The 51st Annual Grammy Awards: The Big Four (Staff Predictions)

We continue Grammy week coverage with our predictions on the General Field categories for this year’s ceremony.

Record Of The Year

  • “Chasing Pavements,” Adele
  • “Viva La Vida,” Coldplay   (Blake, Lynn)
  • “Bleeding Love,” Leona Lewis
  • “Paper Planes,” M.I.A.
  • “Please Read The Letter,” Robert Plant & Alison Krauss  (Dan, Kevin)
Blake: In recent history, Record of the Year (and its close cousin, Song of the Year) rewards diva-tude (Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Amy Winehouse) or dead dudes (Warren Zevon, Ray Charles) on the tote board. This year, the only nominee in that equation is Simon Cowell prodigy (and Mariah Carey incarnate), Leona Lewis.  Her ubiquitous “Bleeding Love” dominated VH1 all year, but if “We Belong Together” and “Be Without You” launched unsuccessful bids, Lewis’ chances are next-to-nil.  Pineapple Express anthem “Planes” is too trigger-happy for Grammy voters. This comes down to veteran British forever rock god (Plant) and British wannabe rock god (Chris Martin), with Apple’s daddy the slight fave.

Dan: I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see “Viva La Vida” triumph, but something tells me the older voters will squeak Plant & Krauss to a win here. Coldplay took this award home for “Clocks” when theirs was the tamest song in the category, but now P&K have that distinction.

Kevin: I have serious trouble betting against a Grammy favorite and an overdue legend.  I think that Plant and Krauss will sweep all of their categories.

Lynn: I will be shocked if “Viva La Vida” does not win this category. I haven’t encountered such a universally loved/admired song in a long time.

Album Of The Year

  • Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends, Coldplay
  • Tha Carter III, Lil Wayne
  • Year Of The Gentleman, Ne-Yo
  • Raising Sand, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss   (Blake, Dan, Kevin, Lynn)
  • In Rainbows, Radiohead

Dan: Unless there is a remarkable groundswell of support for Coldplay (who everyone kinda-sorta likes, especially after “Viva La Vida”) or Radiohead (who famously let their fans decide how much to pay for this album, creating quite a bit of “future of music” buzz in the industry), I think the all-around appeal of Plant and Krauss will carry them to victory here.

Kevin: Overdue legend plus Grammy favorite equals easy win.  I wish I had something more profound to say, but I simply can’t imagine this race going any other way.  They can look forward to a big sales boost next week.

Lynn: Oh no. Now I’m woefully out of my depth. I’ll admit that I have not heard the Ne-Yo, Lil Wayne or Radiohead albums in their entirety, but based on what I’ve heard and the buzz in the air, this one is probably a toss up between Coldplay and Alison Krauss & Robert Plant, leaning towards the latter.

Blake: The Plant/Krauss combo is irresistible, but this year seems to mark the arrival of Coldplay as The Greatest Rock Band in the World. To keep Bono’s spirit alive in the top categories (U2 producer Brian Eno steered the ship on Vida), voters will want to award them. Plant/Krauss, though, are slight favorites.

Song Of The Year

  • “American Boy”, William Adams, Keith Harris, Josh Lopez, Caleb Speir, John Stephens, Estelle Swaray & Kanye West (Estelle Featuring Kanye West)
  • “Chasing Pavements,” (Adele)
  • “I’m Yours,” Jason Mraz (Jason Mraz)  (Kevin)
  • “Love Song,” Sara Bareilles (Sara Bareilles)
  • “Viva La Vida,” Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, Will Champion & Chris Martin (Coldplay)   (Blake, Dan, Lynn)

Kevin: John Mayer won this award for “Daughters.”  Bono won it for “Sometimes You Just Can’t Make it On Your Own.”  Jason Mraz fits that profile nicely.

Lynn: I’m going to have to go with “Viva La Vida” again.

Blake: Voters will likely share my natural allergic reaction to any song listing more than three writers (Goodbye, “American Boy.”). “Love Song” reminds me of Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles”; both are ridiculously catchy piano ballads that serve as the first and soon-to-be only claims to fame for the songstresses involved. Coldplay is the clear winner.

Dan: Plagiarism allegations aside, “Viva La Vida” is easily the most substantive song among these five, and voters will reward that.

Best New Artist

  • Adele
  • Duffy (Kevin)
  • Jonas Brothers  (Blake, Dan, Lynn)
  • Lady Antebellum
  • Jazmine Sullivan

Lynn: Although Adele and Duffy are the top bananas here, I don’t know if Grammy voters will want to reward an Amy Winehouse-esque British act so soon after last year’s haul.  Therefore, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Jonas Brothers walk away with this one in a lame attempt by the recording academy to be relevant to younger listeners (who are still buying albums).

Blake: Best New Artist 2009 is all about the trio. A trio of Brit chantueses (Where are you, Leona Lewis?) all feature in this category, treading the same water as last year’s winner, Winehouse. The Music Row trio Lady Antebellum has already gained the respect of the fickle folks of Nashville. But smart money is on the Disney dynamos.

Dan: Them Jonases are easily the most popular, and that’s bound to count for something. But the fact that Adele scored so many big (and mostly deserved) nominations may make her the logical choice for voters who don’t want to reward a Disney act, so she’s a good dark horse.

Kevin: Jonas Brothers could win this. After all, LeAnn Rimes and Christina Aguilera are former winners.  But they had another advantage besides being teen phenoms.  This category has long favored female artists.  Adele is the one with the most critical acclaim, but Duffy and Jazmine Sullivan have the most career momentum.  Tough call, but I’m thinking this one will go to Duffy.

1 Comment

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