And the Grammy goes to…

Last night, November 30, basically kicked off one of the most important seasons of every year, and I’m not talking about the holiday season or even the shopping season. No, last night, CBS aired the Grammy nominations show, a rousing hour of television viewing in which we learned just who, exactly, is in contention for what awards.

While most of us skipped out on the actual show to watch Glee creator Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story over on FX, the list of full nominees was everywhere by the time the show ended (with a Gaga-Sugarland duet that I’m still not sure how to feel about… I think I liked it…) at 11:00. This, of course, meant that the Twitterverse was all a-Twitter in no time, making quick judgments on who should win, who should lose, who will upset, who was robbed – on and on, the typical things the Twitterverse does.

"Born This Way," Lady Gaga

And this year certainly didn’t disappoint. Lady Gaga opened the show with “Marry the Night,” and she ended up being nominated for three awards, including Album of the Year for Born This Way. Other top nominees include Kanye West, Adele, Foo Fighters, Bruno Mars and Bon Iver.

Yes, just take a minute and reread that.

Bon Iver.

If you don’t know Bon Iver, you should hop over here to take a listen. You’ll be rooting for “Holocene” in no time, I’m just telling you now.

Anyway, let’s have a look here at who’s nominated in the major categories, and then feel free place your bets accordingly.

Album of the Year

  • 21, Adele
  • Born This Way, Lady Gaga
  • Wasting Light, Foo Fighters
  • Doo-Wops & Hooligans, Bruno Mars
  • Loud, Rihanna
Adele's "21"

The consensus: This is a strange category this year. It’s surprisingly relevant, compared to past Album of the Year nominees and winners. (Anybody remember when Herbie Hancock had that super-bizarre win in 2008? Anyone? Yep.) Twitter says Adele wins it, common sense says Adele wins it, I say Adele wins it… Consensus here is Adele. 21 has sold nearly 5 million copies in the United States alone, and the constant radio play of both “Rolling in the Deep” and “Someone Like You” is powerful. Plus, the other songs on the album are strong, some of them stronger than the singles (“Set Fire to the Rain” is a personal favorite). Gaga will win this category one year, but she just can’t come near it yet, especially with the incredibly glitzy, schlocky Born This Way. (And don’t get me wrong, I’m all about that album, too!) Rihanna and Bruno just don’t have the vocals or lyrics to battle Adele, and Foo Fighters are the Grammys’ mandatory nod to basic rock and roll that they throw in every year.

Song of the Year

  • “All of the Lights,” Kanye West featuring Rihanna and Kid Cudi
  • “The Cave,” Mumford and Sons
  • “Grenade,” Bruno Mars
  • “Holocene,” Bon Iver
  • “Rolling in the Deep,” Adele
Still from Kanye West's "All of the Lights" video directed by Hype Williams

The consensus: Twitter was much more divided on this category, and I need to make a clarification about this category. Song of the Year deals with the actual song and the lyrics in the song and the structure of the song. This is all about quality (well, for the most part). Record of the Year is for the actual recording. This is going to go to the songwriters. Okay? Okay. With that being said, the Twitter jury said Kanye West. Of the songs above, “All of the Lights” really is a standout track. The lyrics are excellent, and the structure of the song itself is also magnificent. It’s a testament to Kanye’s resurgence. Adele is again going to provide the most competition and the possible upset, again because the song itself is a high quality piece. Don’t get your hopes up for a “Grenade” win; the lyrics don’t stand up to any of the others at all (“I’d catch a grenade for ya/Put my hand on a blade for ya/I’d jump in front of a train for ya/You know I’d do anything for ya”). Biggest underdog? Bon Iver, especially in competition with Mumford and Sons. Grammy voters are likely to cancel the two acts out, and fingers here are crossed that they don’t.

Record of the Year

  • “Rolling in the Deep,” Adele
  • “Holocene,” Bon Iver
  • “Grenade,” Bruno Mars
  • “Firework,” Katy Perry
  • “The Cave,” Mumford and Sons

The consensus: So, first of all, “All of the Lights” doesn’t get nominated here, although we just saw it in Song of the Year, and instead, INSTEAD, we get “Firework,” by Katy Perry? Okay. Somehow, someone, somewhere, decided the blandest of all of Katy Perry’s songs is more worthy of a nomination than Kanye. I don’t get it. I like songs with a good message or whatever, but really? Really? If you’re going to do the message song, why not “Born This Way”? Right? Okay.

A still from "Holocene" by Bon Iver

Anyway, on to the actual nominees: You think “Rolling in the Deep” isn’t going to win? Really. Guess who Twitter picked? Guess. Come on. Yep, Twitter was also generally unanimous in the endorsement of Adele, although indie-oriented magazines like Spin, Stereogum and Pitchfork are all pulling for the Bon Iver upset – and in this case, to be honest, I am, too. I’d like to see Justin Vernon and Co. pick up at least one award, and one major award at that. Bet on Adele, hope for Bon Iver.

 

Best New Artist

  • Nicki Minaj
  • Bon Iver
  • Skrillex
  • The Band Perry
  • J. Cole

The consensus: This was another divisive category, and I guess it must just depend on who you listen to. Plenty of tweets were in favor of Minaj, who at first glance does seem to be the obvious choice. Pink Friday dominated the charts, and she’s the first solo female rapper to have top hits on multiple charts at the same time. Plus her numerous guest appearances have to be mentioned, especially when one considers that some of her guest spots (especially on Kanye’s “Monster”) are better than a few cuts on her album.

Skrillex's album "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites"

And then we get the division. Indie kids want Bon Iver and believe that they can pull off the upset, and it’s true that there is a chance. While Vernon’s group isn’t really that “new” (Bon Iver is their second album), this was a huge year for them as a band, charting with an EP and everything. Plus, you know who else is getting the buzz? SKRIlLEX. Dubstep kids may finally show the world that they are here to dominate after all! What do you know? Skrillex is quietly gaining on these other two and actually has a total of five nominations. Again, money on Minaj, but this time, the risk with Bon Iver or Skrillex might really pay off.

So we have our lovely nominees, and you can check the complete list out here. The event will take place on CBS on February 12, 2012, starting at 8 p.m. I’ll be watching, and you should, too, because what else are you going to be doing on a Sunday night in February in Ohio, especially northeast Ohio?

Exactly.

And then, if you need a few laughs, check out VH1’s website. They’re actually kind of sort of trying to take credit for exposing us to some of these artists who are nominated – I’m not kidding! Like VH1 has some sort of sway with Grammy voters. I mean, really now.

Really.

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