Grammy 2010: Let’s Get It – Predictions, Punchlines, and Pop Waxed Poetically

So, it’s that amazing time of year again… GRAMMY SEASON – let’s get it! I get excited during oddly specific times of year: my birthday, the first legit Spring day of the year, the first legit Fall day of the year, VMA night, any time when I get money and/or presents, the proper release of a music video/album that hasn’t leaked, and Grammy night. Yes, you’re thinking: “Well, that’s whack,” “Who watches that other than old people,” “Sunday is laundry night,” “Who is Grammy?” No, I don’t care.

This year is grrrrrreater than Tony the Tiger – yes, I say that about every year by and large because when it comes to this and the VMAs I can’t avoid the inner-Millenial child that gets brink-of-seizure status excited about any annual encapsulation of all things Pop… regardless of how terrible said year in Pop actually was. This year though, we’ve got: Lady GaGa opening. Assuming the Staples Center doesn’t spontaneously combust after said opening, they’ve also got: 3D Michael Jackson tribute (I knew saving 3D glasses from random childhood scenarios would come in handy… take that A&E’s Hoarders); Wheelchair Jimmy, Wayne, Eminem, and Travis Barker (yeah, Kanye’s absence downgrades that from win to “we’ll see”); “Andy Warhol” is large enough in the Grammy site tag cloud to make me pull out the silver hairspray; 11 of my 14 Dime A Dozen honorees are nominees; and… some other stuff.

Anyway, long story short here’s the rundown of my should win, will win, sayin’, and possibly a “doesn’t need the win anyway.”

Album of the Year
I Am… Sasha Fierce – Beyoncé
The E.N.D.– Black Eyed Peas
The Fame – Lady GaGa
Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King – Dave Matthews Band
Fearless – Taylor Swift

Should Win: Ummm so apparently there was some enigma that nuked the world with glitter this year? Seeing as Fearless loses by default given the audaciously false-not-in-an-ironic-way-either album title, that leaves Beyonce and B.E.P. realistically. Take the dance/electronic facade of The E.N.D., the technical strength and unparalleled mainstream impact of Sasha Fierce, throw in some Bowie lightning bolts, a dash of the American male population Googling “Is Lady GaGa a hermaphrodite?” just to make sure they’re still batting for the right side, and you’ve got what embodied the year – musically or otherwise – in album form: you’ve got The Fame.

Will Win: Sasha Fierce came out a lot of years ago, so that’d be a dated triumph; however, the album is a no-brainer classic Grammy winner. Beyonce is a staple; whereas you and I hang ornaments on our Christmas trees, Beyonce is a recession-friendly recycler and hangs awards like the aforementioned. The Grammys like B.E.P. … a lot. GaGa is a phenom, but that’s a double-edged sword: longevity means she could be here for awhile so what’s the rush, but she’s also not so much Grammy friendly as VMA friendly: the assumed brightly burning but quickly dimming star. Then again, there’s always shady-shifty-swifty… and you unfortunately can never underestimate the length or frequency of a pity party.

Sayin: The fleur-de-lis rose like a phoenix this year… so in line with the overall second coming of The South, DMB deserves some recognition.

Doesn’t Need the Win: …because she’s Sasha Fierce

Record of the Year
“Halo” – Beyoncé
“I Gotta Feeling” – Black Eyed Peas
“Use Somebody” – Kings of Leon
“Poker Face” – Lady GaGa
“You Belong With Me” – Taylor Swift

Should Win: The year’s motto is “We’re All Fans” in a year when everybody and their mom covered “Poker Face.” My bias… has no poker face.

Will Win: “Halo” has a good shot at the win: it’s Bey, it’s a universally solid song, and it’s Bey … at the Grammys. Shifty swifty.

Sayin: “Use Somebody” is a nice song. It doesn’t speak to the joie de vivre of the year, but remember when Steely Dan won all those Grammys? The Grammys know they can’t get too across the board crazy – there’s a slight chance for this one. “I gotta feeling” tonight needs to be the last night I hear that song.

Doesn’t Need the Win: Check this hand – because it’s marvelous. No lie, just stunnin.

Song of the Year
“Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)” – Beyoncé
“Poker Face” – Lady GaGa
“Pretty Wings” – Maxwell
“Use Somebody” – Kings of Leon
“You Belong With Me” – Taylor Swift

Should Win: “Single Ladies” was a ridiculously well-produced song. The sheer layers and pin-pointedly precise cresendos, decrescendos, and intertwined rhythms set the foundation for – wait imma let you finish – one of the greatest songs of… 2008. I… still like “Poker Face.” As a song, the tongue-in-cheek lyrical wordplay is a bit silly, but given the amount of times people asked what the song was about, it’s not to be overlooked.

Will Win: I’m pretty sure “Single Ladies” is a shoe-in… put a ring on it already. Wait, this is Song of the Year, right? I just want to make sure it’s not Female Song of the Year because we all know “You Belong with Me” is the better feminine track…

Sayin: “Pretty Wings” is such a smooth song… I still like Maxwell.

Best New Artist
Zac Brown Band
Keri Hilson
Silversun Pickups
The Ting Tings

Should Win: MGMT because Oracular Spectacular was just the tip of the iceberg and it alone is kind of like a bigger deal than a Kanye and Clipse track – that and I like them the best from the list. The Ting Tings are such a close second though… but “Best New Artist” that’s not their name… or is it?

Will Win: Keri Hilson has the mainstream appeal, but I’m not sure if the Grammys will go for her. She does have a depth and breadth of experience within the industry though so – it could happen like McWorld. We haven’t seen Urban Contemporary of Hilson’s ilk in awhile either.

Sayin: Past winners have been Adele, Amy Winehouse, Carrie Underwood, John Legend, and Maroon 5, given that portfolio Silversun could win with their sound – not so much mainstream name recognition though.

Best Rap Solo Performance
“Best I Ever Had” – Drake
“Beautiful” – Eminem
“D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)” – Jay-Z
“Day ‘N’ Nite” – Kid Cudi
“Casa Bey” – Mos Def

Should Win: “Casa Bey” is infectiously beautiful in a funk way. “Beautiful” is a throwback to Em’s Marshall Mathers days with maturity in the place of anger. That, and Detroit has glimpses of a New Orleans without the flood – it needed this anthem.

Will Win: Taylor Swift – again. Hov completely took over the game with “D.O.A.” He singlehandedly lifted rap/hip-hop out of its auto-tunnel and placed it back on the block – on to the next one: it’s 2010 and “D.O.A.” was last year’s requiem. The track is sonically solid social commentary. Style: check. Substance: check. Statuette: check.

Sayin: I … still rock with Cudi.

Best Alternative Album
Everything That Happens Will Happen Today – David Byrne & Brian Eno
The Open Door – Death Cab for Cutie
Sounds of the Universe – Depeche Mode
Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix – Phoenix
It’s Blitz! – Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Should Win: Phoenix?

Will Win: Depeche Mode?

Sayin: Karen O is quirky, I like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs?

Sidenote: I have an opinion on this, but I decided to make this the reader’s choice category – have at the comment box.

Best Pop Vocal Album
The E.N.D. – Black Eyed Peas
Breakthrough – Colbie Caillat
All I Ever Wanted – Kelly Clarkson
The Fray – The Fray
Funhouse – Pink

Should Win: Funhouse was a very solid album. Pink has a knack for putting together complete releases and I appreciate that. She is process oriented and doesn’t just drop something for the sake of staying relevant. It says a lot that “So What” came from the same album as “Sober” and, of course, “Funhouse.” Then to see the videos that expound on the music adds that much more depth to the project as a whole. Pink is what she is, but she puts together well decent Pop albums.

Will Win: The Grammys like B.E.P. … a lot. My should win could win though.

Sayin: This category was quite disappointing.

Best Dance Recording
“Boom Boom Pow”Black Eyed Peas
“When Love Takes Over” – David Guetta & Kelly Rowland
“Poker Face” – Lady GaGa
“Celebration” – Madonna
“Womanizer” – Britney Spears

Should Win: Everyone – minus B.E.P. and David Guetta. I like Guetta it’s just… come on it’s Britney, Madge, and GaGa. It’s like the Grammys just woke you up and went “Gotcha America, it ain’t Pop; it’s Dance/Electronic and you love it – watch out, disco’s coming up next!” Seriously, I’m opting for the write in Girl Talk mash-up “Poke Her Womanizing Celebration Face.” It should win: totes mcgoats.

Will Win: “Celebration” is an electro-head’s fluid fantasy – but it was too euro for American mainstream. “Womanizer” is putting me in the same place as Sasha Fierce: it’s an undeniable frontrunner… just as it was when it came out… in 2008. That leaves… oh, would you look at that – seriously could you look at who’s left from the list because I can’t read my, can’t read mine.

Sayin: This category stomps on Pop Vocal like Wayne Rooney on a grounded Portuguese footballer.

So, that’s the long and short of my not-so-much-a-prediction-as-a-chance-to-wax-Pop-poetic-and-publish-punchlines-before-the-red-carpet-opens. Sidenote: I want “Make Her Say” to take something home tonight – whether it be a Grammy, or simply a ceremony program I don’t care – so long as it doesn’t go home empty handed. Honestly, I am quite excited about this year’s Grammys… at the end of the day just as the royal “we” are – I am all fan.


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