With the Grammy’s less than two weeks away, there is lots of speculation surrounded who will win. I’m here to tell you who (in my humble opinion) should be taking home those golden statues on February 8th.
Record of the Year
Nominees: Fancy (Iggy Azalea feat. Charlie XCX), Chandelier (Sia), Stay With Me (Sam Smith), Shake It Off (Taylor Swift), All About that Bass (Meghan Trainor)
My Pick: Chandelier
In terms of overall song quality, Chandelier is the song that encompasses the best lyrics, music, and overall performance by Sia. It also seems like Sia is a bit overdue for some recognition – she’s been making music (really really good music) longer than any of the other nominees in the category, especially considering 3 out of the 5 nominees are newcomers. Overall, Chandelier takes the cake for me.
Album of the Year
Nominees: Morning Phase (Beck), Beyoncé (Beyoncé), X (Ed Sheeran), In the Lonely Hour (Sam Smith), Girl (Pharrell Williams)
My Pick: Beyoncé
With it’s incredibly successful surprise release, Beyoncé’s self-titled was undoubtedly one of (if not the most) buzzed about albums of the year. Not to mention Beyoncé managed to do what few artists do anymore – focus on creating songs that work together as a cohesive album, not just a few hit singles. If this is the direction music is headed, I’m all for it.
Song of the Year
Nominees: All About That Bass (Meghan Trainor), Chandelier (Sia), Shake it Off (Taylor Swift), Stay With Me (Sam Smith), Take Me to Church (Hozier)
My Pick: Hozier
In terms of lyrical quality there is no comparison between Hozier’s indie hit and the other nominees. Take Me to Church is poetically written and performed, and it is both a shock and a shame that Hozier didn’t receive more nominations. There’s no doubt in my mind that Hozier deserves to win this one (whether or not he does, we will have to wait and see).
Best New Artist
Nominees: Iggy Azalea, Bastille, Brandy Clark, Haim, Sam Smith
My Pick: Sam Smith
For a year with tons of breakout artists, this seemed like an odd array of nominees. I have to put my support behind Sam Smith – in terms of raw talent, the other nominees pale in comparison. I have a feeling we will be seeing a lot more from Sam Smith, and he will probably be seeing a few more gold statues.
Best Rock Performance
Nominees: Gimme Something Good (Ryan Adams), Do I Wanna Know? (Arctic Monkeys), Blue Moon (Beck), Fever (Black Keys), Lazaretto (Jack White)
My Pick: Do I Wanna Know?
Another huge shock in the nominations this year was the lack of nods for The Arctic Monkeys’ AM. This seemed to be one of the best loved albums in the indie/alt-rock world, and with good reason. This song was definitely a career high for the Arctic Monkeys, while some of the other nominees (ahem, Black Keys?) were having career lows this year. Do I Wanna Know? gets the win in my book for sure.
Best Alternative Music Album
Nominees: This Is All Yours (Alt-J), Reflektor (Arcade Fire), Melophobia (Cage the Elephant), St. Vincent (St. Vincent). Lazaretto (Jack White)
My Pick: This Is All Yours
It seems that after the huge alt-rock/alt-pop crossover successes of 2013 (Imagine Dragons, Lorde, Vampire Weekend were all winners) 2014 has been a bit lackluster. Although all of the nominees in this category are truly deserving, my vote has to go to Alt-J’s sophomore album. They took the sound that made fans love An Awesome Wave and they built on it, and the result is the incredible This Is All Yours. If you haven’t heard this yet, go listen right now. Seriously. Go do it.