Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Grammy Preview: Album of the Year

Justin Timberlake "The 20/20 Experience"
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis "The Heist"
Alicia Keys "Girl on Fire"
Bruno Mars "Unorthodox Jukebox"
Kings of Leon "Mechanical Bull"
Daft Punk "Random Access Memories"
Vampire Weekend "Modern Vampires of the City"
Janelle Monae "The Electric Lady"
Rihanna "Unapologetic"
Paramore "Paramore"
Kanye West "Yeezus"
Jay-Z "Magna Carta Holy Grail"
Kendrick Lamar "good kid, m.A.A.d city"
Elvis Costello & The Roots "Wise Up Ghost"
Drake "Nothing Was the Same"
Taylor Swift "Red"
David Bowie "The Next Day"
The Civil Wars "The Civil Wars"
Kacey Musgraves "Same Trailer Different Park"
Robin Thicke "Blurred Lines"
Lady Antebellum "Golden"
The Band Perry "Pioneer"
Lorde "Pure Heroine"
Phoenix "Bankrupt!"
Soundgarden "Animal Kingdom"
Patty Griffin "American Kid"
Elton John "The Diving Board"

Commentary - After a couple of years of five nominees from five different genres, we had two genres dominate the last two years. Two years ago, four pop albums were nominated alongside perennial favorite Foo Fighters. Last year, three rock nominees joined pop and R&B sensations fun. and Frank Ocean. So what will happen this year? Will they spread the love, or will they focus on one genre on their general votes? We know one thing, and that is that Justin Timberlake is almost a shoo-in, and it will be a huge upset if he is left off the list, from there, I think that it is a toss-up. The rap genre could re-enter the race after a two year absence, with several choices. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are the biggest new name in hip-hop, and The Heist certaintly has the credentials. But also look out for Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and Jay-Z who all have big projects in the mix. And of course their is Kanye West. But if they won't nominated him for My Beautiful Dark and Twisted Fantasy (one of the worst snubs in recent memory), I don't see them going for the experimental and weird (but great) Yeezus. The rock category also has some great choices, but I wonder if any will rise about the fray. David Bowie, the hybrid Elvis Costello and The Roots, Elton John, Phoenix, Vampire Weekend, Paramore, and Kings of Leon. Of this bunch, I am not sure who will be out front, although Bowie, who has not be nominated since 1984 could inspire some votes as could Kings of Leon, and Costello/Roots. Country has newcomer Musgraves, and solid efforts from The Civil Wars and The Band Perry, Lady Antebellum, and of course their is Taylor-freaking-Swift, who I am sure will be out much better acts to get another undeserved Album of the Year nomination. Two R&B divas have great shots: Alicia Keys and Janelle Monae, as do some pop acts like Rihanna, Bruno Mars, and newcomer Lorde. The big wild card here is Daft Punk. No purely dance/electronica album has been nominated here, but the critics and sales for their latest have suggested a potential of Grammy glory. I am not sold on this quite yet, but I am counting them out just yet.

Current Predictions
David Bowie "The Next Day"
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis "The Heist"
Bruno Mars "Unorthodox Jukebox"
Taylor Swift "Red"
Justin Timberlake "The 20/20 Experience"

1 comment:

  1. Daft Punk should be nominated for they have both the critical acclaim and high sales to boot. Plus, doesn't the Academy love nominating old timers or music that is strongly influenced by those old timers?