“It’s never too early”, is the old saying, whether it’s in sports, political campaigns, or the Grammy field. It is May, and at this point, some possibilities for Grammy contenders have began to rear their heads. The field isn’t complete mind you – still plenty of time to go – but some potential darlings have established a solid case for themselves (and some surprises as well).
Record of the Year (“Happy”); Album of the Year (G I R L); Song of the Year (“Happy”); Best Pop Performance (“Happy”); Best Pop Collaboration (“Brand New” ft. Justin Timberlake); Best Pop Album (G I R L); Best Song Written For Visual Media (“Happy”)
Of the albums released within the Grammy’s eligibility period, Pharrell Williams’ G I R L may have the highest ceiling in regards to Grammy nominations. While it’s an urban album generally, there are more than enough pop sensibilities about it to make it dominate the pop field. As far as the big four categories (Record, Album, Song, Best New Artist), Williams is eligible for three of the four. Is Williams an album of the year contender – I think so… as of yet.
Album of the Year (Beyoncé); R&B Performance (“Drunk in Love” ft. Jay-Z); R&B Song (“Drunk in Love”/ “Partition”); Urban Contemporary Album (Beyoncé)
While Beyoncé might be a stretch in the record/song categories, it will be shocking if Beyoncé’s innovatively issued Beyoncé doesn’t find itself nominated for Album of the Year when nominations are released in December. Additionally, Beyoncé should be a lock in the Urban Contemporary Album category, or if voters decide to, the R&B album category itself. “Drunk in Love” has been the biggest record from Beyoncé, though the sexed-up “Partition” is making a name for itself as well.
Record of the Year (“Let It Go”); Album of the Year (Frozen); Song of the Year (“Let It Go”); Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media (Christophe Beck, Frozen); Best Song Written for Visual Media (“Let It Go”)
It has been a while since a soundtrack garnered as much buzz as Frozen’s Soundtrack has. After so many accolades, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to see the effort receive numerous nominations, centering around the ubiquitous smash “Let It Go”. How legit is Frozen as an album of the year contender? It stands a strong chance of being nominated if for no other reason than its commercial success. However, is a soundtrack – specifically for a PG-rated children’s film – really THE album of the year?
The Black Keys / Coldplay
Potential Nominations (for both):
Album of the Year; Best Rock Performance; Best Rock Song; Best Rock Album or Best Alternative Music Album;
This is a big-time leap of faith. The Black Keys and Coldplay grace my early Grammy list before I’ve even heard their albums. Why? Well, both acts have had incredible success at the Grammys with nominations in the big categories. That said, both have also fallen short of the coveted album of the year. Still, unless the respective album by both are total crap, well, don’t be surprised if rock/alternative are represented by these two critical darlings.
Record of the Year (“Dark Horse” ft. Juicy J); Album of the Year (PRISM); Pop Solo Performance (“Birthday”); Pop Duo/Group Performance (“Dark Horse” ft. Juicy J); Pop Vocal Album (PRISM)
On this particular potential nominee, I’m thinking like the Recording Academy might think rather than so much my own personal preferences. I personally am not sold on Katy Perry even garnering an album of the year nomination, but I said the same about big pop album Teenage Dream back in 2010. There is usually a pop album nominated, and this could be the one IF Pharrell Williams is snubbed or his album was to be constrained to R&B categories. Of the potential nominations, Katy Perry stands her best shot for Pop Duo/Group Performance.
Record of the Year (“Wrecking Ball”); Album of the Year (BANGERZ); Song of the Year (“Wrecking Ball”); Pop Solo Performance (“Wrecking Ball); Pop Vocal Album (BANGERZ)
Do I personally think Miley Cyrus will receive numerous Grammy nominations? Likely not, however, if the Grammys feel like the rebellious pop star should be rewarded, her best shot seems to be with ace in hole “Wrecking Ball”. “Adore You” might be considered, but “Wrecking Ball” was the bigger statement. As far as my penciling in Cyrus for a potential album of the year nomination – it’s a big time stretch. But, remember when Perry’s Teenage Dream and Rihanna’s LOUD (one of my least favorite albums by her) received nominations? But if ole girl has the ‘Justin Bieber’ effect, she’ll likely fall short of glory.
Best Pop Solo Performance (“Love Me Again”); Best Pop Vocal Album (Tribute)
John Newman isn’t likely to be acknowledged the way he should at the upcoming Grammys, but he may snag a nomination for his infectious, retro-soul track “Love Me Again” and even more of a stretch for Pop Vocal Album Tribute.
Best Rock Album (High Hopes)
With rock having a somewhat quieter year it seems, Springsteen stands a shot at Best Rock album. I doubt Springsteen breaks into the big categories, but you never know.
Record of the Year (“All of Me”); Song of the Year (“All of Me”); R&B Vocal Performance (“All of Me”); R&B Song (“All of Me”)
Legend’s album Love in the Future is ineligible for Grammys, following its loss last year to Alicia Keys’ Girl on Fire in the R&B album category. The question is, is single “All of Me” technically eligible, since its been the promotional single for Love In The Future for some time? If it is, it could garner the soulful singer/songwriter potentially four nominations.
There are many more possibilities, such as Aloe Blacc (“The Man”), or several country albums in contention for Best Country Album from artists like Eric Church, Dierks Bentley, or Hunter Hayes, but this list is just the starting point.