiloh.
Snap Judgment: Carly Rae, Danny and Shiloh ó you really donít need to work on that acceptance speech.
Best pop album
The Show Must Go, Hedley; My World, Justin Bieber; The Listening, Lights; Crazy Love, Michael BublÈ; Stereos, Stereos.
Snap Judgment: Stereos? Really? And Lights? Can anybody tell me why sheís popular? This one looks like a battle between young (Bieber) and old (BublÈ). Let the best fans win.
Best rock album
Old Crows/Young Cardinals, Alexisonfire; III, Billy Talent; Dark Horse, Nickelback; We Are the Same, The Tragically Hip; Life Starts Now, Three Days Grace.
Snap Judgment: Great to see the Alexisonfire CD here, though it should be in album of the year. But why are Nickelback nominated again for an album they cleaned up with last year? This is why people say the Junos are a joke. And why theyíre right.
Best alternative album
Face Control, Handsome Furs; Post-Nothing, Japandroids; I Can Wonder What You Did With Your Day, Julie Doiron; Fantasies, Metric; Sainthood, Tegan & Sara.
Snap Judgment: Metric and Tegan & Sara seem a little too big to be in this category. Aside from that, no complaints.
Best country album
Go, Doc Walker; Believe, Emerson Drive; Dance With Me, Johnny Reid; The Long Way Home, Terri Clark; Road Hammers II, Road Hammers.
Snap Judgment: Perennial nominees Doc Walker took this last year; donít expect a repeat, judging by the Johnny Reid juggernaut.
Best rap recording
Still Fly, Big Page, Drake & U.G.O.; Self Explanatory, Classified; So Far Gone, Drake; Yes!, k-os; Troubadour, KíNaan.
Snap Judgment: This one will be interesting ó will Drakeís U.S.-based hype outshine k-os and KíNaanís more homegrown achievements? Tune in April 18. The answer may surprise you.
Junos go crazy for BublÈ