2013 Grammy preview

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The Grammys are not always easy to predict. Sometimes the National Academy of Recording Arts and Science gets it right, like with Adele sweeping all six categories she was nominated in last year, including the “Big Three” (Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Album of the Year). But sometimes the Academy gets it horribly wrong. We still can’t figure out how Herbie Hancock won Album of the Year in 2008. There is one opportunity for a “Big Three” sweep with fun. being nominated in the major categories, as well as Best New Artist, but we just don’t see them joining the ranks of Adele, Dixie Chicks (2007), Norah Jones (2003) and only a half-dozen others. Here’s why.

RECORD OF THE YEAR

This is really the biggest Grammy, and people sometimes get confused because of those 12-inch vinyl things that are also called records. This award honors the actual
performance, the studio production and that certain X-factor that makes a song a defining snippet of sound for that year, or you know, a record.

THE NOMINEES: 

The Black Keys “Lonely Boy”
Kelly Clarkson “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)”
fun. featuring Janelle Monae “We Are Young”
Gotye featuring Kimbra “Somebody That I Used To Know”
Frank Ocean “Thinkin Bout You”
Taylor Swift “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”

WHO WILL WIN:

This was a big year for the Black Keys, and the Academy has been kind to the Ohio duo before, but more for categories like Best Alternative Music Album or Best Rock Performance. Does “Lonely Boy” say 2012 the way that “Beat It” said 1984? Not quite. Our money is on Gotye, though “Somebody That I Used To Know” says 1985 more than 2012. But this is the Academy we’re dealing with.

WHO SHOULD WIN:

We’re going with the fun. song here. While the intro is a little too Broadway for our liking, that chorus really is a perfect audio snapshot of 2012, isn’t it?

WHO WAS JUST A TOKEN NOMINATION:

After Taylor Swift got “Kanyed” at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, she received a secret lifetime guarantee of being nominated for something at every awards show every year she releases new music. This is speculation, but “We Are Never Getting Back Together” is too light to win an award in a category where past winners include “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and “I Will Always Love You.”

 

SONG OF THE YEAR

This award is for the songwriter, so if Kelly Clarkson’s tune wins, she doesn’t actually win, because she didn’t have a hand in composing “Stronger.” All other artists in this category wrote their respective songs.

THE NOMINEES:

Ed Sheeran “The A Team”
Miguel “Adorn”
Carly Rae Jepsen “Call Me Maybe”
Kelly Clarkson “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)”
Fun. featuring Janelle Monae “We Are Young

WHO WILL WIN:

This is the one that fun. actually will win, and when they skip up to the podium to collect their award, that chorus will sound great blasting over the speakers, won’t it?

WHO SHOULD WIN:

You read the nominees, and “Call Me Maybe,” is totally in your head! Not bad, right? Think about how long it took you to get sick of it. Not until at least the ninth B-grade YouTube parody. That is quality songwriting: catchy without pissing you off!  Go Carly Rae!

WHO WAS JUST A TOKEN NOMINATION:

Ed Sheeran? What billionaire decided this acoustic kid is important all of a sudden? And how much did said billionaire have to shell out to allow the Olympics to have him front Pink Floyd for “Wish You Were Here”?

 

ALBUM OF THE YEAR:

Ah, the album, that rare perfect collection of songs. It’s only getting closer to extinction as we get further away from the analog age.

THE NOMINEES:

The Black Keys “El Camino”
Fun. “Some Nights”
Mumford & Sons “Babel”
Frank Ocean “channel ORANGE”
Jack White “Blunderbuss”

WHO WILL WIN:

Like we’ve already established, the Academy has a soft spot for the Black Keys. This is their big one this year.

WHO SHOULD WIN:

Frank Ocean topped every critical best-of list this year and the guy is almost single-handedly pushing R&B into the future. And “channel ORANGE” is a great listen from start to finish.

WHO WAS JUST A TOKEN NOMINATION:

The nominees in this category are hard to argue with, but what’s easy to argue with is that the ladies were snubbed! Where’s Taylor Swift’s “Red”? While the Grammys are not a popularity contest, “Red” was the second biggest-selling album of 2012, behind only another lady, Adele, who happened to do pretty well for herself at the Grammys last year.


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