Pop is such a random catch-all term that it’s hard to figure out how the people that nominate artists for the Grammys figure out what constitutes “pop”. Of course, if you’re in the know, you just know that the labels that nominate their artists designate what categories certain songs go into, so…yeah, it’s totally random.
This year’s nominees are the typical mixed bag of pop, a term that can navigate vast waters and describe everything from Michael Buble to Lady GaGa. Now, wouldn’t you want to see those two do a duet? On second thought, let’s not give the Grammy producers any ideas.
Category: Best Female Pop Vocal Performance
Nominees: King Of Anything/Sara Bareilles
Chasing Pirates/Norah Jones
Bad Romance/Lady Gaga
Teenage Dream/Katy Perry
Should Win: There should be no doubt in any discriminating music listener’s mind about Lady GaGa’s singing ability. No matter what you might think of her image, the fact is that “Bad Romance” is an expertly constructed song and GaGa’s vocal is confident, brash and definitely not cookie-cutter. Although nothing’s wrong with any of the other four nominees, “Bad Romance” was clearly head and shoulders above the rest here.
Will Win: “Bad Romance” was strangely left out of the Record of the Year category. This will be GaGa’s consolation prize…
…Although…I don’t really see this going any other way. I’d say perennial Grammy favorite Norah Jones has a slight chance, as does Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream”. However, that song was more a triumph of production than it was a virtuoso vocal, so…GaGa it is.
Category: Best Male Pop Vocal Performance
Nominees: Haven’t Met You Yet/Michael Bublé
This Is It/Michael Jackson
Whataya Want From Me/Adam Lambert
Just The Way You Are/Bruno Mars
Half Of My Heart/John Mayer
Should Win: Five fairly quality nominees here. My vote would be split between Lambert’s diva theatrics on “Whataya Want for Me” and Bruno Mars’ tender love song “Just the Way You Are”.
Will Win: Grammy loves few things more than they love honoring artists who have departed this Earth, so the good money is behind an MJ victory…
…Although…Bruno Mars is nominated for a shit-ton of Grammys. He or perennial Grammy favorite John Mayer could upset here, but something tells me Bruno is going to come through with a couple of trophies (including possibly Best New Artist) at next year’s ceremony, seeing as Doo-Wops and Hooligans has already become one of this year’s smashes.
Category: Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals
Nominees: Don’t Stop Believin’ (Regionals Version)/Glee Cast
The Only Exception/Paramore
Hey, Soul Sister (Live)/Train
Should Win: Sade was strangely shut out of the big categories this year. Even if Soldier of Love wasn’t as great as everyone thought it was upon release, it was still a pretty damn solid record. For injecting a dose of class into the pop music scene, Miss Adu and company deserve a trophy.
Will Win: This is a pretty wide open category. Sade has experience on their side. Train had the year’s best selling single. Maroon 5 has won in this category several times before and the “Glee” cast is a phenomenon. Actually, I think they might wind up taking this award…
…Although…watch out for Sade and Train. The older voting bloc might pull one of these folks through.
Category: Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals
Nominees: Airplanes, Part II/B.o.B, Eminem & Hayley Williams
Imagine/Herbie Hancock, Pink, India.Arie, Seal, Konono No 1, Jeff Beck & Oumou Sangare
If It Wasn’t For Bad/Elton John & Leon Russell
Telephone/Lady Gaga & Beyoncé
California Gurls/Katy Perry & Snoop Dogg
Should Win: While I feel as though “Airplanes” should be in the Best Rap/Sung Collaboration category (as should “California Gurls”, for that matter), the collaboration between B.o.B., Paramore’s Hayley Williams and Eminem resulted in one of 2010’s truly transcendent musical moments. I’d give this the trophy.
Will Win: Lady GaGa + Beyonce was one of the pop culture events of the year, and very few modern-day artists are more beloved by the Grammy folks than Queen B…
…Although…Didn’t Herbie Hancock win the Album of the Year Grammy a couple of years ago? Couple him with Pink, india.arie and Seal (all have won Grammys perviously), and although no one really heard their cover of the John Lennon classic, it can definitely pull an upset here.
Category: Best Pop Vocal Album
Nominees: My World 2.0/Justin Bieber
I Dreamed A Dream/Susan Boyle
The Fame Monster/Lady Gaga
Battle Studies/John Mayer
Teenage Dream/Katy Perry
Should Win: Kinda hard to bet against GaGa in this category. Bieber has teen-idol dom working against him, while Boyle has the opposite issue (old-fogeyness). Katy Perry’s deemed a lightweight, and Battle Studies was certainly not viewed as Mayer’s strongest effort. Not the greatest category in the world, and GaGa is clearly the front-runner here.
Will Win: Yeah, this category is GaGa’s to lose. Man, talk about the perfect setup for her new album!…
…Although…this is another one of those categories (and there aren’t many this year) that has a very clear-cut victor. Team GaGa all the way here.
Category: Best Dance Recording
In For The Kill/La Roux
Dance In The Dark/Lady Gaga
Only Girl (In The World)/Rihanna
Dancing On My Own/Robyn
Should Win: “Dancing on My Own” was the best single of 2010, regardless of genre. The fact that it only garnered a single Grammy nomination, in a relatively obscure category, sucks.
Will Win: Rihanna’s Rated R album was strangely overlooked by Grammy voters. Although this track came from Ri-Ri’s more recent album, Loud, it will get the nod over the more obscure GaGa track…
…Although…if GaGa picks up a full head of steam…
Category: Best Electronic/Dance Album
Nominees: These Hopeful Machines/BT
Further/The Chemical Brothers
Black Light/Groove Armada
La Roux/La Roux
Should Win: I know all these acts, but I can’t say I’ve listened to any of these albums straight through. So draw me a blank here and put in a write-in vote for Robyn’s Body Talk.
Will Win: LaRoux had the most commercially successful of these albums, but the Chemical Brothers are the best known of these bands. I say it goes to the latter…
…Although…it could wind up going to, well, pretty much anyone. I’m as clueless about this category as I am about the metal one. Bad gay.