The Grammy Awards are tonight, and so far, we’ve looked at picks for rap, country, R&B, pop, dance and rock. All that’s left (besides polka, classical and a bunch of other categories I know absolutely nothing about) are the major, prestige categories. So, without further ado, let’s see who’s up for the serious hardware on “music’s biggest night”, and don’t forget that I will be live-blogging the show tonight, with updates on the site every commercial break.
Category: Record Of The Year
Nominees: Nothin’ On You/B.o.B Featuring Bruno Mars
Love The Way You Lie/Eminem Featuring Rihanna
F*** You/Cee Lo Green
Empire State Of Mind/Jay-Z & Alicia Keys
Need You Now/Lady Antebellum
Should Win: For the first time I can remember, all five nominees for Record of the Year are top-shelf tracks. If I were to rank them, I’d probably go Cee-Lo/Jay-Z/Lady A/B.o.B./Eminem. I wouldn’t be mad if any of them won (although in this case, Eminem deserves it least).
Will Win: No hip-hop or hip-hop derived song has EVER won the Record of the Year Grammy. I don’t see that changing this year, which leaves Cee-Lo and Lady Antebellum as the only true winning candidates. Cee-Lo had the better song, but Lady A’s “Need You Now” was no slouch, and it was a multiformat radio hit. Besides, no conservative NARAS member is gonna vote a song called “Fuck You” as the record of the year, no matter how good it is.; Lady Antebellum wins…
…Although…Jay-Z has never won a Grammy in a major category, and he has some serious industry clout. Of course, Alicia Keys is also a Grammy favorite. They could pull something of an upset, although I doubt it’ll happen since “Empire State of Mind”‘s time of glory seems like such a long time ago.
Category: Album Of The Year
The Suburbs/Arcade Fire
Need You Now/Lady Antebellum
The Fame Monster/Lady Gaga
Teenage Dream/Katy Perry
Should Win: All five nominated albums are enjoyable for what they are (I actually own and have listened to all five), but Lady GaGa’s entry is an EP and Katy Perry is Katy Perry, so any discussions in regards to quality should be put into their proper perspective. The Suburbs was a good album but not the Arcade Fire’s best, and Recovery was a good album but not Eminem’s best. Lady A’s record was a pop-country treat, so if I were a voting member of NARAS, I’d give them the category by default.
Will Win: Lady A would be the safe bet, but all indications point to this being Eminem’s year. He’s an industry vet, he’s made a comeback, and he’s not as controversial and divisive as he was ten years ago. Besides, money talks, especially in these hard times for the American economy and the music industry, and Recovery was 2010’s best selling album…
…Although…there might still be clusters of Grammy voters who can’t get past Eminem’s trash talk. I’d say he’s a pretty safe bet, but the Nashville folks will all vote for Antebellum, add in the conservative vote and…it could get dicey.
Category: Song Of The Year
Beg Steal Or Borrow/Ray LaMontagne, songwriter
F*** You/Brody Brown, Cee Lo Green, Ari Levine, Philip Lawrence & Bruno Mars, songwriters
The House That Built Me/Tom Douglas & Allen Shamblin, songwriters
Love The Way You Lie/Alexander Grant, Skylar Grey & Marshall Mathers, songwriters)
Need You Now/Dave Haywood, Josh Kear, Charles Kelley & Hillary Scott, songwriters (
Should Win: Song of the Year is awarded based on song composition, while Record of the Year also factors production and performance into the equation. Four of the five songs here were written or co-written by the artist(s) who performed them, which really doesn’t mean much seeing as I’d figure Miranda Lambert for an underdog to begin with. Anyway, who should win? Y’all know how much I love Ray LaMontagne. He deserves a Grammy for SOMETHING.
Will Win: As a relatively under the radar artist, he won’t win it, though. Smart money’s on Lady Antebellum. It’s a strong fucking song…
…Although…This could be the moment where Grammy voters get cheeky. Let’s not forget that “Single Ladies” by Beyonce won the Song of the Year award last year despite being musically and lyrically threadbare. Not to say Cee-Lo’s “Fuck You” is a bad song from a compositional standpoint (although thematic lyrical inconsistencies in the song have been pointed out to me by others), but this could be Grammy’s “hip” major category moment, seeing as Song of the Year is probably the least lauded of the four major categories.
Category: Best New Artist
Nominees: Justin Bieber
Florence & The Machine
Mumford & Sons
Should Win: Mumford & Sons and Florence & the Machine made excellent albums, but Drake made an album that I thought was great despite having a fairly negative image of him prior to album release (not that I thought he was untalented, I just thought he was overhyped). Dude had to jump through a lot of hoops for me. I’d vote for him.
Will Win: Not Justin Bieber. Let’s take a look at major teen acts of fairly recent vintage. New Kids on the Block were nominated for one Grammy in their entire life span as a group (and that was for a video, not a record). Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC got some love in major categories but couldn’t pull a single win together. Despite several nominations, Britney Spears only has one win (in the Best Dance Recording category) and the last major teen phenomenon, the Jonas Brothers, lost their Best New Artist nod to Adele a couple of years back. Drake is talented, versatile (he can rap and sing), has yet to get in trouble with the law, has commercial clout and critical appeal. My bet is that he’ll cop the trophy and inherit the Best New Artist curse…
…Although…There’s probably some danger of the Grammys catching a little guff this year for skewing too pop-heavy. Awarding Mumford & Sons or Florence & the Machine would add a little indie heft to the proceedings. Of the two, Mumford is probably the best chance to upset.
Again, we’ll be live-blogging tonight starting at 8, so make sure you check the site out for musical observations, shocking wins and losses, and a healthy amount of good-natured snark! See y’all then!