The Atlantic

The Culture Wars in the Grammy Album Nominations

A primer on Beyoncé vs. Adele vs. Drake vs. Bieber vs. Sturgill Simpson
Source: Mario Anzuoni / Reuters

The Grammy nominations will not, alas, fix America’s divisions. Music is more tribalistic, more identity-entangled, than any other popular art form, and so the notion of everyone agreeing on the “best” song or album perpetually seems like a bland fantasy. It’s more interesting to think of the Grammys as a clash between values and allegiances—a familiar sort of clash these days.

The most zeitgeist-trolling category is Album of the Year because it draws from all genres and carries with it some trickier criteria than “is this song good?” This time, the contenders are Adele’s 25, Beyoncé

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