Why were these songs nominated for a Grammy?

A single song can enhance our current mood or take us to a whole new level of thinking. Feeling sorry for yourself on the floor of your bedroom? Enhance your blue with some blues. Pull yourself out of your misery to jump-start a night on the town? Bump top-40 pop hits. Dancing with your problems? Loop trippy EDM tracks until dawn.

The field of music psychology provides some insight into the ideas raised by certain songs, but it is also clear that these ideas cannot be stored in clean boxes. “Our thinking is rich and complex and diverse, and it changes from time to time,” said Hauke ​​Egermann, a professor at York University’s Department of Music and Music. head of the York Music Psychology Group. WebMD. “It’s not [so] It’s easy and simple to say, ‘Yes, this is a happy song, this is a sad song.’ Often the truth is in the middle, or happy and sad at the same time. “

Each year, the Recording Academy divides the songs into pieces and gives the Grammys the “best” of the group. A Grammy award can showcase the rich voices of the singer, the hip with avant-garde performance, or the master who has won four successes. Ahead of the 64th Annual Grammy Awards on April 3, Egermann explores why this year’s five nominees can be emotionally upset.

“Kiss Me More” by Doja Cat feat. SZA (Song of the Year)

Doja Cat and SZA’s “Kiss Me More” begin with a guitar sound that quickly sets the listener’s mood by creating a “quiet smile,” Egermann said. “It starts with our ability to play these common words in music,” he says of the repetitive riff, which runs through the entire song. “You seem to be comfortable with [artist]. He will take you there.

The song resembles the bubblegum-pop chorus of a Grammy-nominated song, Olivia Newton-John’s “Physical,” but replaces it with assertive rap passages. “The interesting thing about this piece is that it’s a lot more rage than rap, and it kind of makes it kind of different and kind of shaky,” Egermann said. “It’s an interesting stylistic group.”

“Genesis” by Deftones (Best Metal Performance)

Deftones ’“ Genesis ”begins with slow synths that transform into a heavier and darker rock sound with scream-related sounds. “These people [elements] words of bad faith, “said Egermann.” If you hear a man on the street making bad and bad voices and dark and loud voices, you probably think that They are hurt or they are hurt. [screaming] in anger. ”

When it comes to metal songs like “Genesis,” one listener’s pain is another drug. “We have the ability to take the bad things, and turn them into good things by translating it as an image,” Egermann said. “It’s a process of separation or dissociation. We go back, then we can look at that [emotion] from the outside against the right mind… There is the idea of ​​catharsis, you are going to have a bad mood. [through the music] and it will help you overcome your own misfortune, in a way. “

“All Eyes on Me” by Bo Burnham (Best Music Recorded for Visual Media)

He was released in the form of his feature film “Inside,” Bo Burnham’s “All Eyes on Me” which follows the killer tradition of expressing speech and self -reflection. through contrived – and corny – pop elements. The song uses the power of Autotune, new fears, and the listening commands of Y2K hip-hop-tinged pop, slow and recorded and almost to the point of hypnosis.

“It’s very melodic, it’s re -created, it creates a kind of earworm,” Egermann said. “If there are any types of music that people remember a lot, they are included here. The house is not very hard, but it is not very easy – it’s right, somewhere in the middle. You can sing too because This is the song that was composed. Pull yourself inside. “

“Na Pili Ohana” by Baby Keem feat. Kendrick Lamar

Baby Keem’s “Family Ties” begins with a visceral twist that looks like a mashup of a boxing theme and a wolf howling at the moon. “It stimulates the body, the right response,” Egermann said. “There’s this kind of low -mindedness, which resonates directly within us … not on an abstract level; it’s on a physical level. When you stand in front of your speakers, your body is standing. [literally] about that. So you’ll have it soon. “

Rap is based on a variety of forms of rhyme and music, but the inability of the flow to create a kind of “flow” to the listener. “On a syntactic level, it’s very difficult,” Egermann said of “Family Ties.” “Through rhyme and rework, you build on what’s intended, and then break it down at some point. This builds the neck and makes things aesthetically interesting.”

“MOVEMENT 11 ‘” by Jon Batiste

Jon Batiste is the winner of this year’s Grammys with 11 nominations, covering R&B, the “American Roots” genre, Pixar’s “Soul” jazz soundtrack, and beyond. His song “MOVEMENT 11 ‘” is also based on jazz, although he has been distinguished as a classical composer.

“It’s a very jazzy piano [performance], and it’s playing a lot with our emotions, ”Egermann said.“ During a jazz performance, you get a basic element to be shown, and then it’s reworked, but it’s changed and made. Ia. The changes will validate your feelings and hurt your feelings. “

A cliche-holden or rom-com pop song may entertain us with its prophecy, but a jazz piece excites us by zigzagging like a thriller. “Playing with things that are supposed to be able to evoke pain, surprise, relaxation, pleasure, [and] the idea, ”Egermann said.

So what does the “golden ratio” mean to these different types of music that are suitable for a golden gramophone? “Scientists have been trying to find this kind of reason for a musical instrument for many years, and it’s not easy,” Egermann said.

Music is inseparable, according to popular opinion. “There wasn’t a lot of pop music on these boxes in the last thirty years,” Egermann said. “Now everything is put together, put together. I think that’s what makes the song interesting. That’s what the judges think is so important.”

Popular songs are popular, but as decided by this year’s Grammy nominees, the “good” of it is to follow a style that just ends. Innovation and hope can catch the ear, but it’s the excitement that makes people listen.

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