Tuesday, October 2, 2012

An update look at potential Grammy nominees.

Now that the eligibility window has closed in the 2011-2012 Grammy year, let's preview some potential nominees in the music academy's top categories before they're revealed in December!

Last week I started off with some rough predictions based on album sales and critical acclaim (sometimes they mean Grammy, sometimes they don't). Since then, Mumford & Sons sophomore album opened up to over 600,000 sales and so-so reviews. No Doubt and Green Day's latest efforts sold well but weren't clamoring to be the critics best. Could this play a factor for Grammy nods?

Album of the Year
Ceremonials, Florence + The Machine
Channel Orange, Frank Ocean
Take Care, Drake
Tempest, Bob Dylan
Wrecking Ball, Bruce Springsteen

Babel, Mumford & Sons
El Camino, The Black Keys
Making Mirrors, Gotye

I've switched out M&S for Bob Dylan, because it's Bob Dylan. He's old, well-respected, and the recording academy will want to be the legendary dead horse as long as they can. Other than that, I think this will closely mirror what the final list will look like. My alternates are just as diverse and welcoming to the lineup as the others I put in contention.

Gotye is an alternate because it's a common trend for new artist contenders - which he most likely be - to get top bids in ROTY and SOTY yet still shut out of AOTY. (See Bon Iver, Adele, M&S over two years). He could pull and Amy Winehouse and get bids in all four.

Is it still too late to consider Adele's 21 again?

Best New Artist
Emile Sandé
Frank Ocean
Lana Del Rey


Of the three that I am most certain of are Frank Ocean, fun., and Gotye. Emile I'm keeping around because they like to nominate at least one strong female R&B artist every year, and her album has been doing moderately well here thus far.

Lana Del Rey. What is there to say about her? She's interesting, she has that sultry voice you can pick out in a second, and she's original. But you might want to overlook her SNL performance from January. 

Record of the Year
Maroon 5 f/ Wiz Khalifa
Somebody That I Used Know, Gotye f/ Kimbra
Spectrum (Say My Name), Florence + The Machine
We Are Young, fun. f/ Janelle Monae
We Found Love, Rihanna f/ Calvin Harris

I'm just gonna leave this list as it was. I'm almost tempted to put Call Me Maybe in there, but will the Grammys take the record seriously? It topped the Hot 100 for nine weeks, but I think the 10-week reigning We Found Love will secure that popular vote.

Song of the Year
Somebody That I Used Know,
Songwriter: Gotye
We Are Young, Songwriters: fun. and Jeff Bhasker

There's usually a strong overlap between record and song of the year, but I'm not sure how many of the record contenders have award-winning lyrics (which this category recognizes). For now, I'm just leaving these two.

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