Saturday, January 25, 2014

Skip's Grammy Picks (2014)

Ok, so apparently we haven’t done this for the Grammys since 2011.  Three years is like a lifetime when it comes to the internet.  And I’ll eat that; that’s on me. 

But here we are in 2014 and I’m trying to make things right.  I’m going to start the year off with my Grammy picks! 

Record of the Year

Most people will find this to a be a two horse race between Robin Thicke and Daft Punk, with the possibility that they split the vote and Lorde slips in.  While I’m sure I’ve heard Imagine Dragons’ offering, I don’t really think it’s in play.   As for Bruno Mars, he continues his love affair with a bygone era.   I think the controversy around “Blurred Lines” might hurt it with voters.  I’m guessing Daft Punk take home the Grammy. 

Skip’s Pick: 

Bruno Mars – Locked Out of Heaven

Album of the Year

Everything here is pretty predictable except for Sara Bareilles, unless you count the random curveball as a tradition.  Taylor Swift made a statement record, while nominating Macklemore y Ryan Lewis is a statement being made by the Academy.  (Obviously Kanye was snubbed here.)  Kendrick Lamar’s debut is seriously strong, but a bit too rough for the voters.  I’m guessing it’s a toss up between The Heist and Red. 

Skip’s Pick: 

Kendrick Lamar – Good Kid, M.A.D.D. City

Song of the Year

This category has some pretty strong competition.  Lorde, Katy Perry and Macklemore y Ryan Lewis all had anthems of different varieties.  Pink adds to her resume of cranking out hits and Bruno Mars opted to go large with his sound.  I’m guessing it’s a three-way race between the anthems with Macklemore y Ryan Lewis coming out with the win. 

Skip’s Pick: 

Bruno Mars – Locked Out of Heaven

Best New Artist

[Insert obligatory rant about artists not being new]  Because I’m not clear about the exact criteria for being nominated for this category, I’m unsure of who the frontrunner is.  I dig James Blake and Ed Sheeran.  I’m aware of Kacey Musgraves and Macklemore y Ryan Lewis.  I’m pretty sure Kendrick Lamar comes the closest to actually being “new” so that who I think will take the Grammy home to his domicile. 

Skip’s Pick: 

Kendrick Lamar

Pop Duo Group Performance

Get Lucky, Blurred Lines and Suit & Tie were all pretty much inescapable for the better part of year.  That’s why, with apologies to Pink, Rihanna and their respective collaborators, it’s about robots and blue-eyed soul.  Personally I thought Suit & Tie was the worst song by Jay-Z, but then Magna Carta, Holy Grail was released.  I’m guessing it’s going to “Get Lucky.” 

Skip’s Pick: 

Stay - Rihanna feat. Mikky Ekko

Rock Performance

Right off the bat, this category is loaded.  While I’m glad that stalwarts David Bowie and Led Zeppelin are in the running, I’m really more impressed Alabama Shakes and Queen of the Stone Age got nods.  And of course Jack White and Imagine Dragons are in for good measure.  Because of the variety here, it’s really a free for all.  I’m guessing Alabama Shakes takes it Grammy home to their crib. 

Skip’s Pick: 

My God Is The Sun – Queens of the Stone Age. 

Rock Album

Should it be discomforting that Black Sabbath, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin and Neil Young with Crazy Horse are all up for Rock Album in 2014?  To me it is.  Poor Kings of Leon and Queens of the Stone Age, established bands who end up being the new kids on the block.  I’ve got no clue who’s going home with the hardware.  Um, let’s say Neil Young with Crazy Horse. 

Skip’s Pick: 

…Like Clockwork – Queens of the Stone Age

Alternative Music Album

For this category, you could randomly draw a nominee’s name out of a hat and I’d be happy with the outcome.  The National and Nine Inch Nails both put out strong albums.  Vampire Weekend and Tame Impala both had albums that showed impressive growth, while Neko Case again hit a home run.  My gut tells me Grammy will end up on the mantle of either Vampire Weekend or Nine Inch Nails, but beyond that I’ve got nothing. 

Skip’s Pick: 

The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You – Neko Case

Rap Performance

When was the last time you had two white rappers up against each other in this category? MLK would be proud.  Jay-Z takes a stand for consumerism, while Macklemore y Ryan Lewis take a stand against it.  Eminem announced his return to the music scene.  Drake had the rare song not about a girl and Kendrick Lamar got deep and dark.  But honestly, you’ve got to believe that Eminem’s taking this to his mansion. 

Skip’s Pick: 

Swimming Pools (Drank) – Kendrick Lamar

Rap/Sung Collaboration

On the real, this is a pretty lame category, competition-wise.  Power Tip and Now or Never aren’t truly inspiring.  The less said about Part II (On The Run) and Holy Grail the better.  Still Remember You doesn’t seem like Grammy bait.  I’m guessing the Academy is going to go with “Holy Grail. 

Skip’s Pick: 

Remember You – Wiz Khalifa feat The Weeknd

Rap Song

Finally Kanye West makes an appearance.  Apart from repeat nominees, “Holy Grail” “Started from the Bottom” and “Thrift Shop” we also get “F***in’ Problems.”  I think Kanye’s going to take this for “New Slaves” because how could he not? 

Skip’s Pick: 

“F***in’ Problems – A$AP Rocky, Drake, Kendrick Lamar and 2 Chainz

Rap Album

For the life of me, I can’t figure out how Jay-Z is nominated in this category.  His album is garbage.  Kendrick Lamar’s debut would also be a solid pick.  I don’t know how The Heist measures up album wise, but hype wise it’s up there.  I still think it boils down to Drake vs Kanye.  I feel like Kanye West will take this one. 

Skip’s Pick: 

Yeezus – Kanye West

So there you have my thoughts on who should win and who I think will win tomorrow at the Grammy's.  I guess we'll find out together.

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