Entertainment » Music

Get Ready for Another Male-Dominated Grammy’s

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Friday Jan 24, 2014
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Last year’s Grammy Awards came under a bit of criticism for ignoring female artists -- all the nominees for Album of the Year were men. But it looks like the 56th Annual Grammy Awards, which airs Sunday Jan. 24 on CBS at 8 p.m. EST, will be somewhat more inclusive as a decent percentage of female artists have been nominated in major categories.

Despite the incredible albums and songs released by Taylor Swift, Sara Bareilles, Lorde, Katy Perry and others, it’s likely Macklemore & Ryan Lewis will dominate this year’s music awards. Jay Z has the most nods, he has nine, but none are in the major categories, JT and the rap duo have a close seven, as do rapper Kendrick Lamar and rapper/producer Pharrell Williams.

If anything, this year’s Grammy Awards has more than the usual rap and R&B nominations. Timberlake, Mackelmore, Lamar, Jay Z, Robin Thicke, Bruno Mars and James Blake are all up for major awards.


Vampire Weekend  

Then there are the infamous snubs. The Grammy Awards have never been a barometer of what is cool or interesting in music, often giving awards to older classic artists like Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen and ignoring up and coming edgy acts. This year, the officials behind the nominations left Kanye West’s epic "Yeezus" out of the major categories, though they did nominate it for the boxed-in Best Rap Album of the Year spot. Vampire Weekend’s "Modern Vampires of City" was nominated for Best Alternative Album of the Year but not Best Album of the Year -- despite it reaching No. 1 on Billboard 200 and landing on several end year lists for 2013.

But the Grammy Awards did get some things right, nominating Daft Punk’s "Random Access Memories
and Taylor Swift’s "Red" for Album of the Year, Daft Punk’s "Get Lucky" and Lorde’s "Royals" for Record of the Year and Mackelmore’s marriage equality jam "Same Love" for Song of the Year. Also, unlike the Oscars, Lana Del Rey’s "Young and Beautiful" is up for a Grammy for Best Song Written for Visual Media for the 2013 film "The Great Gatsby." The Grammy Awards are also nodding Ariel Rechtshaid, one of the best producers today, who has worked on songs by Haim, Vampire Weekend, Sky Ferreira, Snoop Lion, Charli XCX, Major Lazer and Justin Bieber.

Here we are handicapping some of the major awards. We will predict who will win and who should win.


Daft Punk  

Record of the Year

Nominees:

Daft Punk - "Get Lucky" [ft. Pharrell Williams]
Imagine Dragons - "Radioactive"
Lorde - "Royals"
Bruno Mars - "Locked Out of Heaven"
Robin Thicke - "Blurred Lines" [ft. T.I. and Pharrell Williams]

(Most people are confused on what the difference is between Record of the Year and Song of the Year. So before we move on, let’s clear it up: Record of the Year is given to an artist who performs the song and the people who produce the track; but Song of the Year is also given to the person who initially wrote the track. Subtle differences, but they apparently matter.)

Who Will Win: It’s a tough call - "Get Lucky," "Blurred Lines" and "Royals" all dominated hard this year and are still fresh in many of our memories but "Locked Out of Heaven" feels like a Grammy favorite, the award show favors Mars, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him take the award home. It’s safe to say "Radioactive" won’t win.

Who Should Win: "Get Lucky." It was Daft Punk’s epic come back single and the song of the summer. It wasn’t as icky as "Blurred Lines" and not as controversial as "Royals." Despite its social context, "Get Lucky" is just a lot of fun by a band that hasn’t had a No. 1 hit since 2000’s "One More Time."


Taylor Swift  

Album of the Year

Nominees:

Sara Bareilles - "The Blessed Unrest"
Daft Punk - "Random Access Memories"
Kendrick Lamar - "Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City"
Mackelmore & Ryan Lewis - "The Heist"
Taylor Swift - "Red"

Who Will Win: It will be between Taylor Swift and Mackelmore for the biggest category of the night. Swift has an impressive fan base, has sold mind-blowing amounts of LPs and is an award show darling. But Macklemore has had an impressive few years, skyrocketing in popularity and promoting marriage equality with "Same Love." A rap album hasn’t won Album of the Year since 2004 when OutKast won for "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below," so it may be about time another wins.

Who Should Win: Taylor Swift’s "Red." It’s an incredible album and a personal all-time favorite. A close second would be "Random Access Memories" but "Red" is Swift’s best record and should be awarded.


Bruno Mars  

Song of the Year

Nominees:

Pink - "Just Give Me a Reason" [ft. Nate Ruess]
Bruno Mars - "Locked Out of Heaven"
Katy Perry - "Roar"
Lorde - "Royals"
Mackelmore & Ryan Lewis - "Same Love"

Who Will Win: If Mars doesn’t nab an award for Record of the Year, he will for Song of the Year. Otherwise, "Same Love" or "Royals" have a good chance, though I have an inkling Lorde will get the award.

Who Should Win: "Royals" or "Same Love" are both fantastic songs for different reasons. The fact that a weird song by a weird 16-year-old New Zealand singer made such a big impact in the U.S. is amazing, but if "Same Love" wins, it will send a pretty important message.


Macklemore  

Best New Artist

Nominees:

James Blake
Kendrick Lamar
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Kacey Musgraves
Ed Sheeran

Who Will Win: Most definitely Mackelmore & Ryan Lewis.
Who Should Win: Kacey Musgraves, a country singer that is giving T Swift a run for her money. Her songs are raw, gritty and real and her voice is lovely. It would also be great to see British alternative and electronic R&B musician James Blake take the award home, but Lamar has a better chance.


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