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The Grammys 2017: Who Should & Who Will Win

Well, here we go again. The 59th annual Grammy awards take place in Los Angeles tonight. The self-proclaimed Biggest Night In Music rolls around once more, and not without it’s controversy. Leading stars such as Justin Bieber, Drake & Kanye West will not be attending. Frank Ocean & Macklemore did not even submit their albums, all reacting to a feeling of misrepresentation of urban artists from the Grammy selection panel.

Kanye himself does have 21 wins from 65 nominations, but this is more the exception to the rule with artists such as Drake (35 nominations, 1 win).

Still, a Grammy is a Grammy, and those who are nominated are in line to receive the most prestigious award in the industry, for better or worse.

Here’s who should and who will win (most of) the awards tonight…

Album Of The Year:

25 — Adele

 Lemonade — Beyoncé

 Purpose — Justin Bieber

 Views — Drake

 A Sailor’s Guide To Earth — Sturgill Simpson

Let’s start with the biggy. When these nominations were announced I was surprised, especially since Adele’s album came out fucking years ago now. Now the dust has settled though, these are 4 very safe choices coupled with a strange overlook of Radiohead for a Sturgill Simpson album with only one real stand out song.

Fair to say that Sturgill won’t be winning this. Personally, I think Beyonce’s is the best body of work in this list, the rest are more a collection of singles rammed together with no real thought to cohesiveness or theme (especially in Drake’s case).

WHO SHOULD WIN – Lemonade – Beyonce

WHO WILL WIN – 25 – Adele

Too big to fail.

Record Of The Year

“Hello” — Adele

“Formation” — Beyoncé

“7 Years” — Lukas Graham

“Work” — Rihanna Featuring Drake

“Stressed Out” — Twenty One Pilots

The overrated mess that is Work manages to eke out a Grammy nomination, sitting as comfortably the very worst nomination in this category, and I think that anything that Twenty One Pilots make is a pile of hot trash.

This leaves us with one of the biggest (I said biggest, not best) comeback songs in music history from Adele, the worst song on Lemonade and a song that already sounds dated in “7 Years”.

A little bit of me may have just died inside, but I’m not sure I can begrudge Adele this.

WHO SHOULD WIN – “Hello” – Adele

WHO WILL WIN – “Work” – Rihanna ft. Drake

The least curvy of curveballs from the Grammy board.

Song Of The Year

Nominations: “Formation” — Khalif Brown, Asheton Hogan, Beyoncé Knowles & Michael L. Williams II, songwriters (Beyoncé); “Hello” — Adele Adkins & Greg Kurstin, songwriters (Adele); “I Took A Pill In Ibiza” — Mike Posner, songwriter (Mike Posner); “Love Yourself” — Justin Bieber, Benjamin Levin & Ed Sheeran, songwriters (Justin Bieber); “7 Years” — Lukas Forchhammer, Stefan Forrest, Morten Pilegaard & Morten Ristorp, songwriters (Lukas Graham)

The massively different, totally not completely the same as the previous category, “Song of the Year” now. This one includes songwriters and producers so they don’t feel left out and so that most years people can go “fuck me, Ed Sheeran wrote that as well!?”.

He is involved with Love Yourself, probably the song with most longevity on this list (if you ignore the inevitability of Adele, obviously). Mike Posner’s song is so blase about drugs it references it in the title, which makes it all cool and trendy to people under the age or IQ level of 14. Don’t be surprised if that wins.

WHO SHOULD WIN – “Love Yourself” – Justin Bieber, Benjamin Levin & Ed Sheeran, songwriters (Justin Bieber)

WHO WILL WIN – “Hello” — Adele Adkins & Greg Kurstin, songwriters (Adele)

Best New Artist

Kelsea Ballerini
The Chainsmokers
Chance The Rapper
Maren Morris
Anderson .Paak

Hmm. A best new artist category that features quite a lot of not-new artists makes whoever wins this (as if that’s up for debate) enjoy a fairly hollow victory. Yes, they all fit within the Grammy’s broad criteria for new artist (less than three albums or 30 songs), but only the two country singers Kelsea Ballerini and Maren Morris feel all that “new” to me.

Chance the Rapper has done wonderful, progressive things for the music industry in 2016 (he wasn’t even eligible to receive awards before his petition to have music released free of charge eligible for Grammy’s was accepted), but he didn’t release one of the best, most enjoyable and most soulful albums of the last 12 months.

WHO SHOULD WIN – Anderson .Paak

WHO WILL WIN – Chance the Rapper

The Grammy’s make a new friend.

Best Pop Vocal Album

25 — Adele

Purpose — Justin Bieber

Dangerous Woman — Ariana Grande

Confident — Demi Lovato

This Is Acting — Sia

 

Right, I’ll try and stick to the letter of the law here. This is about vocals, this award. Production and song structure go out of the window.

Adele is a terrific vocalist, there’s no denying that, my main problem with her is that there’s nothing else to her. Biebs loses out here as he’s probably the weakest vocalist of the lot, whereas Lovato has improved on the joke she used to be, Grande is quite powerful but has shit songs, and Sia is a consistent yet mostly underwhelming performer.

I’m going to give it to the person I think sung the best for the most time on their album. Easy peasy.

WHO SHOULD WIN – 25 – Adele

WHO WILL WIN – 25 – Adele

Best Pop Solo Performance:

“Hello” — Adele
“Hold Up” — Beyonce
“Love Yourself” — Justin Bieber
“Piece By Piece (Idol Version)” — Kelly Clarkson
“Dangerous Woman” — Ariana Grande

These nominations are getting really fucking tedious in their consistency now. I can see why people like Frank Ocean don’t bother. Beyonce, Adele, Bieber +2 yet again. And in Beyonce’s case not the best song she released in terms of it’s performance capability.

Also, why the hell was an American Idol performance by Kelly fucking Clarkson nominated for a Grammy? She didn’t even finish!

WHO SHOULD WIN – “Love Yourself” – Justin Bieber

WHO WILL WIN – “Piece By Piece (Idol Version)” – Kelly Clarkson

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

“Closer” — The Chainsmokers Featuring Halsey
“7 Years” — Lukas Graham
“Work” — Rihanna Featuring Drake
“Cheap Thrills” — Sia Featuring Sean Paul
“Stressed Out” — Twenty One Pilots

This Chainsmokers song. Am I missing something that everybody else has got? Just like that song “Lean On” by Major Lazer released a couple years back, I have literally no idea how or why this is popular. It’s not that it’s bad, because it’s not, but it’s completely forgettable. It’s a room temperature glass of water kind of song in terms of exciting. My feelings on Work and Stressed Out have been made clear. There is a song on this list that I actually like though, which means it definitely won’t win.

WHO SHOULD WIN – “Cheap Thrills” – Sia ft. Sean Paul

WHO WILL WIN – “Stressed Out” – Twenty One Pilots

Best Rock Song

Blackstar” — David Bowie, songwriter (David Bowie)
Burn the Witch”  — Radiohead, songwriters (Radiohead)
Hardwired” — James Hetfield & Lars Ulrich, songwriters (Metallica)
Heathens” — Tyler Joseph, songwriter (Twenty One Pilots)
My Name Is Human” — Rich Meyer, Ryan Meyer & Johnny Stevens, songwriters (Highly Suspect)

“Meh-tallica” more like. They’ve made a career out of being incredibly dull rockstars. Heathens is loads better than Stressed Out to give it it’s dues, and My Name Is Human just sounds like an empty rock bar at 4am.

The other two, the biggest hitters, are left to duke it out. I know which I prefer, and it’s not even close

WHO SHOULD WIN – “Burn the Witch”  — Radiohead, songwriters (Radiohead)

WHO WILL WIN – “Blackstar” — David Bowie, songwriter (David Bowie)

Best Alternative Music Album

22, A Million — Bon Iver
Blackstar — David Bowie
The Hope Six Demolition Project — PJ Harvey
Post Pop Depression — Iggy Pop
A Moon Shaped Pool — Radiohead

Quite an odd assemblage of what the Grammy’s consider “alternative” music for 2016. Bon Iver maybe, it was experimental even for Justin Vernon standards, but the rest are just rock albums. Yes, you could argue that there was a tad more left-field work from Bowie, Harvey, Iggy and Radiohead, but these are all massively established names in music, of course they’ve branched out to new sounds.

 

On the nominations, there isn’t a bad one here. I don’t particularly like Blackstar all that much, as I’ve explained before it feels like you need to contextualize the situation of Bowie and his death before listening it to get the maximum from it, when the music should be strong enough on its own. That’s not to say it’s not a solid album, just unspectacular.

 

It’s genuinely a tough one to call, this.

 

WHO SHOULD WIN – 22, A Million – Bon Iver

WHO WILL WIN – Blackstar- David Bowie

If Bowie wasn’t dead it would be going to Iggy Pop though.

Best Urban Contemporary Album

Lemonade — Beyoncé
Ology — Gallant
We Are King — KING
Malibu — Anderson .Paak
Anti — Rihanna

Fair fucks to Beyonce, she has nine nominations across a number of genres in the awards this year, and that isn’t easy. It’s a genuinely good piece of work, Lemonade. Anti, is, if you’ll forgive the pun, the antithesis of that. Just a bunch of turds rolled in some glitter.

I’ve already declared my love for Anderson .Paak’s Malibu, though, and I won’t change my mind on that. The guy who made Dr. Dre’s Compton as good as it was stood on his own two feet and then some in 2016.

WHO SHOULD WIN – Malibu – Anderson .Paak

WHO WILL WIN – Lemonade – Beyonce

Best Rap Performance

“No Problem” — Chance The Rapper Featuring Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz
“Panda” —Desiigner
“Pop Style” — Drake Featuring The Throne
“All The Way Up” — Fat Joe & Remy Ma Featuring French Montana & Infared
“That Part” — ScHoolboy Q Featuring Kanye West

Traaaaaaaaaaash. How on Earth did the Grammy’s manage to fill the Best Rap Performance with such utter fucking French Montana levels of garbage?

Pop Style!? “Got so many chains look like Chain-ing Tatum” is one of the corniest lines in rap history, whereas That Part is a deflated banger.

Fuck it, give it to the new kid (an actual newcomer)

WHO SHOULD WIN – “Panda” – Desiigner

WHO WILL WIN – “No Problem” — Chance The Rapper Featuring Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz

Best Rap/Sung Performance

Freedom” — Beyoncé Featuring Kendrick Lamar
Hotline Bling” — Drake
Broccoli” — D.R.A.M. Featuring Lil Yachty
Ultralight Beam” — Kanye West Featuring Chance The Rapper, Kelly Price, Kirk Franklin & The-Dream
Famous” — Kanye West Featuring Rihanna

This is more like it. Actual huge hits that have a semblance of credibility, and a song featuring Lil Yachty. We’ll ignore that blemish, let Kendrick Lamar get overlooked once again and realise that one of these nominations is one of the biggest “rap” songs for years.

WHO SHOULD WIN – “Ultralight Beam” — Kanye West Featuring Chance The Rapper, Kelly Price, Kirk Franklin & The-Dream

WHO WILL WIN – “Hotline Bling” — Drake

Best Rap Song

All The Way Up” — Joseph Cartagena, Edward Davadi, Shandel Green, Karim Kharbouch, Andre Christopher Lyon, Reminisce Mackie & Marcello Valenzano, songwriters (Fat Joe & Remy Ma Featuring French Montana & Infared)
Famous” — Chancelor Bennett, Ross Birchard, Ernest Brown, Andrew Dawson, Kasseem Dean, Mike Dean, Noah Goldstein, Kejuan Muchita, Patrick Reynolds, Kanye West & Cydel Young, songwriters (Kanye West Featuring Rihanna)
Hotline Bling” — Aubrey Graham & Paul Jefferies, songwriters (Drake)
No Problem” — Chancelor Bennett, Dwayne Carter & Tauheed Epps, songwriters (Chance The Rapper Featuring Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz)
Ultralight Beam” — Chancelor Bennett, Kasseem Dean, Mike Dean, Kirk Franklin, Noah Goldstein, Samuel Griesemer, Terius Nash, Jerome Potter, Kelly Price, Nico “Donnie Trumpet” Segal, Derek Watkins, Kanye West & Cydel Young, songwriters (Kanye West Featuring Chance The Rapper, Kelly Price, Kirk Franklin & The-Dream)

Seriously Grammys, you have nearly 90 bloody awards to give out, it’s time to streamline and stop this Song/Performance nonsense. It doesn’t make any sense to keep having an extra award in each genre so that at least three songs can get two nominations instead of one. All this one does is boost the word count with some seriously bloated amount of songwriters.

I guess to give these awards some form of importance, the same song can’t win both awards. Even though that makes this award even more nonsensical than it already is.

I’m picking the song that has the best rapping on it.

WHO SHOULD WIN – “No Problem” — Chancelor Bennett, Dwayne Carter & Tauheed Epps, songwriters (Chance The Rapper Featuring Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz)

WHO WILL WIN – “Ultralight Beam” — Chancelor Bennett, Kasseem Dean, Mike Dean, Kirk Franklin, Noah Goldstein, Samuel Griesemer, Terius Nash, Jerome Potter, Kelly Price, Nico “Donnie Trumpet” Segal, Derek Watkins, Kanye West & Cydel Young, songwriters (Kanye West Featuring Chance The Rapper, Kelly Price, Kirk Franklin & The-Dream)

Not even a fucking rap song.

Best Rap Album

Coloring Book — Chance The Rapper
And the Anonymous Nobody — De La Soul
Major Key — DJ Khaled
Views — Drake
Blank Face LP — ScHoolboy Q
The Life of Pablo — Kanye West

Why does this have six nominees instead of five? Why am I trying to grasp any sense out of these crazy awards?

Especially surprised but happy to see De La Soul within this list, even though ScHoolboy Q’s nod is the real shock (West Coast rappers are incredibly underrepresented at the Grammys. For example, Tupac never won one).

I’m going to pretend that DJ Khaled hasn’t been nominated because he only has been so that his (I’m being serious here) army of 15-year old fans might watch.

As much as Chance is going to be loved by the Grammy’s forever more, I think this is a step too far. Which leaves a shoot-out between the two biggest rappers right now, and neither of which will even be there.

Thanks Obama.

WHO SHOULD WIN – The Life of Pablo — Kanye West

WHO WILL WIN – Views — Drake

Best Music Video

“Formation” — Beyoncé
“River” — Leon Bridges
“Up & Up” — Coldplay
“Gosh” — Jamie XX
“Upside Down & Inside Out” — OK Go

I don’t watch music videos, but I will give these a go and get back to you…

Formation is artsy, well put together and looks like it cost a fortune.

River was my song of the year for 2015 so I’m happy to see it nominated for something, even if it is the medium I tend not to digest music. Not sure what was so special about the video to get it nominated, really.

It kind of hurts to say but Coldplay’s is pretty cool, made me experience vertigo quite a bit though.

Jamie xx’s is absolute nonsense but it has a sort of gritty outlook that I quite like. Not how I imagined a music video for that song going though.

The OK Go video is gimmicky nonsense, and they had to say they were in zero gravity at the start as some sort of humblebrag. I’m not impressed.

WHO SHOULD WIN – “Gosh” – Jamie XX

WHO WILL WIN – “Formation” – Beyonce

ONE OF THE GREATEST MUSIC VIDEOS OF ALLLL TIIIIME

Enjoy the Grammys.

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