To those people who have been reading posts on my blog since I began, you’ll know that I have a certain obsession with the biggest awards show in music. I’ve written a ridiculous amount of articles about the 2011 and 2012 Grammys, and with the nominations for the 2013 show announced next week it’s time to get back into the award season mode.
Last year saw an obvious clean sweep from Adele, both deserved and expected, with Bon Iver and Skrillex winning multiple awards too, a stark contrast that showed the diversity of those nominated. With no one as obvious as Adele to contend with, we could see some big surprises in the nominations this year. The eligibility period ran from 1st October 2011 to 30th September 2012, so albums like Taylor Swift’s massive selling Red and songs like Rihanna’s We Found Love just missed the cut for this year’s nominations. Here are my predictions along with a few words explaining each of my choices. Red marks my predicted winner, Blue my personal choice.
Album of the Year
Mylo Xyloto – Coldplay
Take Care – Drake
channel Orange – Frank Ocean
Babel – Mumford & Sons
Wrecking Ball – Bruce Springsteen
Alternatives: Born To Die – Lana Del Rey, El Camino – The Black Keys, Blown Away – Carrie Underwood
I’ve gone for an all male lineup, which may make my prediction incorrect given the female dominance at last year’s show. The front runners are Frank Ocean and Mumford & Sons, a pair of albums that have achieved huge critical and commercial success respectively. I think Marcus Mumford and friends are the more likely choice, given their nominations for Song and Record last year and Babel is a much stronger record than Sigh No More too. Coldplay and Drake are my personal favourites, both Grammy favourites. Take Care would become the first Rap album to win the award in 9 years, the same amount of nominations Drake has received without a single win. I included Bruce because Grammy voters do love rewarding a golden oldie for releasing a successful new album, but I wouldn’t be surprised if The Black Keys made the cut instead.
Best New Artist
Lana Del Rey
Alternatives: One Direction, Ed Sheeran, Phillip Phillips
The bottom four choices here must make the cut in 2013? Gotye and Fun. have had two of the biggest songs of the year and even though the former is on his third album already, he is eligible here. Lana’s unique style is sure to split voters, but the pop crowd will push her here. Frank Ocean is the hot favourite though, especially given that this category usually goes to the artists critics have backed the most. He would be a well deserving winner too, making a musical and cultural impact this past year. I’ve included Ellie mainly because the thought of One Direction getting themselves a Grammy nomination makes me feel nearly as sick as the fact SuBo has already got herself two. One of the three Brits I’ve mentioned is sure to make the cut though.
Song of the Year
Thinkin Bout You – (Frank Ocean) Christopher Francis Ocean, N. Cobey
We Are Young – (Fun.) Nate Ruess, Andrew Dost, Jack Antonoff, and Jeffrey Bhasker
I Won’t Give Up – (Jason Mraz) Jason Mraz, Michael Natter
Over You – (Miranda Lambert) Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton
I Will Wait – (Mumford & Sons) Marcus Mumford
Alternatives: Take Care – Drake, Wide Awake – Katy Perry, Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) – Kelly Clarkson
Usually the category I’m worst at predicting, Song of the Year is awarded to the writers of song rather than the artist themselves. With two of the front runners for Record of the Year not eligible here, we will see them after this, I’ve been able to widen the choices here. It was hard getting rid of Take Care from my final list, I needed to put the never ending hit I Won’t Give Up in there and it seemed like the least likely choice. That and We Are Young represent the commercial hits that hold up lyrically, while Over You is the most obvious country choice written by the big couple in Country music. I Will Wait will most likely appear too, the same voters who got The Cave in there this time last year are sure to be voting for them here. That leaves us with Thinkin Bout You, both my prediction and personal pick. Irrespective of the ‘story’ behind Frank Ocean, the song holds up on it’s own merits, a strory driven song that feels intensely personal from the very start; it’s the front runner here.
Record of the Year
Set Fire To The Rain (Live) – Adele
Take Care (Feat. Rihanna) – Drake
We Are Young (Feat. Janelle Monae) – Fun.
Somebody That I Used To Know (Feat, Kimbra) – Gotye
Ni**as in Paris – Jay-Z & Kanye West
Alternatives: Call My Maybe – Carly Rae Jepsen, Where Have You Been – Rihanna, I Will Wait – Mumford & Sons
Gotye has this award on lock, when the biggest selling song of the year is an Alternative collaboration from two unknown Aussies what more could you expect. Somebody That I Used To Know is way ahead of the rest of the pack here, perhaps only Adele who has submitted a live version of Set Fire To The Rain has a chance. If she does it will be a hilarious turn of events, Adele literally doesn’t even need to release anything to win awards these days. Take Care and We Are Young appear again, the former having a strong chance for a nomination in Record because Rihanna’s contribution will be included. My personal choice is a song I’m not even sure it’s eligible or not. Included on Watch The Throne which was nominated for Rap Album last year, the song wasn’t ‘released’ for a few months after the album. Grammy rules state that if an album doesn’t win it’s Grammy, songs from it can be nominated for Record the Year later. If so, Ni**as in Paris is well deserving of the award, other than Empire State of Mind, it’s hard to think of a Rap song as impactful on culture as this. Neither artist has won one of the Big 4 either, so this would be a big deal for them. If it’s not eligible, place Carly Rae Jepsen’s unavoidable hit Call Me Maybe in there instead. Can you name a record as annoying catchy as that this past year?
There we have it, the Big 4. I predict it to be a battled between Frank Ocean and Mumford & Sons, though there are plenty of other songs and albums that have a chance. I have looked at the rest of the awards in two other posts. Check out my predictions for the awards for Pop/Rock/Alternative/Country and R&B/Rap/Dance at the respective links.