early look at the grammys

Standard

 

December means a few things in the world of music and movies. Most notably, it’s when publications list their favorite records and studios flood theaters with their Oscar bait. The much-maligned Grammys tried to grab some spotlight with a concert about a week ago.  In today’s post, we’ll examine a few categories and who should win, who will win, and notable snubs.

Best Pop Solo Performance

Sara Bareilles-Brave

Lorde-Royals

Bruno Mars-When I Was Your Man

Katy Perry- Roar

Justin Timberlake- Mirrors

Our first category is somewhat light and dominated by some late-charging hits by the likes of Lorde and Katy Perry.   Ubiquitous as hell, “Royals” is the strongest of all of these cuts, with its unorthodox song structure and sparse production. I don’t see the Grammys voting for it. Instead, surprise entry “Brave” or Bruno Mars’  schmaltz of the week will win over voters.

Should Win: Lorde-Royals

Will Win: Bruno Mars- When I Was Your Man

Best Pop Vocal Album

Lana Del Rey- Paradise

Lorde- Pure Heroine

Bruno Mars-Unorthodox Jukebox

Justin Timberlake- The 20/20 Experience (Parts 1&2)

Robin Thicke-Blurred Lines

Grammy loves Bruno Mars. The affable pop star covers several genres competently with little to no enthusiasm, cranking sort-of-rememberable radio hit after another. Robin Thicke‘s presence is definitely because of his mega-smash title track. Justin Timberlake’s addition has to be due to appearing on every TV show possible, all the while continuing to forgive him for *NSYNC.  Lorde, again, has the most interesting record in this list. Lana Del Rey is a feigned attempt at indie cool that goes over like a lead balloon.

Should Win: Lorde, Pure Heroine

Will Win: Justin Timberlake, The 20/20 Experience (The Complete Experience)

Best Dance/ Electronica Album

Daft Punk-Random Access Memories

Daft Punk made an album so sorry, everyone else who probably made a better record!

Best Alternative Album

Neko Case-The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight…

The National-Trouble Will Find Me

Nine Inch Nails-Hesitation

Tame Impala- Lonerism

Vampire Weekend- Modern Vampires of the City

Admittedly, this category has gotten better in recent years. Unfortunately, it’s still kind of boring. The most adventurous album of this group is from Tame Impala, who have a lot of classic rock tendencies. Nine Inch Nails get included as a lifetime achievement which is still pretty fucking annoying.  Are you or do you have a Dad? Good news, the National is winning this category!

Should Win: Tame Impala- Lonerism

Will Win: The National- Trouble Will Find Me

 

Best Rap Performance

Drake- Started from the Bottom

Eminem-Berzerk

Jay-z- Tom Ford

Kendrick Lamar-Swimming Pools (Drank)

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (f. Wanz) -Thrift Shop

Welcome to the “you had a great rap year” category, which has some very strong contenders. Obviously, the best song here is from Kendrick. You know who’s missing? Kanye.  Not a single song from Yeezus.

“I Am A God” or “Black Skinhead” could easily replace “Berzerk”. Too bad they weren’t radio hits!

Should Win: Kendrick Lamar, Swimming Pools (Drank)

Will Win: Kendrick Lamar

Best Rap Song

A$AP Rocky feat. Drake, Kendrick Lamar, 2 Chainz- “Fuckin’ Problems”

Jay-z feat. Justin Timberlake- “Holy Grail”

Kanye West- “New Slaves”

Drake- “Started From the Bottom”

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis f. Wanz- “Thrift Shop”

This category rewards producers and writers for their work, rather than just the performance on record. Ye makes a strong appearance here. Kendrick doesn’t make a solo appearance, strangely. “Backseat Freestyle” could easily take the place of “Holy Grail” or “Thrift Shop”.

Should Win: Kanye West, New Slaves

Will win: Kanye West, New Slaves

 

Best Rap Album

Drake-Nothing Was the Same

Kendrick Lamar-good kid, m.A.A.d city

Jay-Z- Magna Carta Holy Grail

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis-The Heist

Kanye West-Yeezus

Strongest category we’ve looked at so far, even with the addition of Macklemore. The problem here is that Ye and Kendrick are in the same Grammy year, and competing against each other. Given his profile in these awards, it’s going to Kendrick.

Should Win: Kanye West- Yeezus

Will Win: Kendrick Lamar- good kid, m.A.A.d city

Best Comedy Album

Tig Notaro-Live 

All of the other albums are trash.

Record of the Year

Daft Punk & Pharrell- “Get Lucky”

Imagine Dragons- “Radioactive”

Lorde-“Royals”

Bruno Mars- “Locked Out of Heaven”

Robin Thicke f. T.I. & Pharrell- “Blurred Lines”

We’re now onto the big three categories. Song of the Year honors the performers of a selected track. Every song here was a major hit or Bruno Mars. “Get Lucky” should run away with this category.

Should Win: Daft Punk f. Pharrell- “Get Lucky”

Will Win: Get Lucky

Song of the Year

Pink f. Nate Ruess- “Just Give Me a Reason”

Bruno Mars- “Locked Out of Heaven”

Lorde- “Royals”

Katy Perry -“Roar”

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis f.  Mary Lambert- “Same Love”

Grammy loves to Make Statements and wow do they have a chance to do it here.  Song of the Year rewards the writers of songs, and they love a message. “Royals” is once again the best song here, but it’s not gonna get noticed. This category is garbage.

Should Win- Lorde, “Royals”

Will Win- Macklemore & Ryan Lewis f. Mary Lambert, “Same Love”

Album of the Year

Sara Bareilles- The Blessed Unrest

Daft Punk- Random Access Memories

Kendrick Lamar- good kid, m.A.A.d city

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis- The Heist 

Taylor Swift- RED

Kanye got really mad the other night that he wasn’t nominated for album of the year. While Yeezus  is more important than it is good, it definitely belongs here. Who did he happen to get upstaged by? Taylor Swift and her latest collection of password journal entries RED, of course. Kendrick has the best album of this entire bunch, managing to be both important and good, something none of the other candidates can say.

Should Win- Kendrick Lamar, good kid, m.A.A.d city

Will Win- Taylor Swift, RED


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