It’s time to do the Great Swami predictions for the Grammy Awards, and while I have some clear favorites, this year seems to be just a tad more difficult to predict, due to some bizarre wins over the past few years. I’ll give it a go here, but please let me know what you all think.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Alison Krauss & Robert Plant, Raising Sand (Prediction)
Coldplay, Viva La Vida (Pick)
Ne-Yo, Year Of The Gentleman
Lil Wayne, Tha Carter III
Radiohead, In Rainbows
While I gave the Ne-Yo CD a great review this past year, I just feel like he’s in over his head in this category. Lil Wayne pulled a great collection of tracks together, and Radiohead did their thing, but I really think this is going to be between the ubiquitous Coldplay and the critical darlings Krauss & Plant. The Nashville voting block has become much stronger over the past few years, so Raising Sand gets the edge.
BEST NEW ARTIST
Adele (Prediction) (Pick)
The Jonas Brothers
My concerns of Adele and Duffy canceling each other out have faded, as Adele’s popularity peaked at exactly the right time. Everyone else’s efforts really feel like debuts, while Adele’s 19 has the soul of a veteran, and should triumph.
RECORD OF THE YEAR
Adele, “Chasing Pavements”
Coldplay, “Viva La Vida” (Pick)
Leona Lewis, “Bleeding Love”
M.I.A., “Paper Planes” (Prediction)
Robert Plant and Alison Kraus, “Please Read The Letter”
Since Record of the Year addresses production, you really have to give credit to Coldplay, who took their usual formula and gave it enough of a tweak to result in a truly uplifting record, but I have a hunch that M.I.A. will be the hipster pick of the night.
SONG OF THE YEAR
“American Boy,” William Adams, Keith Harris, Josh Lopez, Caleb Speir, John Stephens, Estelle Swaray & Kanye West, songwriters
“Chasing Pavements,” Adele Adkins & Eg White, songwriters (Pick)
“I’m Yours,” Jason Mraz, songwriter
“Love Song,” Sara Bareilles, songwriter
“Viva La Vida,” Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, Will Champion & Chris Martin, songwriters (Prediction)
The hardest category for me to pick, since all of the songs on this list appeared on my Top Songs of 2007 and 2008. From a songwriter’s standpoint, voters will be hard-pressed to vote for Estelle’s seven songwriters. I’m not sure that Adele and Sara have enough clout with their records, so the prediction comes down to Coldplay and Jason Mraz. Edge definitely goes to Coldplay, although Mraz was still on the radio when the voters got their ballots.
And to mix things up a bit…
BEST DANCE RECORDING
Daft Punk, “Harder Better Faster Stronger” (Prediction)
Hot Chip, “Ready For The Floor”
Lady Gaga & Colby O’Donis, “Just Dance”
Madonna, “Give It 2 Me” (Pick)
Sam Sparro, “Black & Gold”
With Kanye’s “Stronger” having been everywhere at the end of 2007, I fear that this live version of Daft Punk will get the nomination, but for my money, the true dance song on the list is Madonna. Having said all of this, Sam’s record seemed to be the hip “go-to” record at wildly different concerts throughout the year, so I’m wondering if there might not be an edge in there.
BEST ELECTRONIC/DANCE ALBUM
Brazilian Girls, New York City
Daft Punk, Alive 2007
Cyndi Lauper, Bring Ya To The Brink (Pick) (Prediction)
Kylie Minogue, X
Moby, Last Night
Y’all know I love me some Robyn, and the album is terrific, but Cyndi’s record IS a dance album. Brilliant album, and should grab the Grammy. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Kylie pick this up, though. Dance seems to be the only category she can win in.