Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Grammy Predictions 2012: Will Alternative Music Dominate?

A few year's back the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) who are responsible came up with the idea for holding a small concert where they would announce the nominees, rather than waking them up at 5:30 am (PST).  Throughout the years LL Cool J has hosted.  This year Taylor Swift will help, and I am certain we will be seeing that terrible shocked face she presents when winning awards, although I believe it was real when she won the Album of the Year Grammy.

This year in music has been a mixed bag, while there have been some great albums there have been few which have wowed me.  One of the differences with the Grammy Awards is the time frame they cover.  This year's Grammy Awards span from October 1 2011 through September September 30th 2012.  So if you are good with dates, and know single/album release dates, great, if not you may need to do a little homework.

So who is going to score big tomorrow night.  This award show is a bit trickier to predict, there are no critics awards as a precursor with film, and unlike television they sometimes leave their favorite by the curb, look at Beyonce and her album 4 and Taylor Swift and her most recent album Speak Now.

At the moment this looks to be the year of alternative/folk type rock.  At the end of 2011 two albums with amazing critical oomph, and solid sales may have a large showing, and those from Florence + the Machine (Ceremonials) and The Black Keys (El Camino).  Mumford and Sons landed in the 11th hour with their decently reviewed album Babel, which had a terrific first week.   Only one problem exists with this group, and this set of nominees.  None of them fit with the traditional popular music category.

Over the past few years the Album of the Year nominees have been dominated by more traditional pop acts, starting more so recently in 2010.  The nominees were:

Taylor Swift-Fearless (country, but way more pop)-Winner
Beyonce-I am Sascha Fierce (R&B, but way more pop)
The Black Eyed Peas-The E.N.D. (pop)
Lady Gaga-The Fame (pop)
Dave Matthews Band-Big Whiskey and Groogruz King (pop rock)

The following year saw a similar type of nominees with Eminem and Arcade Fire being included within the group.  Arcade Fire's win was a massive surprise (most predicted Eminem), but showed alternative music has legs, and this is the glimmer of hope for the above listed potential nominees for tomorrow.

In the past years the Album of the Year nominees were broken down by genre, with maybe two coming from one (typically a Pop Album).  Last year there were four pop albums, and one rock/alt album from the Foo Fighters.

So what does this mean for the awards this year?  Who knows.  Will they be predictable or not, will there be a "veteran" like Bonnie Raitt or Lionel Richie?  Here are my predictions in the top four categories.

Album of the Year
Black Keys-El Camino
Drake-Take Care
Mumford and Sons-Babel
Frank Ocean-Channel Orange
Rihanna-Talk that Talk

This is a solid list, and while I would like to Florence + the Machine replace Rihanna, I think her singles sales like with her last nomination last year will help her push into this category.  Frank Ocean got a lot of attention for his personal life, and this gave him more press, but this is the album that should win.

Look out for Spoilers: Maroon 5, Pink, Bonnie Raitt, fun, Florence + the Machine, and Lionel Richie

Song of the Year
fun featuring Janelle Monae-We are Young
Miranda Lambert-Over You
Mumford and Sons-I Will Wait
Frank Ocean-Thinking bout You
Taylor Swift-We are Never Ever Getting Back Together

Record of the Year
Adele-Set Fire to the Rain

fun featuring Janelle Monae-We are Young
Gotye-Somebody that I Used to Know
Mumford and Sons-I Will Wait
Taylor Swift-We are Never Ever Getting Back Together

Best New Artist
Alabama Shakes
Frank Ocean
One Direction

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