My Grammy Wish List: 2010 Edition

Since this was a solo blog, doing a Grammy Wish List has been an annual tradition.  I’m not too excited about this year’s Grammys, to be honest. 2009 was a weak year in my opinion, and the shortened 11-month eligibility period didn’t help matters.  But a tradition is a tradition, so here are my picks in the eleven categories that I care about this year:

* denotes my personal wish:

Record of the Year

  • Beyoncé, “Halo”  *
  • The Black Eyed Peas, “I Gotta Feeling”
  • Kings of Leon, “Use Somebody”
  • Lady Gaga, “Poker Face”
  • Taylor Swift, “You Belong With Me”

It’s always nice to see a country radio hit in there, but I honestly can’t stand “You Belong With Me.”  I dig the Kings of Leon song, but the record that I enjoy the most here is “Halo.”  Some pundits have suggested that Beyoncé threw her chances at this trophy by submitting “Halo” instead of “Single Ladies”, but I like that song even less than “You Belong With Me.” Love “Halo”, though.

Song of the Year

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

Great to see Liz Rose in there, too, but I still can’t stand the song.  I think “Use Somebody” is a great composition that could easily be a hit in other formats if the right artist covered it. Are you listening, Sugarland?

Best New Artist

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

Zac Brown Band don’t quite live up to the hype, but they come a lot closer than last year’s nominee, Lady Antebellum.

Best Country Album

  • Zac Brown Band, The Foundation
  • George Strait, Twang *
  • Taylor Swift, Fearless
  • Keith Urban, Defying Gravity
  • Lee Ann Womack, Call Me Crazy

There isn’t an album here that is built for more than cherry-picking. Strait’s set has the most cherries.

Best Female Country Vocal Performance

  • Miranda Lambert, “Dead Flowers”
  • Martina McBride, “I Just Call You Mine”
  • Taylor Swift, “White Horse”
  • Carrie Underwood, “Just a Dream” *
  • Lee Ann Womack, “Solitary Thinkin’”

The only women who brought their A-game to this category are Swift and Underwood.  “White Horse” might be the better song, but Underwood’s is the better vocal performance by a country mile.

Best Male Country Vocal Performance

  • Trace Adkins, “All I Ask For Anymore”
  • Billy Currington, “People Are Crazy”
  • Jamey Johnson, “High Cost of Living”
  • George Strait, “Living For the Night” *
  • Keith Urban, “Sweet Thing”

I love the Strait song, so it’s my pick, but this is one of the only strong categories this year and I wouldn’t mind seeing any of these five win.

Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals

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

No A-game here, but Sugarland’s B-game is better than the rest.

Best Country Vocal Collaboration

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

Some amazing pairings here, but Underwood and Travis are the only ones with the material to match the talent.

Best Female Pop Vocal Performance

  • Adele, “Hometown Glory”
  • Beyoncé, “Halo”
  • Katy Perry, “Hot N Cold”
  • Pink, “Sober” *
  • Taylor Swift, “You Belong With Me”

Pink is an awesome songwriter, and easily the most substantial female pop star to come along in the last decade.  “Sober” is one of her best.

Best Pop Vocal Album

  • The Black Eyed Peas, The End
  • Colbie Caillat, The Breakthrough
  • Kelly Clarkson, All I Ever Wanted
  • The Fray, The Fray
  • Pink, Funhouse *

It’s not quite as good as I’m Not Dead, but it comes close.

Best Dance Recording

  • The Black Eyed Peas, “Boom Boom Pow”
  • David Guetta and Kelly Rowland, “When Love Takes Over”
  • Lady Gaga, “Poker Face”
  • Madonna, “Celebration” *
  • Britney Spears, “Womanizer”

Even her throwaway singles are built to last.


  1. Are you a Lady Gaga fan, Kevin? I’m just curious since she wasn’t in your picks and I would have chosen “Poker Face” over “Halo”. Nice to see some love for Pink. I’d be okay with Kelly Clarkson in the Pop Album category too. I was surprised Whitney’s comeback was snubbed. As for the dance recording category, as much as I loooooove her Madgesty, that would have been my fourth pick (“Womanizer taking the last slot). “When Love Takes Over” is amazing. The overall new artist category is weak and I think it may end up going to Keri Hilson. I haven’t heard much of her music though and I’ve enjoyed ZBB’s last two singles quite a bit. In the country categories, my personal picks would be:
    Male – Johnson
    Female – Lambert
    Duo/Group – Sugarland
    Album – Womack
    Collaboration – Womack & Strait

    Finally, are any of your old Grammy picks posted on the site and easy to find? It would be a fun read!

  2. Here’s my picks: (if I listen more than one per category, it’s because I really like more than, and I listen them in order of preference)

    Record of the Year: Poker Face, You Belong With Me
    Song of the Year: Poker Face, You Belong With Me
    Best Country Album: Fearless
    Best Female Country Vocal Performance: Just a Dream
    Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals: It Happens, Here Comes Goodbye
    Best Female Pop Vocal Performance: You Belong With Me, Hot & Cold, Sober
    Best Dance Recording: Boom Boom Pow, Poker Face

    Poker Face was one of my fav. songs of the year, so I hope it comes away with lots. You Belong With Me was one of my fav. country songs of the year, so I also wish it success.

  3. This year everyone is saying it’ll be a showdown between Taylor and Beyonce for the big categories…I’m hoping they go to anyone but Taylor. The category I’m most interested in is the Female Country Performance…I’m hoping it’s not based solely on name recognition because Carrie’s “Just a Dream” is leaps and bounds better than Taylor’s “White Horse.” I’m hoping Carrie can pull out the win. I actually can’t wait for the show…I want to see Lady A’s performance as well as the 3D Michael Jackson tribute…should be interesting!

  4. Here are my predictions:

    Female Country Vocal Performance: Just A Dream
    Country Collaboration: I Told You So
    Male Country Vocal Performance- People Are Crazy
    Country Song: People Are Crazy
    Record: I Gotta Feeling
    Song: Use Somebody
    Best Country Album: Fearless
    Country Duo Performance- It Happens
    New Artist: Zac Brown Band
    Female Pop Performance: Hot N Cold
    Dance Recording: Poker Face

  5. My Picks:

    Record: “Halo” or “Use Somebody”
    Song: “Use Somebody”
    New Artist: ZBB, only because the others have little to no noteriety.
    Album: I’ll go with King George on this one. “Fearless” is a quality album, but I don’t see it being strong enough to win a Grammy.
    Female vocal: I’ll go with Carrie by a mile, but I’d rather see Lambert over Swift for a second choice. The only redeeming factor about this category is that Swift was not nominated for “You Belong With Me; bublegum lyrics, and she is atrocious when she performs it live. I think JAD is a better song than WH by a mile.
    Male Vocal: “Living For The Night” or “All I Ask For Anymore” (which is odd for me, because I’m no Trace fan).
    Duo/Group: “Here Comes Goodbye.” Am I the only one who absolutely cannot stand “It Happens? It’s their worst song to date, nowhere near Grammy material.
    Collaboration: “I Told You So” by a mile. The only song up to par in this category for me.
    Pop Vocal: Pink, “Sober,” but I see Beyonce taking it. More importantly, can someone tell me how the heck Katy Perry and Swift were nominated here? Both are way below par, even terrible at times. If Swift wins any vocal awards, I hope and pray they are in the pop category. Country needs to hold on to its remaining credibility.
    Pop Album: “Breakthrough”
    Dance: “Poker Face” by a mile. Dear lord, please don’t let “Boom Boom Pow” take this. One of the worst songs of the past few years, in my opinion.

    I’m most excited to see the MJ performance- I’m predicting it will be the best of the night. Lady A should deliver- they are always good live. Just heard Lady Gaga and Elton John are performing- interesting. Swift will probably not do the country fans proud with her off-key butchering, but I hope they let her sing a song that at least fits her range.

    Overall, I will be happy as long as Swift wins no (country) vocalist awards.

  6. Hoping Swift does “Fearless.” That song doesn’t have too many notes, might be decent.

    I find the production on “Sober” distracting, but Pink’s performances have just grown better and better. Really hope she can pick that one up.

  7. Hoping Swift does “Fearless.” That song doesn’t have too many notes, might be decent.

    I’m actually really enjoying “Fearless” right now. It feels fresh. (I think it has a bigger range than “Love Story,” though, and we know how those live performances went.)

  8. Once again, most of the really good music produced during the eligibility period wasn’t nominated.

    When Herbie Hancock won Best Album several years ago, I assumed that his nomination was either an accident, or someone confused his album with the soundtrack to Will Smith’s movie HANCOCK and thought they’d nominated the soundtrack album

  9. I cannot stand “Today Was A Fairytale.” I’s bland, forgettable, and very non-descriptive. Not to mention I was actually hoping to see some growth for her as a writer (aka. no more princes and picture-burning), but I was let down with “Jump Then Fall” and “Today Was A Fairytale. I can see the latter being immature because of the movie that it’s for, but she could’ve given us something more mature and different with the other.

    I originally thought Taylor might be able to perform “Fearless” live after seeing this performance:

    But all hope was crushed when I watched this “Ellen” performance:

    I really enjoy the album, and I do read interviews with her and keep up with her ventures outside of music. I watched her CSI episode, and I thought she did an excellent job.

    However, I remain puzzled as to why she ever got a record deal, and why she sells so many albums when she hasn’t matured or improved at what she does as an artist, writer, or performer.

    I know this sounds terrible, but I am hoping with every ounce of my body that the Grammy’s are not even close to being a repeat of the CMA’s. Her body of work is nowhere near her competetiors, and her vocals are still just as cringworthy as they were when she started out in 2006.

  10. I agree with you about Swift’s non-album tracks, K. “Today Was a Fairytale” and everything from the Platinum re-release feel like third-rate knockoffs of her other stuff. But I remember thinking the same thing about the Beautiful Eyes EP she released through Walmart between the debut and Fearless, so I’ll still hold out hope for the third album. She’s such a cash cow that her label is willing to release everything she’s got, but the reality is that most prolific writers repeat themselves from time to time and very few produce great stuff every time at bat.

  11. But all hope was crushed when I watched this “Ellen” performance:

    Cool arrangement, though. Capitalizes on that intangible “tingly” quality of the song that so aptly fits the lyrics. But that’s proof positive that Ellen’s going to be a spotty AI judge – she’s said before she thinks Swift is a “great” vocalist.

  12. I think Taylor’s one of the gutsiest live performers out there. She puts herself out there for all to see with no regard for her safety or ours. If she can take it I can take it, besides I can control the volume. With that said, when a singer is more tolerated than enjoyed he or she shouldn’t be within a million miles of any kind of vocalist award. It defies logic. Can you imagine never hearing of Taylor Swift and finding yourself at a performance where she is introduced as the current CMA Female Vocalist of the Year and your thinking, man this is going to be great, the best singer in the land is going to perform and I get to hear her live. What a treat, right? Shines a bright light on country music. Begs the question, “What the hell happened?”

    My GRAMMY picks: Who I think will win
    Record of the Year: Beyoncé, “Halo”
    Song of the Year: Thaddis Harrell, Beyoncé Knowles, Terius Nash & Christopher Stewart, “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)”
    Best New Artist: Keri Hilson
    Best Country Album: Taylor Swift, Fearless
    Best Female Country Vocal Performance: Carrie Underwood, “Just a Dream”
    Best Male Country Vocal Performance: Keith Urban, “Sweet Thing”
    Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals: Lady Antebellum, “I Run to You”
    Best Country Vocal Collaboration: Carrie Underwood & Randy Travis, “I Told You So”
    Best Female Pop Vocal Performance: Beyoncé, “Halo”
    Best Pop Vocal Album: The Black Eyed Peas, The End
    Best Dance Recording: Lady Gaga, “Poker Face”

  13. I just look at it this way at the top two races for Female Country Vocal – if Carrie had sung White Horse instead, she would have done just fine. Taylor singing Just A Dream? Trainwreck galore.

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