54th Annual Grammy Predictions

So last night the Grammy Award Nominations were announced, and we’re all running around chit-chatting about how excited/pissed we are about different nominations. Maybe you’re dumbfounded at the fact half of the “New Artists” are being considered new or that King of Limbs is getting more attention than it deserves. Regardless, I have compiled a list of some of the most (and least) prominent categories for the Grammy Awards, and – for your viewing pleasure – have made some predictions as to who I think will stand victorious.

Record Of The Year
“Rolling In The Deep”
Paul Epworth, producer; Tom Elmhirst & Mark Rankin, engineers/mixers
Track from: 21
[XL Recordings/Columbia Records]

Bon Iver
Justin Vernon, producer; Brian Joseph & Justin Vernon, engineers/mixers
Track from: Bon Iver

Bruno Mars
The Smeezingtons, producers; Ari Levine & Manny Marroquin, engineers/mixers
Track from: Doo-Wops & Hooligans

“The Cave”
Mumford & Sons
Markus Dravs, producer; Francois Chevallier & Ruadhri Cushnan, engineers/mixers
Track from: Sigh No More
[Glassnote Records]

Katy Perry
Mikkel S. Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen & Sandy Vee, producers; Mikkel S. Eriksen, Phil Tan, Sandy Vee & Miles Walker, engineers/mixers

Notes: I would give Katy Perry the nod for “Firework” if she wasn’t Grammy-cursed (no awards for Teenage Dream?! C’mon!), so I will default to Adele, who dominated everyone’s stereos for the first half of the year. Although she’s making herself an afterthought through cancellation upon cancellation, this song was top notch, albeit overplayed, and should take home the Grammy.

Album Of The Year
Jim Abbiss, Adele, Paul Epworth, Rick Rubin, Fraser T. Smith, Ryan Tedder & Dan Wilson, producers; Jim Abbiss, Philip Allen, Beatriz Artola, Ian Dowling, Tom Elmhirst, Greg Fidelman, Dan Parry, Steve Price, Mark Rankin, Andrew Scheps, Fraser T. Smith & Ryan Tedder, engineers/mixers; Tom Coyne, mastering engineer
[XL Recordings/Columbia Records]

Wasting Light
Foo Fighters
Butch Vig, producer; James Brown & Alan Moulder, engineers/mixers; Joe LaPorta & Emily Lazar, mastering engineers
[RCA Records/ Roswell Records]

Born This Way
Lady Gaga
Paul Blair, DJ Snake, Fernando Garibay, Lady Gaga, Robert John “Mutt” Lange, Jeppe Laursen, RedOne & Clinton Sparks, producers; Fernando Garibay, Bill Malina, Trevor Muzzy, RedOne, Dave Russell, Justin Shirley Smith, Horace Ward & Tom Ware, engineers/mixers; Gene Grimaldi, mastering engineer
[Streamline/Interscope/Kon Live]

Doo-Wops & Hooligans
Bruno Mars
B.o.B, Cee Lo Green & Damian Marley, featured artists; Dwayne “Supa Dups” Chin-Quee, Needlz & The Smeezingtons, producers; Ari Levine & Manny Marroquin, engineers/mixers; Stephen Marcussen, mastering engineer

Drake, Eminem & Nicki Minaj, featured artists; Ester Dean, Mikkel S. Eriksen, Alex Da Kid, Kuk Harrell, Tor Erik Hermansen, Mel & Mus, Awesome Jones, Makeba Riddick, The Runners, Sham, Soundz, Chris “Tricky” Stewart, Sandy Vee & Willy Will, producers; Ariel Chobaz, Cary Clark, Mikkel S. Eriksen, Alex Da Kid, Josh Gudwin, Kuk Harrell, Jaycen Joshua, Manny Marroquin, Dana Nielsen, Chad “C-Note” Roper, Noah “40″ Shebib, Corey Shoemaker, Jay Stevenson, Mike Strange, Phil Tan, Brian “B-Luv” Thomas, Marcos Tovar, Sandy Vee, Jeff “Supa Jeff” Villanueva, Miles Walker & Andrew Wuepper, engineers/mixers; Chris Gehringer, mastering engineer
[Def Jam]

Notes: Whether you love her or hate her, Lady Gaga is one of the largest acts out there right now. When you force Billboard to change their measurement standards and have your own Thanksgiving special on television, winning Album of the Year is simply the next rung on the ladder.

Song Of The Year
“All Of The Lights”
Jeff Bhasker, Malik Jones, Warren Trotter & Kanye West, songwriters (Kanye West, Rihanna, Kid Cudi & Fergie)
Track from: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
[Roc-A-Fella; Publishers: Very Good Beats/Hip Hop Since 1978]

“The Cave”
Ted Dwane, Ben Lovett, Marcus Mumford & Country Winston, songwriters (Mumford & Sons)
Track from: Sigh No More
[Glassnote Records]

Brody Brown, Claude Kelly, Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine, Bruno Mars & Andrew Wyatt, songwriters (Bruno Mars)
Track from: Doo-Wops & Hooligans
[Elektra; Publishers: Mars Force Music/Bughouse, Music Famamanem/Toy Plane Music/Art For Arts Sake/Late 80s Music/Westside Ind. Music/Studiobeat Music, Warner Tamerlane, Andrew Wyatt, Downtown DMP Songs]

Justin Vernon, songwriter (Bon Iver)
Track from: Bon Iver
[Jagjaguwar; Publisher: April Base Publishing]

“Rolling In The Deep”
Adele Adkins & Paul Epworth, songwriters (Adele)
Track from: 21
[XL Recordings/Columbia Records; Publishers: Universal-Songs of Polygram/EMI Music Publishing]

Notes: With Song of the Year focusing much more on songwriting than Record of the Year, I’m giving the prediction to Mumford & Sons. Although I’m not a fan of the group/track, they have a significant singer/songwriter emphasis to their music in comparison to the other nominees.

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

Notes: It’s uncertain what qualifications the Grammy folks use to discern who is and who isn’t a new artists. Regardless, a revamping of the system is necessary. Bon Iver is not only deep into his sophomore album, but has been in the limelight for years. Before I start ranting about this labeling system, I’m giving the nod to The Band Perry, who have skyrocketed over the past year into stardom.

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

Notes: Let’s be real, most of the artists on this list are merely on here because they are large acts who happened to come out with new albums. Regardless of the new albums’ mediocrity (*cough* Radiohead and Death Cab *cough*), they get thrown on the list because people convince themselves the artists only produce solid material. Prediction goes to My Morning Jacket for not only being prevalent, but also coming out with a quality record.

Best Dance/Electronica Album
Cut Copy – Zonoscope
Deadmau5 – 4×4=12
David Guetta – Nothing But The Beat
Robyn – Body Talk, Pt. 3
Skrillex – Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites

Notes: For the record, I gave the prediction nod to Deadmau5 even though I am fairly certain Skrillex is going to sweep the floor. I did this, however, because I have some choice words for Skrillex (most of them involving vulgarity). His rise in popularity was due to nothing more than being in the right place at the right time. If we’re being honest with ourselves here, it’s undeniable that Skrillex is in the second wave of what already was the third wave of Dubstep. Just because you make the wobble bass wobblier and grimier does not make you a visionary.

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

Notes: In my own humble opinion, Foo Fighters have this one in the bag. Jeff Beck is far beyond an afterthought in the music world, Kings of Leon are heading in that direction, the Chili Peppers record was all over the place, and Wilco’s newest effort wasn’t comparable to prior releases. Wasting Light is heavy, well-executed, and still the same Foo Fighters everyone knows and loves.

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”

Notes: See above.

Best Rock Song
Mumford & Sons – “The Cave”
The Decemberists – “Down By The Water”
Coldplay – “Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall”
Radiohead – “Lotus Flower”
Foo Fighters – “Walk”

Notes: Although I was not a huge fan of King of Limbs as a whole, “Lotus Flower” is a haunting track that sticks with you long after the record stops playing. This is a tough category, however, seeing as how every song nominated has been immensely successful in its own right.

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

Notes: Once the freak out about Adele and her soulful spirit died away, The Civil Wars stepped in to sober down the crowds with more intimate and folk-driven tracks. I’m fairly confident the win will go to them, seeing as how Gillian Welch is honestly the only other real Folk artist nominated for the category.

Best Dance Recording
Deadmau5 & Greta Svabo Bech – “Raise Your Weapon”
Duck Sauce – “Barbara Streisand”
David Guetta & Avicli – “Sunshine”
Robyn – “Call Your Girlfriend”
Skrillex – “Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites”
Swedish House Mafia – “Save The World”

Notes: “Barbara Streisand” went from being an offhand collaboration between Armand Van Helden and A-Trak to the soundtrack to hip clubs and J.Crew. Although Skrillex might take this one as well, it’s undeniable that hearing the name Barbara Streisand now has a completely different meaning than ever before.

Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance
Dream Theater – “On The Backs Of Angels”
Foo Fighters – “White Limo”
Mastodon – “Curl Of The Burl”
Megadeth – “Public Enemy No. 1”
Sum 41 – “Blood In My Eyes”

Notes: Sum 41 still exist?

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

Notes: Bizarre/animal/sex/banned album artwork aside, the record itself was quality and definitely a contender for Best Rap Album. Also, I want him to win so he will say something silly.

Best World Music Album
AfroCubism – AfroCubism
Femi Kuti – Africa For Africe
Ladysmith Black Mambazo – Songs From A Zulu Farm
Tinariwen – Tassili

Notes: Ladysmith Black Mambazo are on their second wind at the moment. With a new effort coming out soon with guest appearances from the likes of Dolly Parton, Paul Simon, and Emmy Lou Harris, they are back in the game.

The 54th Annual Grammy Awards will be held February 12 in Los Angeles.