As someone who loves music and monitors the happenings of the industry from year to year, it’s always exciting to speculate which artists, albums and records were impactful enough to receive Grammy nominations. On Wednesday, December, 5, 2012, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) will be unveiling the nods for the 55th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony which will be broadcast February 10, 2013 on CBS (10 PM ET). Here’s my take on how things are likely to play out in the General Field categories:
RECORD OF THE YEAR
First of all, it’s hard for me to believe the three best selling records of the year won’t be included here: “Somebody That I Used to Know” (Gotye featuring Kimbra), “Call Me Maybe” (Carly Rae Jepsen) and “We Are Young” (fun. featuring Janelle Monáe). All three of these songs spent multiple weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart as well as mainstream pop radio. Following the trend of chart domination from breakout artists, “Ho Hey” by the Lumineers is a sleeper hit that is peaking at the right time (currently top 5 on the iTunes singles chart). That leaves one spot to be filled which I believe will be taken by “Payphone” (Maroon 5 featuring Wiz Khalifa). This category has always embraced hit collaborations and the three-time Grammy winning group has yet to receive this allusive nod.
fun. featuring Janelle Monáe, “We Are Young”
Gotye featuring Kimbra, “Somebody That I Used to Know”
Carly Rae Jepsen, “Call Me Maybe”
The Lumineers, “Ho Hey”
Maroon 5 featuring Wiz Khalifa, “Payphone”
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
For the most part, this category has traditionally included works representing all musical genres that were either commercially successful or critically-acclaimed (often times both). One album that was loved by the general public and music critics was Drake’s Take Care, garnering the Canadian-born rapper/singer his second consecutive number one album on Billboard and the best reviews of his career. Another artist with overwhelming chart/critical praise recently is P!nk who has yet to be recognized here after 10+ years in the business. Her latest, The Truth About Love, should be fresh on voters’ minds since it was released later in the eligibility period. Along with P!nk, Maroon 5 is enjoying an artistic peak with love from both radio and music buyers. Similar to ROTY, the Best New Artist alumni haven’t been listed here for previous efforts but their current smash, Overexposed, should do the trick. The last two slots will probably go to Mumford & Sons’ Babel and Frank Ocean’s channel ORANGE. The former opened with the best first-week sales of the year at the time of its release (600K copies) while the latter is one of most promising debut efforts from a new artist in quite some time.
Drake, Take Care
Maroon 5, Overexposed
Mumford & Sons, Babel
Frank Ocean, channel ORANGE
P!nk, The Truth About Love
SONG OF THE YEAR
Similar to the AOTY, this category often recognizes material covering a range of musical formats. Likewise, there is usually a correlation between singles that make it both here and in ROTY. Out of all my predix for ROTY, the two songs that appear to be most plausible for this lineup as well are “Call Me Maybe” and “We Are Young”. For an award that honors lyrics and the overall composition of a song, both of these hits represent what has often been included here in the past. With its recent Song of the Year win at the Country Music Association (CMA) awards, I expect “Over You” (written by Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert) to be the lone country nominee. As the standout track (both musically and lyrically) from Drake’s monster sophomore album, “Take Care” should receive similar treatment of previous rap songs like “Love the Way You Lie” (Eminem f. Rihanna) and “All of the Lights” (Kanye West f. Rihanna, Kid Cudi and Fergie). That leaves Frank Ocean’s “Thinkin’ ‘Bout You” to round out the list which falls in line with well-written R&B, love songs that can be traced here in the past.
“Call Me Maybe,” Tavish Crowe, Carly Rae Jepsen & Josh Ramsay (Carly Rae Jepsen)
“Over You,” Miranda Lambert & Blake Shelton (Miranda Lambert)
“Take Care,” Brook Benton, Aubrey Graham, Anthony Palman, Noah Shebib & Jamie Smith (Drake featuring Rihanna)
“Thinkin’ ‘Bout You,” Christopher Breaux & Shea Taylor (Frank Ocean)
“We Are Young,” Jack Antonoff, Jeff Bhasker, Andrew Dost & Nate Ruess (fun. featuring Janelle Monáe)
BEST NEW ARTIST
Historically, this category has been dominated by females in terms of nominees and winners. Nonetheless, my gut is telling me that this year’s crop of contenders will be pretty male heavy. Three artists that are considered to be near locks for bids in this derby are indie pop outfit fun., alt. rocker Gotye and R&B singer/songwriter Frank Ocean. Although they are rooted in the indie music scene, fun. and Gotye ruled mainstream pop radio this past year and became fixtures on the Billboard 200 albums chart. With more press coverage than probably any other newbie, Ocean amazed audiences with high-profile gigs at the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) and Saturday Night Live (with help from John Mayer on guitar). Representing country and folk rock, the last two slots are likely to be filled by Hunter Hayes and the Lumineers. Both acts have the advantage of having smash singles peaking at the same time NARAS members are compiling nominations (“Wanted” and “Ho Hey” respectfully). Also, the former recently took Best New Artist honors at the CMAs and will be appearing at the Nomination Special alongside fun.
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The Hit Music Academy | 2012
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