Sunday, February 12, 2012

Should Win/Will Win: The 2012 Grammies: The Big Four

Tonight marks the 54th annual Grammy Awards on the somber note of Whitney Houston's death. As sad as that news was, the show must and will go on. We still have a year of music that deserves celebration.

I will try my best to determine who will win in the Big Four and will involve a little of my personal opinion as to who should win. However, if last year's Album of the Year upset by Arcade Fire was any indication, you really don't stand much of a chance of predicting the winner for any award in the Big Four even though you do have a 20% chance.

I will start with Best New Artist:
The Band Perry
Bon Iver
J. Cole
Nicki Minaj

Who should win: Bon Iver. While Bon Iver made more of a splash on Kanye West's most recent solo effort, he is the indie darling of these awards much like Arcade Fire was last year, but much more dominant in that Justin Vernon and co. were nominated for three of the Big Four awards. It's gonna be hard to bet against him not winning one of the Big Four and this one seems to be the most likely.

Who will win: Skrillex in an upset. Something that you'll realize when looking at this category is that this is the award most likely to have upsets (Esperanza Spalding defeating Drake and Justin Bieber last year and Marc Cohn's (The guy that sang that "Walking in Memphis" song) 1992 win upstaging Boyz II Men). I just think this is going to be yet another year where Bon Iver, J. Cole and Nicki Minaj cancel each other out and Skrillex and the entire dubstep genre will be the beneficiary.

Record of the Year:
Adele - Rolling In the Deep
Bon Iver - Holocene
Bruno Mars - Grenade
Mumford & Sons - The Cave
Katy Perry - Firework

Who should win: Adele - Rolling in the Deep. As if that weren't obvious. But you know something, as amazing as Adele's year is, I don't see her sweeping her six Grammy nominations, much like Norah Jones did when she swept the Big Four awards in 2003.

Who will win: Katy Perry - Firework. The indie darlings Bon Iver and Mumford & Sons cancel each other out and as strong as Bruno's Grenade was, it's going to be between Adele and Katy Perry and Katy squeaks a victory. If there is any category in the Big Four that Adele is likely to lose out on, it's this one.

Song of the Year:
Kanye featuring damn near everybody - All of the Lights
Mumford & Sons - The Cave
Bruno Mars - Grenade
Bon Iver - Holocene
Adele - Rolling in the Deep

Who should win: Adele - Rolling in the Deep. Again, there's not a big surprise here. Adele should roll through the competition in this category.

Who will win: Adele - Rolling in the Deep. Kanye may actually be the strongest competition in this category, seeing as he wasn't in the Record of the Year category. This will be a category to watch, but I think Adele wins here.

And finally, the big one. Album of the Year:
Adele - 21
Foo Fighters - Wasting Light
Lady Gaga - Born This Way
Bruno Mars - Doo Wops & Hooligans
Rihanna - Loud

Who should win: Adele - 21. No album sold within the past year has come even close. No album has had as much artist praise as 21 either. When looking at a record in the world of social media, I tend to pay attention to what other artists say and while there are strong candidates, nothing tops 21. It shouldn't be any other way, really. While I would love as a rock fan if Wasting Light pulled off a great upset here, again, it is Adele's year. Even Dave Grohl praised the work of 21 in a recent Billboard interview.

Who will win: Adele - 21. If she doesn't, I can sense a riot coming on. It wouldn't seem fair to deny Adele the album of the year when it's pretty much saved the music industry in the past year. Distribution of physical albums has been down, but that hasn't stopped Adele from selling 100,000 albums a week pretty much all of 2012. The sales and praise make it hard to bet against Adele in any category let alone this one, but somehow, I don't see her sweeping her six nominations. She will win amongst the most for any artist though.

I didn't put money on the Super Bowl and I'll be damned if I start betting on these awards now, but I hope that I'm somewhat accurate.

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