First Grammy Predictions
Eminem "The Marshall Mathers LP 2"
Ed Sheeran "X"
Sia "1000 Forms of Fear"
Jack White "Lazaretto"
Other Contenders - Sam Smith "In the Lonely Hour", U2 "Songs of Innocence", Miranda Lambert "Platinum", Frozen Original Soundtrack, The Black Keys "Turn Blue", Pharrell Williams "GIRL", Arcade Fire "Reflektor", Michael Jackson "Xscape", Aloe Blacc "Life Your Spirit", Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett "Cheek to Cheek", Iggy Azalea "The New Classic", Barbra Streisand "Partners", Coldplay "Ghost Stories", Beck "Morning Phase", Katy Perry "Prism", Eric Church "The Outsiders", Ariana Grande "My Everything", Lady Gaga "ArtPop", Tommy Petty and the Heartbreakers "Hypnotic Eye", Bruce Springsteen "High Hopes", Paul McCartney "New", Bastille "Bad Blood", Tony Braxton and Babyface "Love, Marriage, & Divorce", Santana "Corazon", Rick Ross "Mastermind", Lana Del Rey "Ultraviolence", Common "Nobody Smiling", Meghan Trainor "Title", Chris Brown "X", Maroon 5 "V", Jennifer Hudson "JHUD", Brad Paisley "Moonshine in the Trunk", Lady Antebellum "747", St. Vincent "St. Vincent", Mariah Carey "Me. I Am Mariah...The Exclusive Chanteuse", Billie Joe Armstrong & Norah Jones "Foreverly"
Commentary - A tough race is brewing here, and some big contenders are fighting for only a few spaces. Beyonce's album hit like lightning (even though none of its singles hit particularly well), and I think she is a shoo-in. I would also bet on Jack White. Rock almost always gets a name in here, Lazaretto got rave reviews, and he got in for Blunderbuss recently. Rap usually gets in as well (although not always), and Eminem has always been a Grammy favorite. Marshall Mathers 2 has the reviews and sales to get Eminem into this category once again. Deciding which of the big pop albums to include is hard. Sam Smith is the hot newcomer, Pharrell Williams is unstoppable (even if the album as a whole was a little flat), Katy Perry is an icon at this point, Barbra Streisand and Lady Gaga/Tony Bennett could easily class up the joint, Michael Jackson is Michael Jackson, and Ariana Grande and Lana Del Rey are hot new artists in the game. But I think that Sia's bold and fantastic 1000 Forms of Fear is just the type of stadium pop that could really excite voters, so for now, I am sticking with her in this category. Finally, I think that Ed Sheeran has always surprised us come Grammy nominations, and I refuse to let him slip by me again. I think he has had enough big awards under his belt to finally get into the top prize for X. There are still a lot of big question marks though. Will they go for a country album (they include them a lot of times)? If that's the case, then Miranda Lambert is the most likely nominee, then maybe Eric Church, Lady Antebellum, and Brad Paisley as backups. If they want to go for a different rock nominee, look for Coldplay, previous winners Arcade Fire, legend Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, or Tom Petty, Bastile, or Santana could benefit. Throw in the soulfulness of Toni Braxton and Babyface, Aloe Blacc, and JHUD, the flow of Common, Iggy Azalea, and Rick Ross, and Mariah Carey, and this race is on fire.