CBS hosts a nomination concert tonight, and you can expect to be surprised, delighted and outraged when they read the nominees. There’s a big push for Tony Bennett, who’s just going through the motions on his latest album, and he could likely take the
old guy respected veteran slot for Album of the Year. Here are my final picks, with a little bit of analysis.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Duets II, Tony Bennett
Born This Way, Lady Gaga
Speak Now, Taylor Swift
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Kanye West
The skinny: I thought this would be Rihanna’s year, but at the rate she’s putting out albums, she’ll have at least five chances in the next five years. Swift returns through sheer goodwill–and killer album sales. Paul Simon could still find his way. It’s between him and Tony Bennett, and Bennett’s album is newer and will sell better throughout the holidays.
RECORD OF THE YEAR
“Rolling in the Deep,” Adele
“Pumped Up Kicks,” Foster the People
“Born This Way,” Lady Gaga
“Party Rock Anthem,” LMFAO feat. Lauren Bennett and GoonRock
“Grenade,” Bruno Mars
The skinny: The horrendous “If I Die Young” is ineligible because it was nominated for Best Country Song last year, though the Band Perry is still eligible for Best New Artist. Huh? The only question mark here is LMFAO. Some voters might find the fact that they brought dancefloor trends to a No. 1 smash exciting. Others will dismiss them as our generation’s Right Said Fred. If more feel the latter, expect Katy Perry to step forward with “Firework.” Although I will be super-pissed if they nominate Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga’s duet on “The Lady is a Tramp.” Blech.
SONG OF THE YEAR
“Rolling in the Deep,” Adele (written by Adele, Paul Epworth)
“Born This Way,” Lady Gaga (written by Stefani Germanotta, Jeppe Laursen, Paul Blair, Fernando Garibay)
“Grenade,” Bruno Mars (written by Bruno Mars, Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine, Brody Brown, Claude Kelly, Andrew Wyatt)
“Waiting for Christmas Day,” Paul Simon (written by Paul Simon)
“Runaway,” Kanye West (written by Kanye West, Terrence Thornton, Emile Haynie, Jeff Bhasker, Mike Dean, John Roger Branch)
The skinny: Always tough to call, because there’s probably a really sappy country ballad I haven’t heard that will make it into this category. Thank God “If I Die Young” is ineligible. (If you couldn’t tell, I HATE that song.)
BEST NEW ARTIST
The Band Perry
The Civil Wars
Foster the People
The skinny: Do they nominate Bon Iver? He’s never been nominated before, so technically he’s a “new artist” to them, but he’s way outside this category’s wheelhouse.
BEST ALTERNATIVE MUSIC ALBUM
Bon Iver, Bon Iver
The King is Dead, the Decemberists
Codes and Keys, Death Cab for Cutie
The King of Limbs, Radiohead
The Whole Love, Wilco
The skinny: As much as I want Fleet Foxes up here, I have to go with “conventional wisdom,” by the Academy’s skewed definition, and go with Death Cab, who will have their fourth consecutive nomination in this category.