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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, January 24 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 04
Close races, big performances highlight Grammy Awards
Arts & Entertainment
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Close races, big performances highlight Grammy Awards

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

How many Grammys will Macklemore and Ryan Lewis win on Sunday night? Of the 7 they're nominated for, perhaps just 1 or 2.

The Seattle duo faces stiff competition and an usually un-hip Recording Academy, making for a very tough road to the podium. Still, the hip-hop superstars and another Northwest favorite, Neko Case, have decent shots at coming home with coveted gramophones.

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are scheduled to perform on the main telecast (CBS, check local times) along with Daft Punk with RAM, Stevie Wonder and Niles Rodgers, Katy Perry, Lorde, Kendrick Lamar, Taylor Swift, John Legend, Kacey Musgraves, Pink with Nate Ruess, Metallica with Lang Lang, Robin Thicke with Chicago, Hunter Hayes, Gary Clark Jr., Nine Inch Nails with Queens of the Stone Age and Dave Grohl, Keith Urban, Beatles members Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, Sara Bareilles with Carole King, and a country collaboration of Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard and Blake Shelton.

Presenters include Neil Patrick Harris, Cyndi Lauper, Jared Leto, Anna Kendrick, Juanes, Martina McBride, Jamie Foxx, Ariana Grande, Smoky Robinson, Yoko Ono, Black Sabbath, Zac Brown, Alicia Keys and Ryan Seacrest.

Here are my predictions and picks for the night's top categories:

Album of the Year nominees: The Blessed Unrest - Sara Bareilles; Random Access Memories - Daft Punk; Good Kid, M.A.A.D City - Kendrick Lamar; The Heist - Macklemore and Ryan Lewis; Red - Taylor Swift

Should win: Random Access Memories or Good Kid, M.A.A.D City

I'd love to see Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter accept an award in the flesh, helmets or no helmets. Equally deserving is Lamar's instant rap classic released late in 2013.

Will win: Red or Random Access Memories

Swift has mainstream appeal and a previous AOTY victory, Daft Punk has street cred and critical acclaim. It's a toss-up, honestly.



Record of the Year nominees: 'Get Lucky' - Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams and Niles Rodgers; 'Radioactive' - Imagine Dragons; 'Royals' - Lorde, 'Locked Out of Heaven' - Bruno Mars; 'Blurred Lines' - Robin Thicke

Should / Will win: 'Get Lucky'

The safe choice is 'Locked Out of Heaven,' and I'll vomit if that happens. But it should be a cakewalk for Daft Punk, unless 'It girl' Lorde scores an upset.



Song of the Year nominees: 'Just Give Me a Reason;' 'Locked Out of Heaven;' 'Roar;' 'Royals;' 'Same Love'

Should / Will win: 'Same Love'

If the Recording Academy understands the impact this pro-LGBT relationship ballad had on social culture, then this award easily goes to the co-writing team of Ben Haggerty, Ryan Lewis and Mary Lambert.



Best New Artist nominees: James Blake; Kendrick Lamar; Macklemore and Ryan Lewis; Kacey Musgraves; Ed Sheeran

Should win: Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

Grammy voters have only twice recognized hip hop in the general categories - Lauryn Hill's and OutKast's AOTY triumphs in 1999 and 2004, respectively. That doesn't bode well for the Seattle rappers, who achieved world stardom at almost the blink of an eye.

Will win: Kacey Musgraves

Musgraves is a credible singer-songwriter who also has the potential to stick around for a while. I'll shed no tears if/when her name is called.



Best Pop Vocal Album nominees: Paradise - Lana Del Rey; Pure Heroine - Lorde; Unorthodox Jukebox - Bruno Mars; Blurred Lines - Robin Thicke, The 20/20 Experience: The Complete Experience - Justin Timberlake

Should win: Paradise

Del Rey's EP is chock full of lush, dramatic arrangements. Alas, she's the underdog here.

Will win: The 20/20 Experience: The Complete Experience

Once considered a shoo-in for AOTY, Timberlake will have to settle for this consolation prize.



Best Alternative Music Album nominees: The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You - Neko Case; Trouble Will Find Me - The National; Hesitation Marks - Nine Inch Nails; Lonerism - Tame Impala; Modern Vampires of the City - Vampire Weekend

Should win: Trouble Will Find Me or Modern Vampires of the City

With the exception of NIN, I'd be happy with either of these nominees walking away with the prize. But it's The National and Vampire Weekend who put out the better work.

Will win: Hesitation Marks

The veteran industrial rockers, who've won in this category before, are the likeliest to score another award.



Best Rap Album nominees: Nothing Was the Same - Drake; Magna Carta...Holy Grail - Jay Z; Good Kid, M.A.A.D City - Kendrick Lamar; The Heist - Macklemore and Ryan Lewis; Yeezus - Kanye West

Should / Will win: Good Kid, M.A.A.D City

Don't underestimate the over-praised Jay Z, but something tells me Lamar is taking this one home.



Best Country Album nominees: Night Train - Jason Aldean; Two Lanes of Freedom - Tim McGraw; Same Trailer Different Park - Kacey Musgraves; Based on a True Story - Blake Shelton; Red - Taylor Swift

Should win: Same Trailer Different Park

Red is an excellent album, but not entirely country. The better choice is Musgraves' gorgeously crafted major label debut.

Will win: Red

Though it's tailored more for pop fans, Red is the goliath in this category.

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