Grammy 2010 Staff Picks & Predictions

Even in Grammy’s darkest hours, CU brings its picking powers!

- Superhero television show about our blog from the 50′s.

We won’t be live-blogging this time around, but will be reacting to the show in a full post tomorrow, and welcome your reactions in comments on this post. The awards telecast starts at 8 pm Eastern, and I imagine there will be some red carpet action in the hour prior.

Record of the Year

Picks

  • Beyonce, “Halo” – Kevin
  • Black Eyed Peas, “I Gotta Feeling”
  • Kings of Leon, “Use Somebody” - Tara
  • Lady GaGa, “Poker Face” - Dan
  • Taylor Swift, “You Belong with Me”

Predictions

  • Beyonce, “Halo”
  • Black Eyed Peas, “I Gotta Feeling”
  • Kings of Leon, “Use Somebody” – Kevin, Dan, Tara
  • Lady GaGa, “Poker Face”
  • Taylor Swift, “You Belong with Me”

Kevin: Am I wrong for preferring Eric Cartman’s rendition of “Poker Face” over the original? This is a pretty lightweight slate of contenders. I really like “Halo”, but I suspect Kings of Leon will win, simply because it’s the only rock song in a lineup of pop hits.

Dan: “Poker Face” just feels very representative of popular music in 2009. I wouldn’t whine if it got passed over so that “Bad Romance” could take this award next year, though.

Tara: I would’ve pulled for “Single Ladies” in a heartbeat had it been submitted, but “Use Somebody” is just as deserving of this award. It’s a fantastic song even outside the context of its moment in pop culture, and it’s the kind of larger-than-life song that the voters have picked to win in the past.

Album of the Year

Picks

  • Beyonce, I Am…Sasha Fierce
  • Black Eyed Peas, The E.N.D.
  • Lady GaGa, The Fame Kevin, Tara
  • Dave Matthews Band, Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King
  • Taylor Swift, Fearless - Dan

Predictions

  • Beyonce, I Am…Sasha Fierce
  • Black Eyed Peas, The E.N.D.
  • Lady GaGa, The Fame
  • Dave Matthews Band, Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King - Kevin
  • Taylor Swift, Fearless - Dan, Tara

Kevin: I’d like to see dance music get some respect in the big category, even if there are a half-dozen Madonna albums at this point that would’ve been worthier winners than The Fame. Again, I think the Top 40 votes are going to be split, leaving Dave Matthews Band the winners.

Dan: In little over a year, Fearless has grown from success story to cultural artifact. It’s that rare pop album that seems to have a personality all its own, like Jagged Little Pill in a yellow sundress (and sung about as well). I could see anyone but the Peas taking this, but I think Swift’s support in both Nashville and the Top 40 crowd will take her to the top.

Tara: I have to say I was fairly shocked to see Swift’s truckload of Grammy nominations, so I’m having a little trouble wrapping my mind around the Academy’s thought process – but, I suppose a Swift win in this category is inevitable. However, I fully back Lady GaGa, who is the perfect storm of creativity, vision, swagger and raw vocal talent (remember that, pop world?).

Song of the Year

Picks

  • “Poker Face”, Lady GaGa & RedOne
  • “Pretty Wings”, Hod David & Musze
  • “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)”, Thaddis Harrell, Beyoncé Knowles, Terius Nash & Christopher Stewart
  • “Use Somebody”, Caleb Followill, Jared Followill, Matthew Followill & Nathan Followill- Kevin, Dan, Tara
  • “You Belong With Me”, Liz Rose & Taylor Swift

Predictions

  • “Poker Face”, Lady GaGa & RedOne
  • “Pretty Wings”, Hod David & Musze
  • “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)”, Thaddis Harrell, Beyoncé Knowles, Terius Nash & Christopher Stewart
  • “Use Somebody”, Caleb Followill, Jared Followill, Matthew Followill & Nathan Followill
  • “You Belong With Me”, Liz Rose & Taylor Swift – Kevin, Dan, Tara

Kevin: I think this is Swift’s best chance in the Big Three categories, given how much respect she commands as a songwriter.

Dan: I have no idea what some of the lyrics in “Use Somebody” are about, but that hook is just classic. I agree that Swift will probably take this one, though.

Tara: I think I speak for many when I say this is the kind of category in which Swift deserves to be recognized and rewarded. Though I wouldn’t agree, I’d be happy to see her take this.

Best New Artist:

  • Zac Brown Band
  • Keri Hilson
  • MGMT
  • Silversun Pickups
  • The Ting Tings

Zac Brown Band. ‘Nuff said.

Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals

Picks

  • Rosanne Cash & Bruce Springsteen, “Sea of Heartbreak” – Leeann, Kevin
  • Ciara & Justin Timberlake, “Love Sex Magic”
  • Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat, “Lucky”
  • Willie Nelson & Norah Jones, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” - Dan, Tara
  • Taylor Swift & Colbie Caillat, “Breathe”

Predictions

  • Rosanne Cash & Bruce Springsteen, “Sea of Heartbreak”
  • Ciara & Justin Timberlake, “Love Sex Magic”
  • Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat, “Lucky”
  • Willie Nelson & Norah Jones, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” – Kevin, Dan, Tara
  • Taylor Swift & Colbie Caillat, “Breathe” - Leeann

Kevin: Love the Cash/Springsteen combo, but I think Nelson and Jones are most likely to hit that Grammy sweet spot. They already have sixteen awards between them.

Leeann: I almost chose Nelson/Jones, but Cash/Springsteen edges them out due to their chill vocal vibe. I predict that Taylor Swift will actually win the award, though, for reasons that are probably obvious.

Dan: You need warm, quirky voices to do “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” justice, and Nelson/Jones fit the bill nicely.

Tara: I’ve always adored the song, and Nelson and Jones’ collaboration is simply delicious. Shout out to JT, though, whose presence in the pop music industry is sorely missed.

Best Female Country Performance

Picks

  • Miranda Lambert, “Dead Flowers”
  • Martina McBride, “I Just Call You Mine”
  • Taylor Swift, “White Horse”
  • Carrie Underwood, “Just A Dream” – Kevin, Tara
  • Lee Ann Womack, “Solitary Thinkin’” – Leeann, Dan

Predictions

  • Miranda Lambert, “Dead Flowers”
  • Martina McBride, “I Just Call You Mine”
  • Taylor Swift, “White Horse” - Leeann
  • Carrie Underwood, “Just A Dream” – Kevin, Dan, Tara
  • Lee Ann Womack, “Solitary Thinkin’”

Kevin: A Swift sweep could lift her to victory here, but I have trouble imagining Underwood’s powerhouse performance losing to one of Swift’s lesser-known hits, especially given Underwood’s undefeated run in this category.

Leeann: While Carrie Underwood probably deserves it, I would be a fool not to just assume that Swift would pick up this award. However, I’d love to see Lee Ann Womack win it with one of the few songs that I truly enjoy of hers. I’ve always liked Womack’s voice, so I’m excited when she sings a song that I like equally as much.

Dan: None of these singles ever made much of an impression on me, so it’s hard to care much about the performances. But I think Womack’s has the most interesting phrasing. I’d like to see her yank one from the Underwood Grammy Love hoard. Really, anyone would be fine; I just don’t want Miranda to win, since “Dead Flowers” is one of her weakest singles.

Tara: I like “Solitary Thinkin’” and “Just a Dream” equally, but Underwood delivers the more compelling performance, and I think it’ll go down as one of the most memorable moments of her career. She seems to be the country voters’ current Grammy darling, considering her undeserved win last year, so I hesitantly predict she’ll continue her winning streak – barring a Swift sweep.

Best Male Country Performance

Picks

  • Trace Adkins, “All I Ask For Anymore”
  • Billy Currington, “People Are Crazy”
  • Jamey Johnson, “High Cost of Living” - Leeann, Tara
  • George Strait, “Living For The Night”- Kevin, Dan
  • Keith Urban, “Sweet Thing”

Predictions

  • Trace Adkins, “All I Ask For Anymore”
  • Billy Currington, “People Are Crazy”
  • Jamey Johnson, “High Cost of Living” – Leeann
  • George Strait, “Living For The Night” – Dan
  • Keith Urban, “Sweet Thing” – Kevin, Tara

Kevin: I’m pulling for Strait’s first win in this category, but given that Urban’s won this twice and the other four have yet to win, I’m guessing he’s the favorite.

Leeann: Jamey Johnson’s vocal performance is as hard scrabble as the song itself, which is why I believe it deserves to win. Since Johnson is a critical favorite, I think he has a good chance with the Academy as well.

Dan: I’m tempted to go for Urban, who is charming as ever in his cut. But Strait elevated a pretty rote song, and he’s overdue in this category.

Tara: The only song I actually enjoy is Adkins’, but I recognize that Johnson’s is the strongest. Like Kevin, though, I think Urban is the favorite among the voters, similar to Underwood in the female category.

Best Country Performance by a Group or Duo with Vocals

Picks

  • Brooks & Dunn, “Cowgirls Don’t Cry”
  • Zac Brown Band, “Chicken Fried”
  • Lady Antebellum, “I Run to You” - Tara
  • Rascal Flatts, “Here Comes Goodbye”
  • Sugarland, “It Happens” - Leeann, Kevin, Dan

Predictions

  • Brooks & Dunn, “Cowgirls Don’t Cry”
  • Zac Brown Band, “Chicken Fried” – Kevin, Dan
  • Lady Antebellum, “I Run to You” - Leeann, Tara
  • Rascal Flatts, “Here Comes Goodbye”
  • Sugarland, “It Happens”

Kevin: I’m honestly just guessing here.

Leeann: The Sugarland song is one of my personal guilty pleasures. Nettles sings it with sheer delight. I think that Lady A has the best chance of taking the award, however, based on their incredible hype in the last year or so.

Dan: What an underwhelming set of songs. Give it to Sugarland for personality. Why couldn’t ZBB have submitted “Toes”?

Tara: I’m going with personal preference here, considering the weak line-up. It’s no secret that I’m in love with “I Run To You,” and apparently the world is currently in love with Lady A.

Best Country Collaboration with Vocals

Picks

  • Dierks Bentley & Patty Griffin, “Beautiful World” - Leeann
  • Kenny Chesney & Mac McAnally, “Down the Road”
  • Brad Paisley & Keith Urban, “Start A Band”
  • Carrie Underwood & Randy Travis, “I Told You So” – Kevin, Tara
  • Lee Ann Womack & George Strait, “Everything But Quits” – Dan

Predictions

  • Dierks Bentley & Patty Griffin, “Beautiful World”
  • Kenny Chesney & Mac McAnally, “Down the Road”
  • Brad Paisley & Keith Urban, “Start A Band” - Leeann
  • Carrie Underwood & Randy Travis, “I Told You So” – Kevin, Tara, Dan
  • Lee Ann Womack & George Strait, “Everything But Quits”

Kevin: “I Told You So” has the most Grammy-friendly collaborators, with ten combined wins. Paisley and Urban combine for five, so they’re also a factor in this race.

Leeann: Each of these collaborations look incredibly exciting on paper, but they’re all underwhelming/disappointing in reality. I think the award is a toss up between the Underwood/Travis and Urban/Paisley collaborations though.

Dan: These are all kinda boring, too.

Tara: “I Told You So” deserves the win, and I think there’s a good chance it’ll edge out its competitor, “Start a Band.” I’ll be thrilled if and when Travis gets to accept this award, twenty years later.

Best Country Instrumental Performance

Picks

  • Alison Brown, “Under the (Five) Wire”
  • The Greencards, “The Crystal Merchant”
  • Sarah Jarosz, “Mansinneedof” - Leeann
  • Steve Wariner, “Producer’s Medley”

Predictions

  • Alison Brown, “Under the (Five) Wire”
  • The Greencards, “The Crystal Merchant”
  • Sarah Jarosz, “Mansinneedof”
  • Steve Wariner, “Producer’s Medley” - Leeann

Leeann: I think the nostalgia factor may give the push that the Wariner instrumental will need in order to win.

Best Country Song

Picks

  • “All I Ask For Anymore”, Casey Beathard & Tim James
  • “High Cost of Living”, Jamey Johnson & James Slater - Dan, Leeann, Tara
  • “I Run to You”, Tom Douglas, Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley & Hillary Scott
  • “People Are Crazy”, Bobby Braddock & Troy Jones
  • “White Horse”, Liz Rose & Taylor Swift - Kevin

Predictions

  • “All I Ask For Anymore”, Casey Beathard & Tim James
  • “High Cost of Living”, Jamey Johnson & James Slater
  • “I Run to You”, Tom Douglas, Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley & Hillary Scott
  • “People Are Crazy”, Bobby Braddock & Troy Jones
  • “White Horse”, Liz Rose & Taylor Swift - Leeann, Kevin, Tara, Dan

Kevin: Swift’s high profile benefits her most in the songwriting categories. It was no big surprise to see Shania Twain win this award for “You’re Still the One”, but when she repeated the following year for “Come On Over”, it proved how much star wattage can help in this race.

Leeann: I’m not going to bet against Taylor Swift, but I’d sure like to see “High Cost of Living” win this one.

Dan: It’s nice to know that NARAS is still willing to nominate a great non-hit. Not so sure they’re willing to give one a trophy, though.

Tara: What they said.

Best Country Album

Picks

  • Zac Brown Band, The Foundation
  • George Strait, Twang - Leeann, Kevin, Tara, Dan
  • Taylor Swift, Fearless
  • Keith Urban, Defying Gravity
  • Lee Ann Womack, Call Me Crazy

Predictions

  • Zac Brown Band, The Foundation
  • George Strait, Twang
  • Taylor Swift, Fearless – Dan, Leeann, Kevin, Tara
  • Keith Urban, Defying Gravity
  • Lee Ann Womack, Call Me Crazy

Kevin: It would be great to see Strait repeat, but it’s very rare for a country album to lose this race when it’s also nominated in the general Album field. It’s happened only once – 1999 – when Shania Twain’s Come On Over shockingly lost to Wide Open Spaces by the Dixie Chicks.

Leeann: I like the Strait album the most, but Taylor Swift is an undeniable force to be reckoned with.

Dan: Technically, I like the Swift album the most, but I’d love to see Strait win this particular award. He challenged his very established formula on Twang, and it worked. Plus I’ve never been fully comfortable calling Fearless a country album.

Tara: It’s Taylor Swift’s world right now, and we’re just living in it. Even you, Mr. Strait.

Best Americana Album

Picks

  • Bob Dylan, Together Through Life
  • Levon Helm, Electric Dirt
  • Willie Nelson & Asleep At the Wheel, Willie and the WheelLeeann, Dan, Tara
  • Wilco, Wilco (The Album)
  • Lucinda Williams, Little Honey

Predictions

  • Bob Dylan, Together Through Life - Dan
  • Levon Helm, Electric Dirt
  • Willie Nelson & Asleep At the Wheel, Willie and the WheelLeeann, Tara
  • Wilco, Wilco (The Album)
  • Lucinda Williams, Little Honey

Leeann: I particularly want Willie Nelson and Asleep at the Wheel to win this award, and I think they have a very good chance of doing it, too.

Dan: All really solid albums, and so many critical faves that it’s a hard call on the prediction. I’d love to see Nelson & Co. get their due for this long-in-the-making project.

Tara: Masterful album.

Best Bluegrass Album

Picks

  • Jim Lauderdale, Could We Get Any Closer?Leeann
  • Steve Martin, The Crow / New Songs For The Five-String Banjo
  • Michael Martin Murphey, Buckaroo Blue Grass
  • Bryan Sutton and Friends, Almost Live
  • Rhonda Vincent, Destination Live

Predictions

  • Jim Lauderdale, Could We Get Any Closer?
  • Steve Martin, The Crow / New Songs For The Five-String BanjoLeeann
  • Michael Martin Murphey, Buckaroo Blue Grass
  • Bryan Sutton and Friends, Almost Live
  • Rhonda Vincent, Destination Live
Leeann: Steve Martin equals star power, not that he wouldn’t actually be deserving, since the album is rather good.
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7 Comments

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7 Responses to Grammy 2010 Staff Picks & Predictions

  1. Tara SeetharamNo Gravatar

    For those who are interested, you can stream the pre-telecast at the Grammy website, starting in 30 minutes:

    http://www.myspace.com/thegrammys

  2. KNo Gravatar

    Taylor won Country Female vocalist. Grammy voters have gone nuts. Carrie/ Randy won for “I Told You So,” Taylor won for song, Lady A won duo/group, and Keith won for Male vocalist.

  3. Interesting choices. I couldn’t really comment on the non-country categories myself, so it’s nice to read what you guys think.

    I’m glad you like ‘It Happens’, Leeann, but I don’t see why it has to be a guilty pleasure. :)

  4. GavinNo Gravatar

    The only reason it is called a vocal award is to separate it from the instrumental awards that are handed out. Unfortunately, vocal ability has nothing to do with it.

  5. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    It’s a guilty pleasure because it really is a silly song. I don’t just like it a little. It literally puts me in a good mood, which is kind of embarrassing.:)

  6. {What can I say?|What else is there to say?|I think} I {really|kinda|sorta} like Taylor

  7. ery interesting choice for best male country performance :(

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