BEST ALTERNATIVE MUSIC ALBUM
WHO WILL WIN
It’s a boygenius kind of year. I only think about half of this album is truly outstanding. But even the stuff I don’t love is pretty good. And lots of people not named me do indeed love it all.
WHO SHOULD WIN
I’ll finally agree with the crowd and say that of the nominees, boygenius’ the record should get the prize. It’s a very good album. Two of the other critical darlings in this category – Lana Der Rey and PJ Harvey – turn in surprisingly tame atmospheric albums that have their moments but don’t strike me as having any real staying power.
I’m a Gorillaz fan, but it’s hard for me to say it is the best of anything. Arctic Monkeys are a contender here. This is a strong Alt collection of songs from Alex Turner and mates, that shows intriguing growth. That doesn’t please some old fans, but it makes them interesting to listen to, now and perhaps down the road. But as a whole, boygenius gave us a better album.
WHO SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED
It’s hard for me to say what my favorite Alt album of the year was because the definition is so amorphous. But the Ratboys’ The Window is way up there, regardless of category. It ranges from the spiky rock of “Making Noise for the Ones You Love” to the lovely ballad of the title track to a pure jam band workout of “Black Earth, WI.” It has lots of alternate flavors, and they’re all good.