For the male counterpart, the strongest contenders come from artists who can do genre-crossover. Unless Mark Ronson’s Uptown Special and The Weeknd’s Beauty Behind The Madness compete in R&B category, both albums can be a tough opponent on this category. Strongest pop albums of the year are dominated by female artists this year, and I can’t think another male artist who releases a stand-out pop album this year. Nick Jonas’ self-titled debut album comes in mind, but it’s really a long shot, but anything’s possible now.
From group, I will expect a nomination from Florence + The Machine’s How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful. This English band once has surprised us with a nomination on this category a few years ago with Ceremonials. Another potential best pop vocal album will be Years & Years’ Communion, but it’s like Nick Jonas. It’s really a long shot.
1. Taylor Swift – 1989
2. Kelly Clarkson – Piece By Piece
3. Carly Rae Jepsen – Emotion
4. Mark Ronson – Uptown Special or The Weeknd – Beauty Behind The Madness
5. Florence + The Machine – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
2. Best Pop Solo Performance
Expect to see more Taylor Swift in this category, with all “Blank Space”, “Style“, and “Wildest Dreams” all eligible for this category. Kelly Clarkson also rarely misses a nod in this category, so “Heartbeat Song” and another her self-empowerment song, “Invincible”, can finally see a light and be nominated in this category. If Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” is still eligible, I may include this song as well. Carly Rae Jepsen may surprise us as well with her “Run Away With Me” and “I Really Like You”, and hopefully the committees won’t overlook these fine records.
The Weeknd will receive another nomination in this category with “Can’t Feel My Face” unless, of course, he goes to R&B. But, apparently a single hits like this usually goes to pop category, just like when Daft Punk and Pharell Williams get a nomination in pop category while clearly “Get Lucky” is an electronic song. Justin Bieber will make a come back with his “What Do You Mean”, and this song has a high chance to give Bieber his first Grammy.
Expect a dark-horse nominee, like Sia’s “Elastic Heart”, or Lana Del Rey’s most catchy song, “High By The Beach”, or Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song here.
My final predictions will be:
1. Taylor Swift – “Blank Space” or Taylor Swift – “Style” or Taylor Swift – “Wildest Dreams” or the committees go berserk and nominate all three Taylor Swift’s songs.
2. Ed Sheeran – “Thinking Out Loud”
3. The Weeknd – “Can’t Feel My Face”
4. Justin Bieber – “What Do You Mean”
5. Rachel Platten – “Fight Song” or Carly Rae Jepsen – “Run Away With Me”
When you think finally you see a Swift-free category, think again. Her collaboration with Kendrick Lamar in “Bad Blood” may earn her a first nomination here. Another lock is definitely “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson and a Grammy darling, Bruno Mars. The safest best is of course 12-week Billboard Hot 100 #1, Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth’s “See You Again”. Don’t forget the killer combo of Paul McCartney, Kanye West, and Rihanna in “FourFiveSeconds”. You may think this is not a pop song, but it is a pop song. Expect Maroon 5 earns another nomination in this category with their “Sugar”. I think that’s all that I can think from this category. Wow, it’s really rare to see an exact five nominations. I think Walk The Moon’s “Shut Up And Dance” can be nominated, but I may hope too much.
Final predictions (of course):
1. Taylor Swift – “Bad Blood (feat. Kendrick Lamar)”
2. Mark Ronson – “Uptown Funk (feat. Bruno Mars)”
3. Wiz Khalifa – “See You Again (feat. Charlie Puth)”
4. Maroon 5 – “Sugar”
5. Paul McCartney, Kanye West, and Rihanna – “FourFiveSeconds”
4. Best Dance/Electronic Album
David Guetta is my safest bet in this category as he is often nominated in this category, and with his latest effort, Listen is just released on November last year, making it eligible for next year Grammy. Zedd, who won Best Dance/Electronic Recording with “Clarity” a few years ago surprisingly never earn a nomination in album category, so can True Colors grab a spot in this category?
Hugo Leclerq a.k.a. Madeon’s debut album, Adventure, is universally loved by music critics, and I can see it will be nominated in this category as well. Deadly combo of Diplo and Skrillex–who happens to win this award twice–in Jack U can earn a nod with their debut, Skrillex and Diplo Present Jack U. Another Diplo’s project, Major Lazer, can also be nominated with their latest album, Peace Is The Mission.
The XX member, Jamie XX, who also released the finest electronic album of the year, In Colour, can be nominated too, but I don’t expect much as I am not sure his label, Young Turks, won’t bother to send the record to the committee. The Chemical Brothers, who also has won this award twice, can get another nominations for Born In The Echoes.
Another wild hope that I have is Holly Herndon’s Platform and Panda Bear’s Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper. But, if Aphex Twin can win this award last year, I believe that anything’s possible at this point.
1. David Guetta – Listen
2. Madeon – Adventure
3. Jack U – Skrillex And Diplo Present Jack U
4. Major Lazer – Peace Is The Mission
5. The Chemical Brothers – Born In The Echoes
5. Best Alternative Album
Alternative genre is the most criminally underrated genre in Grammy Awards. It only gets one category, making an alternative song must go cross-over to another genre to be nominated in Grammy. But again, alternative genre is really vague. I mean you can’t classify and define what alternative genre is.
Enough with the rambling. Bjork rarely misses this category, so her surprise album Vulnicura will be a lock in this category. Talking about surprise album, Wilco, who once won with their album (surprisingly) A Ghost Is Born (and not critically acclaimed Yankee Hotel Foxtrot–it didn’t even get a nomination. What’s wrong with this committee?), also released a surprise album this year called Star Wars. It’s really safe to say that Wilco will receive another nomination.
Watch out for former Best Alternative Album nominee, Tame Impala, as Currents is loved by music critics and there will be uproar outside there if it’s not nominated. This category will be filled with previous nominees I guess. I expect to see Blur’s latest album, The Magic Whip, here or Death Cab For Cutie’s Kintsugi here. Or My Morning Jacket’s The Waterfall. Supergroup Franz Ferdinand (who’s been nominated twice) and Sparks called FFS, may receive a nod with their debut album, FFS.
Maybe it’s time for Grammy to nominate new artist this year? Sufjan Stevens’ heartbreaking album Carrie & Lowell should be nominated, but I’m sure Sufjan Stevens’ own label, Asthmatic Kitty, won’t even bother to send it to the committee. The same case with Courtney Barnett’s Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit. Is hoping Passion Pit’s Kindred to be nominated too much? Well, I can mention many albums that deserve to be nominated, but I guess Grammy will play it safe and only nominate the veteran.
So, what do you think? Do I miss or overlook something? Please tell me your own predictions!