Predicting the GRAMMYs, 2011
For as long as I can remember, I have loved the Grammys. I distinctly remember Riverdance (with Michael Flatly) and the cast of "Bring in the Noise/Bring in the Funk" doing this crazy dance off thing. I was hooked. And then, a few years later, the love of my high school life - Rebecca St. James - one the Best Rock Gospel Album Grammy for her 1999 release, Pray. She was slightly overshadowed by Santana and Rob Thomas that year. But it's okay, because they're so smooth.
Over the years that would follow, I would watch the Grammy's award the deserving (like the O Brother Where Art Thou? Original Soundtrack or Speakerboxx/The Love Below) and the undeserving (most every other album). My math is pretty simple: 1/3 of the Grammy winners deserve their award, 1/3 of the Grammy winners would have deserved their award 20 years ago, and 1/3 of the Grammy winners will never, ever deserve their award, not even in a parallel universe (see Swift, Taylor).
That said, I can't resist and try to predict who will when the "Big 4": Album of the Year, Record of the Year (i.e., the best individual song), Song of the Year (a songwriter's reward), and Best New Artist. Only one person in history has won all four of them on the same night. (Do you know who? I bet you don't. Click here for their Wikipedia page.)
Anyway, here are the nominees for the Big 4:
- "Nothin' on You," B.o.B feat. Bruno Mars
- "Love the Way You Lie," Eminem feat. Rhianna
- "F*** You," Cee Lo Green
- "Empire State of Mind," Jaz-Z feat. Alicia Keys
- "Need You Now," Lady Antebellum
- Who Will Win: "Empire State of Mind." Jay's love song to NYC is beautiful as it is soulful. It moves your heart, even as Alicia makes your heart flutter.
- Who Should Win: See above. This is a great, deserving song.
- The Suburbs, Arcade Fire
- Recovery, Eminem
- The Fame Monster, Lady Gaga
- Need You Now, Lady Antebellum
- Teenage Dream, Katy Perry
- Who Will Win: The Fame Monster. Gaga's rise to the top has been a mixture of talent and populism, but her high profile attire and antics, not to mention her catchy tunes, will net her the golden gramophone.
- Who Should Win: The Suburbs. Arcade Fire's newest album is incredible, moving, and deep. It takes the best of classic/alt rock and refashions it into a commentary and diary of suburban life, the same life in which such classic rock was largely consumed. It was a shock Billboard #1, proof that quality music can sell. Nevertheless, like Radiohead's attempt with In Rainbows, this masterpiece will be snubbed.
- "Beg, Steal, or Borrow" (Ray LaMontagne)
- "F*** You" (Cee Lo Green)
- "The House that Built Me" (Miranda Lambert)
- "Love the Way You Lie" (Eminem feat. Rihanna)
- "Need You Now" (Lady Antebellum)
- Who Will Win: "F*** You"- Between YouTube and Glee, this song is everywhere, but the buzz-worthiness of this meme disguises the fact that at its core, it's a wonderfully written song.
- Who Should Win: "F*** You" - Did I mention how fun this song is?
- Justin Bieber
- Florence and the Machine
- Mumford & the Sons
- Esperanza Spalding
- Mumford & Sons
- Who Will Win: Bieber freakin' fever, gang. This year, it belongs to Justin. It's almost ludicrous to think that he's a "new artist." He's a phenomenon.
- Who Should Win: The Bieb. Justin is Grade A Pop, and besides from being a Tiger Beat staple, he's cranked out some quality tunes.