of snubs and surprises: my grammy predictions

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Friday, December 2nd, 2011

grammys

of snubs and surprises: my grammy predictions

grammy awards

on february 12, 2012, the recording academy will convene to hand out their annual awards for the best music of the year. between now and that night, we’ll have plenty of time to make predictions, talk about snubs and anticipate the biggest night in music all year.

undoubtedly, the grammys receive plenty of well-deserved criticism. years in which albums by herbie hancock and taylor swift won album of the year were signs that the academy were becoming more and more irrelevant to discerning music fans.

but then there was last year. arcade fire—who spawned this—took home album of the year and it was a signal (i believe) from the academy that the times, they are a changin’. indie music and music that lives outside the traditional parameters of popular music is moving closer to gaining a seat at the proverbial adult table at the family gathering. (now, there’s a whole other conversation as to whether or not that’s a good thing…think constantine and legalizing christianity…)

this year’s list of nominees was announced a couple days ago and it reflects the aforementioned shifts. certainly, there is still some fluff and just plain head-scratchers, but with increased presence by bands like bon iver, skrillex and even mumford & sons, there’s signs of new approaches by the voters.

we’ll see if this new trend translates into victories on that evening. in the meantime, i thought i’d make some predictions, offering my thoughts on surprises and snubs.

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Album of the Year
Adele – 21
Foo Fighters – Wasting Light
Lady Gaga – Born This Way
Bruno Mars – Doo-Wops & Hooligans
Rihanna – Loud

snubs: this is the giant one: where is kanye west’s my beautiful dark twisted fantasy? hailed by critics across the spectrum as a modern day classic (it has, by far, the highest metacritic score of any grammy nominee), i would’ve thought this album was the no-brainer choice for album of the year. apparently not. (one could also make an argument for beyonce’s 4 to be included.)

surprises: couldn’t believe when i saw the foos included on this list. while i’m not a huge fan of this album, i’m glad the academy chose something different than the norm.

really?: rihanna? album of the year?

who i want to win: adele

who i think will win: adele

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Record of the Year
Adele – Rolling In The Deep
Bon Iver – Holocene
Bruno Mars – Grenade
Mumford & Sons – The Cave
Katy Perry – Firework

surprises: bon iver’s holocene. not only was i suprised just because of the relative unknown nature of bon iver, but this isn’t even my favorite song from that album. i was also surprised to see mumford make the list.

who i want to win: bon iver

who i think will win: adele or katy perry

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Best New Artist
The Band Perry
Bon Iver
J. Cole
Nicki Minaj
Skrillex

snubs: i’ve seem some suggest fleet foxes. they’re not really a new artist…but neither is bon iver.

surprises: skrillex was out of left field. not a fan, but glad to see him.

who i want to win: bon iver

who i think will win: bon iver

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Song of the Year
Kanye West, Rihanna, Kid Cudi and Fergie – All of the Lights
Mumford & Sons – The Cave
Bruno Mars – Grenade
Bon Iver – Holocene
Adele – Rolling In The Deep

surprises: surprised, again (and pleasantly), by bon iver & mumford.

who i want to win: kanye

who i think will win: bruno mars

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Best Pop Solo Performance
Adele – Someone Like You
Lady Gaga – Yoü and I
Bruno Mars – Grenade
Katy Perry – Firework
Pink – F***in’ Perfect

surprises: someone like you is an incredible song, but i’m surprised we didn’t see rolling in the deep once again.

really?: i like pink and all, but pink?

who i want to win: adele

who i think will win: adele

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Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
Tony Bennett & Amy Winehouse – Body and Soul
The Black Keys – Dearest
Coldplay – Paradise
Foster The People – Pumped Up Kicks
Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera – Moves Like Jagger

surprises: the black keys are one of my favorite bands, but their ‘meh’ cover of dearest from a largely overlooked compilation album was surprising.

who i want to win: (for the principle of it) the black keys

who i think will win: tony bennett & amy winehouse

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Best Pop Vocal Album
Adele – 21
Cee Lo Green – The Lady Killer
Lady Gaga – Born This Way
Bruno Mars – Doo-Wops & Hooligans
Rihanna – Loud

surprises: i’m a little bit (but not too much) surprised by the inclusion of cee lo.

who i want to win: cee lo

who i think will win: adele

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Best Rock Performance
Coldplay – Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall
The Decemberists – Down By the Water
Foo Fighters – Walk
Mumford & Sons – The Cave
Radiohead – Lotus Flower

surprises: i’m not necessarily surprised by anything, but i do have an observation: rock—in the way we’ve known it for a long time—is pretty much dead. the foo fighters’ walk is the only “traditional” rock song on here. otherwise, it’s really sorta synth-driven and acoustic music.

who i want to win: the decemberists

who i think will win: foo fighters

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Best Rock Album
Jeff Beck – Rock ‘N’ Roll Party Honoring Les Paul
Foo Fighters – Wasting Light
Kings Of Leon – Come Around Sundown
Red Hot Chili Peppers – I’m With You
Wilco – The Whole Love

who i want to win: foo fighters

who i think will win: foo fighters

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Best Alternative Music Album
Bon Iver – Bon Iver
Death Cab for Cutie – Codes and Keys
Foster the People – Torches
My Morning Jacket – Circuital
Radiohead – The King Of Limbs

really?: this isn’t an emphatic really?, but foster the people is basically a glorified one hit wonder, in my humble opinion. maybe more a surprise than a really?.

who i want to win: bon iver

who i think will win: bon iver

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Best Rap Album
Jay-Z and Kanye West – Watch the Throne
Lil Wayne – Tha Carter IV
Lupe Fiasco – Lasers
Nicki Minaj – Pink Friday
Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

who i want to win: kanye

who i think will win: kanye

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Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
Beyoncé and Andre 3000 – Party
DJ Khaled, Drake, Rick Ross and Lil Wayne – I’m On One
Dr. Dre, Eminem and Skylar Grey – I Need a Doctor
Rihanna and Drake – What’s My Name?
Kelly Rowland and Lil Wayne – Motivation
Kanye West, Rihanna, Kid Cudi and Fergie – All Of The Lights

who i want to win: kanye

who i think will win: beyonce and andre 3000

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Best Rap Performance
Chris Brown, Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes – Look at Me Now
Jay-Z and Kanye West – Otis
Lupe Fiasco – The Show Goes On
Nicki Minaj and Drake – Moment 4 Life
Wiz Khalifa – Black And Yellow

snubs: kanye’s power or runaway.

who i want to win: jay-z and kanye

who i think will win: lupe fiasco

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Best Folk Album
The Civil Wars – Barton Hollow
Steve Earle – I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive
Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
Eddie Vedder – Ukulele Songs
Gillian Welch – The Harrow & The Harvest

surprises: interesting spot for eddie vedder’s album. it was a good album, but it’s a bit of an odd fit in the folk category.

who i want to win: the civil wars or fleet foxes

who i think will win: fleet foxes

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alright, what did i get wrong? what did i get right? let me know.

of course, we’ll all find out together in a couple months.

1 Comment

  1. Hardin says:

    I admittedly have a like/hate relationship with the Grammys. I’ve always been of the opinion that they’re, for the most part, out of touch. Maybe I’m still not over the whole Jethro Tull/Metallica fiasco. But, like you pointed out, maybe the Arcade Fire wins shows they’re pointed a different direction. (I would’ve voted for Eminem, but was glad to see Arcade Fire win.)

    I agree that Kanye not getting a nod for AotY is the biggest snub. I can’t figure that one out, but he should be in for a big night. I’m for Foo Fighters in that category, but won’t be upset when Adele wins. She should be in for a big night too. Hopefully.

    The only categories I feel really strongly about (like I’ll be mad if they don’t go my way) are Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Album. “Walk” is the best rock song I’ve heard in a while, so hopefully it will win BRP. And, as you know, I think Wasting Light is the best rock album I’ve heard in a long time. Not only are the songs good, but it was recorded on analog, which gave it a raw rock-n-roll sound and is a nice diversion from the age of autotune and pro-tools. Butch Vig did an incredible job producing as well. He’s so talented.

    I haven’t been able to really get Bon Iver, but it could be that I wasn’t listening at the right time. There have been countless artists I didn’t care for at first, but revisited a few months later and dug. I’ll give it another go.

    So, in short, I hope Kanye, Adele and Foo Fighters have big nights. And I hope to see some good performances. If those happen, I’ll be satisfied.

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