Saturday, January 25, 2014

56th Grammy Award Predictions (2014)

The biggest awards show and night in music will return tomorrow evening on CBS. With millions across the globe watching to see who will win, the pressure is on for the academy to deliver deserving awards and stellar performances.

Best New Artist
James Blake (0/10)
Kendrick Lamar (3/10)
Ed Sheeran (0/10)
Kacey Musgraves (4/10)
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis (3/10)

Best New Artist has a history of being unpredictable, namely Esperanza Spalding's win a few years ago over Florence + The Machine and Justin Bieber. This year, don't expect Ed Sheeran or James Blake to pull an upset, it seems far more likely that tomorrow night, a non-pop artist will emerge victorious. Kendrick is the front runner to take home Album of the Year and received massive critical acclaim with his debut, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis were hard to stop last year with Thrift Monster, and Kacey Musgraves emerged as Country's saving grace. Kacey is going to garner the support of Country voters in their entirety, which will greatly benefit her. Rap voters will be split between Kendrick and Macklemore, and pop voters will probably even out the field. It'll be a tight race between these 3 contenders, but I'll bet on Kacey.

Best Pop Solo Performance
Brave - Sara Bareilles (1.5/10)
Roar - Katy Perry (.5/10)
Royals - Lorde (3/10)
Mirrors - Justin Timberlake (2.5/10)
When I Was Your Man - Bruno Mars (2.5/10)

This will be a tight race, as all contenders have massive strengths. Last year Adele pulled through with a live Set Fire To The Rain, but thankfully for this years contenders, Adele is not present. It seems unlikely that Katy Perry will end her Grammy drought with the undeserving Roar, or that Sara Bareilles will be able to knock out massive hits like Royals and Mirrors. The real fight will be between Lorde and Bruno. Justin seems less likely than before to take home a Grammy this year, after the Grammys inexcusably left him out of the major categories. Bruno has wide spread appeal, along with Lorde, who will look to the stage Sunday to hear one of their names called.

Best Pop Duo or Group Performance
Just Give Me a Reason - P!nk Feat. Nate Reuss (6/10)
Get Lucky - Daft Punk Feat. Pharrell (2/10)
Blurred Lines - Robin Thicke Feat. T.I. and Pharrell (0/10)
Stay - Rihanna Feat. Mikky Ekko (2/10)
Suit and Tie - Justin Timberlake Feat. Jay-Z (0/10)

Robin and Justin better practice their gracious loser faces, for it seems very unlikely they'll be picked over Grammy powerhouse Pink and Daft Punk. Rihanna also boasts a solid chance here, with her incredible duet Stay. Pink has the greatest chances here because: 1) She's a Grammy legend after her 2010 performance of Glitter in the Air, 2) The song features Nate Reuss, who was a Grammy favorite last year with Fun. 3) Just Give Me a Reason was inescapable last year, and is still massive among Adult stations. Daft Punk and Rihanna could pull an upset here, but P!nk shouldn't stress at all.

Best Pop Vocal Album
Lana Del Rey - Paradise (1/10)
Blurred Lines - Robin Thicke (.5/10)
Pure Heroine - Lorde (3.5/10)
Unorthodox Jukebox - Bruno Mars (3/10)
The 20/20 Experience - The Complete Experience - Justin Timberlake (2/10)

Blurred Lines is not going to appeal to female voters in the least, and Paradise will alienate the Grammy voters, so they have the least chances by far. Justin Timberlake has the next slimmest chances, since Part 2 of the 20/20 Experience will tarnish the work that Part 1 laid out. Again here, Lorde and Bruno's universal appeal give them a massive edge over their competition, and even better, they both deserve the award.

Song of the Year
Roar - Katy Perry (0/10)
Just Give Me a Reason - P!nk Feat. Nate Reuss (3/10)
Royals - Lorde (3/10)
Locked out of Heaven - Bruno Mars (2/10)
Same Love - Macklemore and Rayn Lewis Feat. Mary Lambert (2/10)

Roar won't win. If it does, I will lose all respect for the Grammys in their entirety. It's shameful it was even nominated in this category. In this category, the Grammys are looking for the best lyrics, and that is a battle between Lorde and P!nk. Locked out of Heaven is okay lyrically, but I've said it 47 times, Bruno's universal appeal is going to be his strength here. Same Love has great lyrics, but it just doesn't seem to have half the strength of these other massive, quadruple platinum No.1 hits. Same Love stalled at No.11, and isn't even double platinum. Royals and Just Give Me a Reason were the biggest hits of the bunch with great lyrics and quality music. Thankfully, it seems likely that one of the two will take the award home.

Record of the Year
Get Lucky - Daft Punk Feat. Pharrell (3/10)
Radioactive - Imagine Dragons (2.5/10)
Royals - Lorde (2/10)
Locked out of Heaven - Bruno Mars (1.5/10)
Blurred Lines - Robin Thicke Feat. T.I. and Pharrell (.5/10)

I actually gave Robin some points here because his song was the biggest of the 5, and Blurred Lines is actually a good record. Bruno will have a hard time overcoming Daft Punk and Lorde, but even then his chances are still solid. Lorde has fewer points here because if there is any category the Grammys are going to cut from her, it's this one. Radioactive and Get Lucky are too timeless and incredible for even a song like Royals to overcome.

Album of the Year
The Blessed Unrest - Sara Bareilles (.5/10)
Good Kid, m.A.A.d City - Kendrick Lamar (2/10)
The Heist - Macklemore and Ryan Lewis (1.5/10)
Red - Taylor Swift (4/10)
Random Access Memories - Daft Punk (2/10)

Every album in this category is phenomenal and poses a solid threat to it's contenders, even The Blessed Unrest. Sara's strength here is the publicity she gained from her nomination, as well as the Roar debacle. Even better for her, Brave has been the highest ranking hit from September to January out of any other single from these albums. She is actually making more headlines right now than any other of these artists, a major advantage. However, her album sales are south of 300,000 and definitely aren't helping her out against these other platinum and multi-platinum albums. And she didn't get nominated in the lesser Pop Vocal category either. Sorry Sara, but you're the underdog. The top contender here is Taylor by far. Red is the best seller out of these albums, scanning nearly 4,000,000 copies. It's also fairly acclaimed, scoring a 77 on metacritic on over 30 reviews (though it is beaten to death by Kendrick's 91 on 36 reviews, and Daft Punk's 87 on 48(!) reviews). And of course, her biggest strength? Crossover appeal. She'll get almost all Country voters, as well as a significant number of Pop voters, while Rap will be once more split between Kendrick and Macklemore. Taylor has the best chance of winning the award, and creating a massive Grammy legacy.

Who do you think will be the big winner on Sunday night? Who should win and who will win? Comment below!