Saturday, October 15, 2011

Grammy Preview: Album of the Year

Before December when the Oscar season goes nuts, and Grammy news/predictions gets drowned out by the constant coverage of critics awards and other stuff, I would start to early on give you all a preview of potential contenders for the main Grammy categories.

Top Contenders
Adele "21"
Tony Bennett "Duets II"
Lady Gaga "Born This Way"
Taylor Swift "Speak Now"
Beyonce "4"
Kanye West "My Beautiful Dark and Twisted Fantasy"
Nicki Minaj "Pink Friday"
Jay-Z and Kanye West "Watch the Throne"
Paul Simon "So Beautiful or What"
Alison Krauss & Union Station "Paper Airplane"
Foo Fighters "Wasting Light"
Brad Paisley "This is Country Music"
Rihanna "Loud"
Cee-Lo Green "The Lady Killer"
Foster the People "Torches"

Commentary - This is by no means an exhaustive list, but they are definitely the ones to look at. This year has seen solo female artists top the charts and outsell their male counterparts, which is why people like Adele, Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, Taylor Swift, and Beyonce. And while I don't think it will happen like that, they could be the five nominees. Adele in particular has a great shot of winning, and I acutally think her greatest competition is not a young female artist, but an old pro in Tony Bennett. His Duets II is getting great reviews, was the number 1 album (which is shocking in this day for a jazz/easy listening album), and has so much star power, that I think it may be hard to ignore. The rap field (beyond Nicki), has some interesting choices, especially since both are Kanye West albums. Fantasy is the better album, but Watch the Throne is more recent and has Jay-Z as a backing, so they may go with that to get a two for one deal. I just hope that the anti-Kanye rhetoric, doesn't cause the Recording Academy to ignore West's great albums. In the rock/country fields there are some interesting choices like the Foo Fighters, Paul Simon, and Allison Krauss. All are Grammy favorites, old pros, and each has a decent shot at Grammy recognition this year. Brad Paisley could unseat Swift for the country spot, as his album was much better received by critics, although Swift is the selling power house. At his point, my predictions are:

1) Adele "21"
2) Tony Bennett "Duets II"
3) Kanye West "My Beautiful Dark and Twisted Fantasy"
4) Lady Gaga "Born This Way"
5) Foo Fighters "Wasting Light"

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