As anyone who read my roundup of the biggest awards show in music earlier in the year knows, I have some pretty strong views on both the nominations and eventual winners of these awards. Unlike most years however, where a nomination in any of the big 4 categories would give you at least some chance to win, Adele has the 2012 show in the bag. As such, there were some major surprises last night and I’ll give my 2 cents on whether the right choices were made.
Let’s begin with the biggie, Album of the Year. Going into the Grammys there were 3 sure picks that would definitely make the cut, Adele’s 21, Taylor Swift’s Speak Now and Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Only one of these actually made into the final 5, with Taylor and Kanye snubbed despite being two modern Grammy darlings. With one of the most highly acclaimed album’s in recent memory, and three AOTY nominations already under his belt, I thought West was the only possible nominee who could beat Adele. You could blame the fact that both of these albums are over a year old now, but two albums that did make the cut are just as old. There is no one who can argue that Bruno Mars’s album is better than Kanye’s, despite him having a great year. Rihanna has garnered the ‘commercial sucess’ nomination for Loud, which saw Katy Perry and Black Eyed Peas nominated in years prior, while Foo Fighters were the most surprising pick of all. GaGa appears for the third year running though, a well deserved nomination in my eyes. The lack of Taylor Swift in any of the main categories was the biggest surprise for me, given that she won from album 2 years ago. I was definitely not happy with the Kanye snub, at least he appears elsewhere.
7 other places no less, making him the most nominated artist of the night and pushing his career total to 45 (5th highest in Grammy history). His track All of The Lights is nominated for Song of The Year alongside obvious choices from Adele (Rolling In The Deep) and Bruno Mars (Grenade). The other two nominated songs surprised just about everyone watching. Bon Iver went into the The Grammys with some blogosphere hype, but this rarely results in such a high profile nomination for a track that never entered the Billboard Hot 100. Holocene is a beautiful song, with the perfect mixture of folk and electronic sounds that make the album it comes from so brilliant. If that wasn’t surprising enough, Mumford & Sons completed the list with their song The Cave. I had no idea it was eligible for this year’s awards and it getting a nomination here is amazing. As the surprise of the bunch, I’d say they have the strongest chance of beating fellow Brit Adele to the title of Song of the Year, or even Record of the Year, which all he Song nominees are up for (Except for Kanye who is replaced by Katy Perry’s Firework). It’s a surprising list, even though I do think Adele has both awards in the bag, and my mouth was literally on the floor as Bon Iver and Mumford were read out.
The shock inclusions continue into the last of the big 4 awards, Best New Artist. Obvious choices of Nicki Minaj, The Band Perry and Bon Iver appear with 2 other artists. I didn’t think J. Cole would make the cut, but it’s promising for him, he sort of artist who will be ganering nominations this time next year. Skrillex was the big surprise for me though, as I hadn’t quite judged his impact in the US fully. The dubstep genre has become a staple of the UK dance scene, with artists like DJ Fresh and Nero topping the charts, but in the US Skrillex has seemingly become the poser boy for the genre. A nomination here, along with his 3 other nominations elsewhere is a testament to this and knowing the Grammy voters his screeching dirty synths could contrast nicely with last year’s winner Jazz act Esperanza Spalding.
As far as the other categories go, one of the glaring omissions for me was Beyonce, 4 being the sort of album I expected the Grammy voters to lap up. She only has one nomination in 2012, Party for Rap/Sung Collab so it looks like she will be leaving this year empty handed. Though GaGa is nominated in some Pop categories and for AOTY, I do feel like submitting Born This Way and Edge of Glory instead of her other two singles would have guaranteed another spot among the Big 4.
Robyn picks up nominations in both dance categories too, an interesting genre this year because of the removal of ‘Pop Mainstream’ acts such as Rihanna and Britney to allow for ‘real’ dance music to compete. The result? A competition between David Guetta, Robyn, Skrillex, and Deadmau5 in both Record and Album categories. My money’s on Skrillex given his Best New Artist nom, but hopefully Call Your Girlfriend can secure Robyn her first Grammy win.
Gut feeling, I’m expecting Adele to pick up at least 5 awards, 6 if she also wins video, leaving GaGa, and Bruno with no wins. New Artist is a toss up between Nicki, Skrillex and Bon Iver and I expect Kanye to clean sweep the Rap categories. That said now we just have to wait until the end of February to find out who walks away with awards.Come February I’ll be doing another in depth look at each of the big 4 categories, listening to all the albums and songs and seeing which deserves the award and which will win. See you in early 2012 or that.