It’s July, but it is never too early to predict which artists/albums might be nominated for Grammys come December. 2014 has some strong candidates for the big categories, but there is also plenty of uncertainty, meaning that albums released late within the eligibility period could very well ‘change the game.’ But as of July, see brentmusicreviews.com Mock Grammys.
Record of the Year
“Fancy,” Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX
“All of Me,” John Legend
“Wrecking Ball,” Miley Cyrus / “Dark Horse,” Katy Perry ft. Juicy J
“Happy,” Pharrell Williams*
“Stay With Me,” Sam Smith
So far in 2014, a big-time rock record seems to be missing. Often, a rock (or alternative) record comes out victorious in this category. Urban records don’t usually win here, but some of the more notable records as of yet come by way of urban/pop artists. If this were the field, Pharrell Williams would be hard to bet against, with competition from Sam Smith. Legend is more suited for the “song” field.
Another note, you could make a strong argument for Ariana Grande’s inclusion with hit “Problem,” featuring Iggy Azalea. However, it seems unlikely Iggy Azalea would be nominated for both singles, and “Fancy” has mad more history on the charts.
Album of the Year
Jack White, Lazaretto
Lana Del Rey, Ultraviolence
Pharrell Williams, G I R L*
Sam Smith, In the Lonely Hour
There are a couple of albums omitted in the mock field that could be considered for various reasons with The Black Keys’ Turn Blue, Coldplay’s Ghost Stories, Katy Perry’s Prism, the Frozen Soundtrack, and Miranda Lambert’s Platinum among them. Honestly, Lambert’s album could knock one of the pop/urban artists out of the running – just depends on how voters see it. Additionally, once more, The Black Keys and Jack White could compete for the album of the year. There are also some long shots, also in the country field (Eric Church’s The Outsiders and Brantley Gilbert’s Just As I Am).
Based on this way-too-early field, Pharrell Williams’ G I R L could be a favorite, given how much of an impact he’s had between both 2013 and 2014. Still, Beyoncé’s self-titled album was a juggernaut, not to mention the buzz that surrounded Sam Smith’s In That Lonely Hour. G I R L wins now, but not by much.
Song of the Year
“Let It Go,” Idina Menzel
“All of Me,” John Legend*
“Happy,” Pharrell Williams
“Stay With Me,” Sam Smith
“Say Something,” A Great Big World
The songs category is usually reserved for ‘songs’ that stand out as opposed to records. However, remember that year that Beyoncé strangely won in this category for “Single Ladies” (it should’ve been considered for ‘record of the year’). This year, finding songs that have impacted audiences with some substance is difficult.
Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” is well written, but lyrically, it isn’t the most complex number. John Legend seems like a shoe-in for a nomination and potential win, depending on if they deem “All of Me” itself eligible.
Best New Artist
Choose a fifth nominee…
Two artists stand out in this mock field – Sam Smith and August Alsina. Likely, Smith would win if this were the real-deal. Scratch the “likely,” he WOULD win.
Way Too Early Winners – other categories:
Pop Solo Performance: Sam Smith, “Stay With Me”
Pharrell Williams can play spoils if he is nominated alongside Smith instead of in urban categories.
Pop Duo/Group Performance: A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera, “Say Something”
“Say Something” was a popular, well written record…
Best Pop Vocal Album: In the Lonely Hour, Sam Smith
Katy Perry and Lana Del Rey will have some bones to pick with Smith when he leaves the ceremony victorious.
Best Dance/Electronica Album: Skrillex, Recess
Lady Gaga will likely be nominated, but will she win? Critics have been divided on Skrillex’s Recess, but could it benefit from a field lacking big-time albums?
Best Rock Performance: “Turn Blue,” The Black Keys / “Lazaretto,” Jack White
Somebody’s going to win, but both records are exceptional and it’s too close too call. The same could be said in the Rock song category.
Best Rock Album: Jack White, Lazaretto
Although both The Black Keys and Jack White had fine albums, White’s should get the edge this time. Never count out the power of Coldplay, even though Ghost Stories was no Viva La Vida.
Best Alternative Music Album: Beck, Morning Phase
Hmm, alternative music album is always a tough call because it’s such a tough category to win in. Beck should definitely be considered for his underrated Morning Phase, but could a relatively unknown juggernaut like Canadian singer/songwriter Mac DeMarco go home victorious?
Best R&B Performance: “Happy,” Pharrell Williams
If Williams’ song is considered in the R&B categories, it stands a great shot. If not, Beyoncé also has a shot, as well as someone nobody has ever heard of… just saying.
Best R&B Album: Beyoncé, Beyoncé
Again, must hinges on how Pharrell’s album is categorized. If he is considered R&B, he likely has to face off against Beyoncé unless their albums are considered in separate categories – one being ‘urban contemporary’ and one being ‘R&B album.’ Or they might be going head to head.
Best Rap Album: Common, Nobody’s Smiling
Was there ever a better year as of yet for Common to win best rap album? There are some other contenders, but in general, there are few rap albums voters may consider seriously, whether that’s fair or not. Hopefully, Childish Gambino’s Because the Internet and The Roots’ …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin are considered/nominated.
Best Country Album: Miranda Lambert, Platinum
Miranda, prepare your acceptance speech; only Eric Church and maybe Brantley Gilbert can stop you.