2014 Grammy Nominees and Predictions

Adding to the year-end list madness, the Grammys–self-proclaimed as “Music’s Biggest Night”–announced their nominations for the 2014 ceremonies yesterday. Yeah, the Grammys threaten to slide into irrelevance every year, but there’s always some “how did they pick that?” morbid curiosity, and easy shots to land at the association as the personification of a slightly dweeby, out of touch point-dexter, which are almost entertaining enough in themselves. Anyway, here are the nominations/my predictions for the major categories.

Record of the Year
Daft Punk ft. Pharrell Williams – Get Lucky
Imagine Dragons – Radioactive
Lorde – Royals
Bruno Mars – Locked Out of Heaven
Robin Thicke ft. TI and Pharrell – Blurred Lines
“Record of the year” refers to production values and engineering; which song had the best “sound”. Two songs embraced the sound of the future, while two ran for the comfort of the past. Only one hit both, and it’s the luxuriously produced “Get Lucky”. Sidenote: this category doubles as “the five 2013 songs that will never, ever go away”.

Album of the Year
Sara Bareilles – The Blessed Unrest
Daft Punk – Random Access Memories
Kendrick Lamar – good kid, m.A A.d. city
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – The Heist
Taylor Swift – Red
The schedule to be considered for the Grammys runs from October 2012 to September of 2013, hence why 3/5 of the category is from last year. No matter who actually wins, the association looks good with these choices: T.Swift, Daft Punk, and Sar-Bare are all safe picks from an institutional standpoint, Kendrick is a great one for relevance, and Macklemore gets “progressive” points (he also gets all the “white guy rapper” perks that Em gets, but sans Em’s baggage). I’m gonna guess Macklemore for the award, although he’s probably fourth in terms of actual quality.

Song of the Year
P!nk ft. Nate Ruess – Just Give Me a Reason
Bruno Mars – Locked Out of Heaven
Katy Perry – Roar
Lorde – Royals
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ft. Mary Lambert – Same Love
The only of the “Big Three” categories that ended up as a lose/draw this year. In a somewhat meh field, I’m going to go with “Same Love” for the message, with “Royals” as a second pick. The Grammys have a history of shunning Mars, and “Roar” and “Reason” are far too sleepy for consideration.

Best New Artist
James Blake
Kendrick Lamar
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Kacey Musgraves
Ed Sheeran
Let’s get the obvious out of the way: there is no discernible reason for Lorde to not be included here. “Royals” is up for three awards, and Pure Heroine is up for Best Pop Vocal Album; she has enough pull for this to be a snub. Kendrick is apparently this year’s designated Coo Kid Choice, and I’d love to see him win, but I feel like the Mack is going to bag this one.

Best Pop Vocal Album
Lana Del Rey – Paradise
Lorde – Pure Heroine
Bruno Mars – Unorthodox Jukebox
Robin Thicke – Blurred Lines
Justin Timberlake – The 20/20 Experience – The Complete Experience
Lorde deserves to walk away with this one clean. Pure Heroine wasn’t without flaws, but it’s a solid album in a category where most everything else could be described as “uneven” if you’re being generous. The only thing that might get in her way is JT’s clout, although 20/20 pt. 2 might have burned through enough of his critical goodwill.

Best Dance/Electronica Album
Daft Punk – Random Access Memories
Disclosure – Settle
Calvin Harris – 18 Months
Kaskade – Atmosphere
Pretty Lights – A Color Map of the Sun
The dance/electronica category’s always worth a looksee, mostly because EDM is in the same “Idk, is this what the kids listen to?” Grammy ghetto that rap spent most of the 90s in. As fun as it’d be to see Disclosure go from slumming it in UK garage to Grammy winners in one album, I have a feeling Daft Punk will get this one, or maybe Calvin Harris if the Grammys want to go with a more radio-friendly choice.

Best Rock Album
Black Sabbath – 13
David Bowie – The Next Day
Kings of Leon – Mechanical Bull
Led Zeppelin – Celebration Day
Queens of the Stone Age – …Like Clockwork
Neil Young with Crazy Horse – Psychedelic Pill
I could gripe about the half dozen or so missed nominations here in favor of a fucking Led Zeppelin live album from a 2007 concert (what, did Robert Plant want a new summer house?), but I guess the Grammys had to dump all of their classicism somewhere. I could see Black Sabbath getting the win just because 13 was generally better than expected, but some similar could be argued for The Next Day. I’d be happiest to see …Like Clockwork walk away with it, but it’s probably gonna be safe with Led Zeppelin

Best Alternative Music Album
Neko Case – The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You
The National – Trouble Will Find Me
Nine Inch Nails – Hesitation Marks
Tame Impala – Lonerism
Vampire Weekend – Vampires of the Modern City
Another category where any of these could be justified. My gut is gonna say Neko Case because she has the vaguely folkie, singer-songwriter vibe that the Grammys tend to drool over.  Tame Impala have something similar going in the throwback category, so they’re likely my second pick. Either way, this might be my favorite category overall.

Best Rap Album
Drake – Nothing Was the Same
Jay Z – Magna Carta…Holy Grail
Kendrick Lamar – Good kid, m. A. A. d. city
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – The Heist
Kanye West – Yeezus
Even though I perceive Macklemore being the frontrunner, I’m gonna vote Kendrick Lamar on this one. Good kid made waves for the better part of two years, and while Macklemore’s been a hit, he’s mostly been confined to singles. Yeezus walking away with it wouldn’t out of sheer critical brute strength wouldn’t shock me, but it wouldn’t be Kanye’s first snub. Just please, not Macklemore.

Grab the rest of the nominees here, and tune in to the Grammys next month!

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About bgibs122

I enjoy music and music culture; I hope you do, too.
This entry was posted in "Thoughts", Lists and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to 2014 Grammy Nominees and Predictions

  1. Samuel Young says:

    I’m really convinced that Mack’s gonna get the grammy for Rap Album. I just have a feeling in my bones.

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