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BY HANNAH ELLIOT, Robinson High
Grammy season is here, with Sunday marking the 55th year of the Grammy Awards. This event is no MTV Music Video or Teen Choice Awards; the Grammys are really the big kid of music honors. Any musician is flattered to receive a Grammy nomination, but it isn’t the ultimate indicator of quality by any means, because it’s impossible to recognize everyone. Grammy nominations usually go to people who master that balance between popularity and musical talent while staying away from gimmicks. Who a Grammy is actually given to is another story. Here are my predictions for some of the bigger categories:
Record of the Year
Given to the artist who performs the song and the people who produce the track (not to be confused with Song of the Year, which goes to the songwriter who is not always the performer).
Nominees: The Black Keys, Lonely Boy; Kelly Clarkson, Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You); Fun. featuring Janelle Monáe, We Are Young; Gotye featuring Kimbra, Somebody That I Used to Know; Frank Ocean, Thinkin Bout You; Taylor Swift, We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.
Who should win: The Black Keys. These musicians are consistent and their song is the epitome of the group’s immense musical success and talent that goes beyond the one song nominated. Gotye doesn’t belong in this category because, though Somebody That I Used to Know became a quasi-anthem, it was a complete one-off.
Who will win: The Grammy will go to either Fun. or Taylor Swift. No idea why Kelly Clarkson is nominated; I didn’t even think anyone liked her anymore. No way she will win. Fun. made a huge leap this year in their career, and this song will be stuck in our heads till the day we die; it would be a fair win. Tay Swizzle is the most mainstream popular, and her dominance could snag this award.
Album of the Year
The most prestigious award of the night, the one that keeps viewers watching, will be worth the wait. The category is dominated by the indie turned mainstream, so they are all kind of in the same boat.
Nominees: The Black Keys, El Camino; Fun., Some Nights; Mumford & Sons, Babel; Frank Ocean, Channel Orange; Jack White, Blunderbuss.
Who should win: Fun. worked hard in the past year. Before the band was pushed into the limelight after being featured on Glee, they were touring and making their name, just on a smaller stage. They haven’t changed their sound, or their image, since becoming more widely known and they didn’t need to change anything to get famous, and that is why they are worthy for a win.
Who will win: The Black Keys have this in the bag. They are the band everyone loves to love. To me they seem like bullies who act like they are better than everyone, but are just in denial of the fact that they are now mainstreamers, too. The album is undeniably good, therefore the ego is acceptable, I suppose.
Best New Artist
Watch this category, because it’s the starting point for legends. Each person in this group of nominees is on his/her way to the big-time, especially the winner. Adele won Best New Artist in 2009 and now look at her.
Nominees: The Alabama Shakes, Fun., Hunter Hayes, the Lumineers, Frank Ocean
Who should win: From a purely musical standpoint, this award should go to the Alabama Shakes. They got the nomination for their music, not for their image. They are making the music they want to, and they aren’t trying to push a particular image. They are the biggest underdogs in this category, and that could end up hurting or helping them.
Who will win: I’m predicting Fun. because not only were they successful with one song, they produced a consistently good album and their modest presence in the music world lately is admirable. I also could see the Alabama Shakes winning since they are the least known and the Grammys like to pick the littler guys to show it isn’t a popularity game.
Song of the Year
Goes to the songwriters — a nice reminder of who writes their own songs. These are the biggest and baddest songs to litter the radio waves, the hardest to get out of our heads.
Nominees: Ed Sheeran, The A Team; Miguel, Adorn; Carly Rae Jepsen, Call Me Maybe; Kelly Clarkson, Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You); Fun., We Are Young.
Who should win: I have the biggest soft spot for Ed Sheeran, and I think once he performs at the Grammys the rest of the world will develop one, too. Right after news of the nomination got to him, he tweeted “A team. A song I wrote with no home, no money, anything …” If that doesn’t melt your heart, I don’t know what would.
Who will win: Call Me Maybe is going to go down in the books as one of the most popular songs of all time, or at least a staple for our generation. So if that is reason enough for it to win, then it will. It doesn’t stand out for its quality, but the ability it has to stay in your head is enough for it to grab the Grammy.
Best Pop Vocal Album
These albums basically are the ones everyone buys because they like the one song that was really popular.
Nominees: Kelly Clarkson, Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You); Florence and the Machine, Ceremonials; Fun., Some Nights; Maroon 5, Overexposed; Pink, The Truth About Love.
Who should win: Florence and the Machine has the most unusual album on this list, with her great voice that needs neither Auto-Tune nor extensive sound engineering. The album isn’t traditional teeny-bopper music and that is why it deserves to win.
Who will win: I’m sensing Kelly Clarkson because the Grammy people wouldn’t give her four big nominations and let her strike out. There is no slam dunk winner on this list, so Clarkson will steal it.
WATCH: The 55th Grammy Awards, Sunday at 8 p.m. on CBS.