Ten musical categories to follow closely
by Albert Rodriguez -
SGN A&E Writer
They're back: those music awards we hate to love. The 53rd Annual Grammy Awards aren't promising to pick the most deserving winners - they never do, actually - but they will deliver a whopper of a show, with performances by Mick Jagger (backed by Raphael Saadiq and his band), Lady GaGa, Katy Perry, Arcade Fire, Miranda Lambert, Bruno Mars, Lady Antebellum, Rihanna, Muse, Usher, Janelle Monae, B.o.B, Justin Bieber, and Cee Lo Green featuring Gwyneth Paltrow and the Jim Henson Company Muppets. Scheduled as presenters are Norah Jones, Dierks Bentley, Nicki Minaj, Blake Shelton, LL Cool J, and Selena Gomez, with more to be announced this week. The Grammys will be televised Sunday night (February 13 on CBS) with a pre-ceremony streamed online that'll reveal winners in about 95 categories, followed by red carpet arrivals. Only 12 to 15 of the 109 awards will be handed out on the televised event. Here's my take on 10 close races.
RECORD OF THE YEAR
Nominees: 'Nothin' on You' - B.o.B. featuring Bruno Mars, 'Love the Way You Lie' - Eminem featuring Rihanna, 'F*** You' - Cee Lo Green, 'Empire State of Mind' - Jay-Z & Alicia Keys, 'Need You Now' - Lady Antebellum
Will Win: 'Need You Now'
The only non-R&B/rap entry in the group, Lady A's monster crossover hit is likely to pull it out.
Should Win: 'F*** You'
A modern classic with a pinch of edginess, we'll be humming to this years from now.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Nominees: The Suburbs - Arcade Fire, Recovery - Eminem, Need You Now - Lady Antebellum, The Fame Monster - Lady GaGa, Teenage Dream - Katy Perry
Will / Should Win: Recovery
Denied this award twice for The Marshall Mathers LP (2001) and The Eminem Show (2003), the rap superstar is owed, big time. Going into Sunday night with the most nominations (10), it makes sense to finally bestow Eminem with a long overdue Album of the Year gramophone.
SONG OF THE YEAR
Nominees: 'Beg Steal or Borrow,' 'F*** You,' 'The House That Built Me,' 'Love the Way You Lie,' 'Need You Now'
Will Win: 'Need You Now'
With nearly 20,000 Grammy voters scattered across the country (and elsewhere), it comes down to the most listenable song of a majority.
Should Win: 'The House That Built Me'
Although she didn't write it, Miranda Lambert tells a heartfelt story about returning to her childhood home. Yet, it won't be enough to stop the Lady A express train.
BEST NEW ARTIST
Nominees: Justin Bieber, Drake, Florence & The Machine, Mumford & Sons, Esperanza Spalding
Will Win: Drake
If the Jonas Brothers didn't win BNA two years ago, don't expect teen machine Bieber to get it either - just a nomination is more than generous. Instead, hip-hop and fellow countryman Drake is the one to beat.
Should Win: Esperanza Spalding
Here's hoping for an upset, in the form of Northwest native Spalding - an artist who's carved her own genre.
POP VOCAL PERFORMANCE
Nominees: 'King of Anything' - Sara Bareiles, 'Halo (Live)' - Beyoncé, 'Chasing Pirates' - Norah Jones, 'Bad Romance' - Lady GaGa, 'Teenage Dream' - Katy Perry
Will / Should Win: 'Teenage Dream'
I loves me some GaGa, but Perry's track deserves the win here. It could still swing in the Lady's favor, so keep an eye on this always-close race.
BEST DANCE RECORDING
Nominees: 'Rocket' - Goldfrapp, 'In for the Kill' - LaRoux, 'Dance in the Dark' - Lady GaGa, 'Only Girl (In the World)' - Rihanna, 'Dance on My Own' - Robyn
Will Win: 'Dance in the Dark'
Here's where Lady GaGa adds to her Grammy stash, a category she easily won last year, too.
Should Win: 'In for the Kill'
I won't shed a tear if GaGa or Robyn take it, though LaRoux's single was a cut above.
BEST ROCK PERFORMANCE BY
A DUO OR GROUP WITH VOCALS
Nominees: 'Ready to Start' - Arcade Fire, 'I Put a Spell on You' - Jeff Beck & Joss Stone, 'Tighten Up' - The Black Keys, 'Radioactive' - Kings of Leon, 'Resistance' - Muse
Will Win: 'Ready to Start'
I have visions of Kings of Leon winning again, for a horrible song, but Arcade Fire being denied here seems unfathomable.
Should Win: 'Tighten Up'
It would be awesome if the Ohio blues-rock duo accepted their first Grammy for a single that matches the excitement of Arcade Fire's.
BEST RAP PERFORMANCE
BY A DUO OR GROUP
Nominees: 'Shutterbug' - Big Boi, Bosko, Cutty & Mouche, 'Fancy' - Drake, T.I. & Swizz Beatz, 'On to the Next One' - Jay-Z & Swizz Beatz, 'My Chick Bad' - Ludacris & Nicki Minaj, 'Lose My Mind' - Young Jeezy & Plies
Will Win: 'On to the Next One'
Eminem will grab the lion's share of awards on Sunday night, but they can't let Jay-Z go home empty-handed.
Should Win: 'Shutterbug'
Damn that Big Boi for making catchy songs!
BEST COUNTRY ALBUM
Nominees: Up on the Ridge - Dierks Bentley, You Get What You Give - Zac Brown Band, The Guitar Song - Jamey Johnson, Need You Now - Lady Antebellum, Revolution - Miranda Lambert
Will Win: Need You Now
Not often has an Album of the Year nominee lost in its own field, although the Dixie Chicks did upset Shania Twain in 1999.
Should Win: Revolution
Released in late 2009, and eligible for this year's Grammys (don't ask), a better choice is Lambert's kick-ass fourth studio offering.
BEST AMERICANA ALBUM
Nominees: The List - Rosanne Cash, Tin Can Trust - Los Lobos, Country Music - Willie Nelson, Band of Joy - Robert Plant, You Are Not Alone - Mavis Staples
Will Win: Band of Joy
Grammy voters have a sweet tooth for rock icons, and Plant is as big as you get. Plus, he made a darn good album.
Should Win: You Are Not Alone
Known for her soul and gospel work, Staples isn't miscategorized for an album that takes listeners on a great, inspirational American journey.
Share on Facebook
Share on Delicious
Share on StumbleUpon!