.

The Grammys: Who Will Win in the Key Categories

Kanye West gets the most nominations, but Adele is more likely to clean up

December 1, 2011 2:15 PM ET
kanye west
Kanye West attends the 'Reed Between The Lines' VIP screening in New York.
Johnny Nunez/WireImage

We read this year's Grammy nominations news as blah blah blah blah blah Common, Lupe Fiasco and LL Cool J performed a tribute to Grandmaster Flash last night blah blah blah blah. It's about time Flash got some respect! Could Melle Mel be next? Or Roxanne Shanté? We can only hope. As for the nominations themselves? We haven't subscribed to the old "Grammy voters are stupid" wisdom for years –certainly not after witnessing last year's dramatic Arcade Fire victory. So mostly, these are on target: Brace yourselves for a lot of (deserved) teary Adele moments. But Kanye West continues to be the Rodney Dangerfield of awards shows, and (news flash!) nobody at the Grammys seems to listen to a great deal of metal. Oh well. Despite all that, it isn't a bad list this year at all.

ALBUM OF THE YEAR: If you think Lady Gaga, Foo Fighters, Bruno Mars or Rihanna will get anywhere near this thing, you probably believe Gingrich-Cain can take Obama in 2012. Adele sold the most records (21 is up to 4.6 million in the U.S. alone) and she has that back-to-basics, counter-counter-cultural "after so many years of Britney, Katy and Gaga we're finally back to real music" thing that stalwart Grammy voters love. 

RECORD OF THE YEAR: See above. No way "Rolling In the Deep" doesn't win – although the aforementioned "real music" coalition could split the vote between Adele, Mumford & Sons and Bon Iver, giving the world a final chance to salute the pyrotechnics exploding from Katy Perry's bosom. Notable omission: "Pumped Up Kicks," by Foster the People, which merely made the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance category (and will totally lose to Tony Bennett-Amy Winehouse's "Body and Soul").

BEST NEW ARTIST: "New" is always a difficult concept for the Grammy nominations committee: This year's Bon Iver is the sensitive Justin Vernon band's second album (plus one Top 20 EP) over the past four years. Our money is on the obvious choice – the unstoppable Nicki Minaj – but those looking for an Esperanza Spalding-type upset might bet on thrashy electronic-dance act Skrillex, which shockingly received five nominations overall.

BEST DANCE RECORDING: Looking for the good stuff? Skip to this category. Our boy Skrillex is here again, with "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites," as well as Robyn's break-up demand "Call Your Girlfriend" and David Guetta's movie-scene-worthy instrumental (with Swedish DJ Avicii) "Sunshine." Even Duck Sauce's novelty "Barbra Streisand" – excellent lyric: "BARBRA STREISAND" – wouldn't wound us deeply if it won.

BEST HARD ROCK/METAL PERFORMANCE: Every story on how terrible the Grammy nominations are requires one mention of Jethro Tull in this space, so here it is. Ha ha! Aren't Grammy voters stupid! Of course, that was 23 years ago, and the voters have more or less evolved since then. Anyway, these nominees aren't too ridiculous – Megadeth, Foo Fighters – unless you're, like, a real metal fan who prefers Tombs and Autopsy. Anyway, this category belongs to Mastodon, which headbangs and grooves.

BEST R&B ALBUM: Chris Brown's F.A.M.E. and R. Kelly's Love Letter are irresistible in their own ways, but we can't stomach the thought of either of these barbarians using the Grammy podium as a platform for personal redemption. So we're rooting instead for veteran pillow-talker El DeBarge's Second Chance, which is middle-of-the-road soul in the best possible definition of the term.

BEST RAP PERFORMANCE: You know how Kanye West is always bitching about a lack of respect, and how it makes him look so arrogant (especially after he, you know, bum-rushes people on awards stages)? We finally agree that he has a point. Clearly, obviously, without a doubt, on any planet in the universe, his My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was the best hip-hop album of the year (or the Grammys' definition of "year," which runs from October 1st, 2010 to September 30th of this year). And yet, while his excellent Rihanna-Kid Cudi-Fergie single "All of the Lights" landed in other categories, and West received seven nominations overall, including one here for "Otis," on this year's Jay-Z collaboration Watch the Throne, Fantasy gets nothing. That is nonsensical.

Related
Adele, Foo Fighters, Bruno Mars Nominated for Top Grammy Awards

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Party Rock Anthem”

LMFAO | 2011

This electro-pop uncle-nephew duo burst onto the scene with 2009’s "Shots," a song about getting totally obliterated. Two years afterward, they were still shamelessly getting wild but now insisting that everyone else join them in the fun. "I wanted a song for when we walked into a party, so I thought, 'Party rock in the house tonight/Everybody just have a good time,'" Redfoo (a.k.a. Stefan Gordy, son of Motown founder Berry Gordy) told Rolling Stone about the lyrics to "Party Rock Anthem." "The 'just' was key. I made it a command to focus people on what to do now that we’re here together."

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com