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
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
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
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
All of the other albums are trash.
Record of the Year
Daft Punk & Pharrell- “Get Lucky”
Imagine Dragons- “Radioactive”
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”
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