If the Grammys were held mid September, based on an eligibility period ranging from October 1, 2012 to present, who would be frontrunners for nominations? Previously, brentmusicreviews.com did a mid-year edition of potential nominees (kinda like the way-too-early polls done in sports), but now that we have a little more info, has there been much change? This time I examine five who seem Grammy-worthy as far as overall profile.
ROTY = Record of the year
AOTY = Album of the year
SOTY = Song of the year
BNA = Best New Artist
Justin Timberlake (The 20/20 Experience)
Potential Nominations: ROTY; AOTY; SOTY; Best Pop Vocal Performance; Pop Vocal Album; Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
To sum it up, JT was the man in 2013. It would be shocking if The 20/20 Experience was shut out of the Grammys, particularly given Timberlake’s track record for nominations/wins. “Suit & Tie” will likely be overshadowed by “Mirrors”, but “Suit & Tie” definitely could snag a nomination and a potential win in the Best Rap/Sung Collaboration field. Timberlake seems like a surefire thing to me.
Bruno Mars (Unorthodox Jukebox)
Potential Nominations: ROTY; AOTY; SOTY; Best Pop Vocal Performance; Pop Vocal Album
Whether or not you think Bruno Mars’ debut album Doo Wops & Hooligans was better than Unorthodox Jukebox, there is more than enough meat for Mars to be nominated. “When I Was Your Man” is definitely song of the year contender waiting to happen, and definitely a perfect spoiler track to Timberlake’s “Mirrors” running any kind of tables.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (The Heist)
Potential Nominations: ROTY; AOTY; SOTY; Best Rap Performance; Rap Sung/Collaboration; Best Rap Song; Best Rap Album
Okay here’s my take on Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. The duo should receive recognition for their contributions to pop music in 2013, but who knows if that will happen. I think it is much more likely than it was in mid-July, but there is always a snub. “Thrift Shop” would be the crown jewel over The Heist as an album itself, but does record of tolerance “Same Love” add some oomph to the argument, particularly in what has generally been considered a homophobic genre in hip-hop?
Daft Punk, Random Access Memories
Potential Nominations: ROTY; AOTY; SOTY; Best Pop Collaboration Duo/Group; Best Dance Recording; Best Dance/Electronic Album or Best Pop Album; Best Engineered Album Non-Classical
Don’t underestimate the power of Random Access Memories y’all. Daft Punk’s critically lauded effort is stacked and has the firepower to play upset to both Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars. “Get Lucky” was a huge hit, only to be overshadowed by Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”. The album is incredibly well done, and if voters are looking for something unique to give the coveted AOTY prize to, Random Access Memories stands a superb chance of being victorious.
Robin Thicke, Blurred Lines
Potential Nominations: ROTY; SOTY; Best Pop Album; Best R&B Performance; Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
Laugh all you want to, but Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines has the pieces to receive multiple nominations. I’m not going to go so far as to say Thicke has a shot in the AOTY category (that would happen based merely on one single), but “Blurred Lines” itself may be just too big to not nominate. Throw in the more classic, refined “For The Rest of My Life” into the R&B category and even give Thicke an album nomination in either the pop or urban contemporary field, and Thicke has finally fought past being shut out of the Grammy contention.
Record of the Year: “Blurred Lines”, Robin Thicke featuring Pharrell & T.I.
Rationale: Can they ignore Thicke’s juggernaut in a big category? “Get Lucky” could definitely play spoils, as could “Mirrors”.
Album of the Year: Daft Punk, Random Access Memories
Rationale: This would NOT be the favorite choice, but if Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars go head to head, could they split the votes? Also, what about an ex-factor album like Vampire Weekend’s Modern Vampires of the City or the brilliant conceptual rap debut from Kendrick Lamar (good Kid m.A.A.d City) which was in a league of its own? More wide open category than it seems.
Song of the Year: Justin Timberlake, “Mirrors”
Rationale: My choice would be Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man”, but I think it would be difficult to keep JT from winning one big category.
Best New Artist: Kendrick Lamar
Rationale: Kendrick was king in the past year, but there always a dark horse like say an Ariana Grande.
Pop Vocal Album: Justin Timberlake, The 20/20 Experience
Rationale: A stacked category in which John Mayer also sneaks in, but The 20/20 Experience is Timberlake’s first new album since 2006… that’s worth something right?
Best Alternative Music Album: Vampire Weekend, Modern Vampires of the City
Rationale: I think VW win their first Grammy.
Urban Contemporary Album: Robin Thicke, Blurred Lines
Rationale: “Blurred Lines” could lose big categories if it is nominated in them. Atonement would be awarding the album for Thicke’s career-changing hit.
R&B Album: Fantasia, Side Effects of You
Rationale: She’s been nominated for every album of her past, and won a few years back for performance “Bittersweet”
- 2013 Chart Trends: 5 Underachievers and 5 Overachievers (brentmusicreviews.com)
- 2013 MTV Video Music Awards: Full list of nominees (ontheredcarpet.com)
- Bruno Mars booked for Super Bowl halftime show (cnn.com)
- Robin Thicke says naked ‘Blurred Lines’ music video was his wife’s idea (newsday.com)