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Key 2014 Grammy nominations: Who should win vs. who will win

Grammy noms

The 56th Annual Grammy Award nominations were announced at a concert at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles on Friday. Do you care? Maybe a little. Even though we’ve seen the Grammys get it all wrong in the past, and the Academy has a pretty deserved reputation for stuffiness and an unwillingness to nominate the good weird stuff we all love, they’re still an institution. We talk about the accomplishments of an artist by tallying their accolades, and the Grammys are often a great source of vetting – How many times have they been nominated? What categories have they won?

Well, the biggest nominees were in the rap category this year, with Jay Z earning a whopping nine. He’s the highest nomination-earner, with four musicians right behind him garnering seven nods: Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore (& Ryan Lewis), Justin Timberlake and Pharrell.

Let’s break down the big categories and pick some winners!

RECORD OF THE YEAR
“Get Lucky” by Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams
“Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons
“Royals” by Lorde
“Locked Out Of Heaven” by Bruno Mars
“Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke featuring T.I. & Pharrell

Should win: Ella Maria Lani Yelich-O’Connor, aka Lorde, captured America’s attention with her brain-needling hit of the year. It’s so good, still. She’s (newly) 17 and wrote it with her producer, and it’s basically just those two who can claim credit for a song that’s reached platinum status in multiple countries.
Will win: “Get Lucky.” Because everyone loves a big dramatic comeback from well-established artists collaborating with other very well-established artists (Nile Rodgers). It’s a great song, but there’s not very much of a narrative to their success. Mysterious French producer/DJs who’ve been churning out amazing records for decades put out one more. Shrug.

SONG OF THE YEAR
“Just Give Me A Reason” by Pink featuring Nate Ruess
“Locked Out Of Heaven” by Bruno Mars
“Roar” by Katy Perry
“Royals” by Lorde
“Same Love” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Mary Lambert

Note: The difference between Record of the Year and Song of the Year? ROTY honors the performer and the production team, but SOTY celebrates composers and songwriters.

Should win: Tough one here—because when you try to boil down artistic merit and look to the quality of the lyrics, you’ve got some strong contenders here. Sure, we want our girl Pink to take this one home, even if she has to share it with Nate Reuss (and Jeff Bhasker); and it is a great song that the masses are still willfully consuming. But “Roar” is so much fun, and “Same Love” is so damn heartwarming. Bruno Mars is legit, and we love him and all, but don’t we love that song for the Michael Jacksony production?
Will win: Something tells me the feel-good anthem in “Same Love” is something the Grammy committee wants to pat on the head.

ALBUM OF THE YEAR
The Blessed Unrest by Sara Bareilles
Random Access Memories by Daft Punk
Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City by Kendrick Lamar
The Heist by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Red by Taylor Swift

Should win: Well, we know who should not win, right? The fuck’s with this Bareilles nod? This record is like a glass of tepid milk with Cheerios and a side of tofu, plus a wale smoothie to wash it all down. C’mon, how boring. Kendrick should take this trophy home because it’s a stunner from cover to cover. When was the last time a hip-hop album took the night’s arguably biggest honor? Oh, it was Outkast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below 10 years ago.
Will win: Macklemore & Lewis. See above.

BEST NEW ARTIST
James Blake
Kendrick Lamar
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Kacey Musgraves
Ed Sheeran

Should win: Again, King Kendrick deserves this one. He’s a breath of fresh air in a number of ways. James Blake—despite how great he is and how much we love Overgrown—doesn’t feel much like a new artist (his self-titled debut came out in February of ’11). By the time the ceremony rolls around, the first singles released from The Heist will be two years old.
Will win: Taking a look at the history of the award, you can see that all kinds of losers have beat artists who’ve gone on to overshadow the winner. Love Esparanza Spalding, but she shouldn’t have beat Drake and Biebs. Last year, fun. beat Frank Ocean. So, it’ll probably be Musgraves.

A few more categories we’ll keep our eyes on:

BEST DANCE/ELECTRONICA ALBUM

Random Access Memories by Daft Punk
Settle by Disclosure
18 Months by Calvin Harris
Atmosphere by Kaskade
A Color Map Of The Sun by Pretty Lights

BEST ROCK ALBUM
13 by Black Sabbath
The Next Day by David Bowie
Mechanical Bull by Kings of Leon (Booo.)
Celebration Day by Led Zeppelin
…Like Clockwork by Queens of the Stone Age
Psychedelic Pill by Neil Young with Crazy Horse

BEST ALTERNATIVE MUSIC ALBUM
The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You by Neko Case
Trouble Will Find Me by The National
Hesitation Marks by Nine Inch Nails
Lonerism by Tame Impala
Modern Vampires Of The City by Vampire Weekend

BEST R&B ALBUM
R&B Divas by Faith Hill
Girl On Fire by Alicia Keys
Love In The Future by John Legend
Better by Chrisette Michele
Three Kings by TGT

BEST RAP/SUNG COLLABORATION
“Power Trip” by J. Cole featuring Miguel
“Part II (On The Run)” by Jay Z featuring Beyonce (So good.)
“Holy Grail” by Jay Z featuring Justin Timberlake
“Now Or Never” by Kendrick Lamar featuring Mary J. Blige
“Remember You” by Wiz Khalifa featuring The Weeknd

BEST RAP ALBUM
Nothing Was The Same by Drake
Magna Carta… Holy Grail by Jay Z
Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City by Kendrick Lamar
The Heist by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Yeezus by Kanye West (One of two nominations, and of course he’s pissed about it.)

The show will broadcast live from the Staples Center in L.A. on Sun., Jan. 26th.


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Let’s talk about the Grammys | PW Style | A blog about style, fashion, beauty, arts and culture by Philadelphia Weekly  says:

[...] combinations and the winners of this purportedly prestigious award. Like we mentioned in our between-nominations-and-awards breakdown, there’s room for improvement in the who-wins and who-gets-nominated [...]

Jan 27 4:13 PM

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