2014 Grammy Award Predictions

2014 Grammy predictions: Who will win, who should win, and who could surprise us all

Music’s biggest night is just around the corner. The 56th annual Grammy Awards are set to air on CBS on Sunday night from the Los Angeles’ Staples Center. Here’s a look at who will take home a trophy at the 2014 Grammy Awards.


The nominees: “Get Lucky” – Daft Punk; “Radioactive” – Imagine Dragons; “Royals” – Lorde; “Locked Out of Heaven” – Bruno Mars; “Blurred Lines” – Robin Thicke
Who will win: “Locked Out of Heaven” – Bruno Mars
Who should win: “Get Lucky” – Daft Punk

Bruno Mars has been everywhere this year—he’s even following up his Grammy weekend with a trip to the Super Bowl to play the halftime show—making it easy to pick his song based on popularity alone. But Daft Punk had a real impact on music this year, with Get Lucky battling for the coveted “song of the summer” title and earning them crossover success they’ve long deserved.


The nominees: “The Blessed Unrest” – Sara Bareilles; “Random Access Memories” – Daft Punk; “Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City” – Kendrick Lamar; “The Heist” – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis; “Red” – Taylor Swift
Who will win: “Red” – Taylor Swift
Who should win: “Random Access Memories” – Daft Punk

Taylor Swift seems like the safe choice in a mishmash category that doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense. (Sara Bareilles? Really?) Again, Daft Punk created the superior work in terms of developing a vision for the album, crafting the song, enlisting help the most unexpected and thoughtful people, and bringing the whole thing together in a package that’s as listenable as it is cerebral.


The Nominees: “Just Give Me a Reason” – Pink feat. Nate Ruess; “Locked Out of Heaven” – Bruno Mars; “Roar” – Katy Perry; “Royals” – Lorde; “Same Love” – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Who will win: “Locked Out of Heaven” – Bruno Mars
Who should win: “Royals” – Lorde

This awards celebrates songcraft, honouring songwriters rather than performers, so while Bruno Mars has the best chance of standing out, Lorde’s sparse, incisive tune contributed more to the craft of songwriting than Bruno’s soundalike of The Police. Plus, Lorde deserves some consolation for being inexplicably shut out of the Best New Artist race.


The nominees: James Blake; Kendrick Lamar; Macklemore & Ryan Lewis; Kacey Musgraves; Ed Sheeran
Who will win: James Blake
Who should win: Kendrick Lamar

James Blake’s first album was nominated for the Mercury Prize in his homeland of England back in 2011, so it’s hard to understand how he’s vying for “best new artist” while Lorde isn’t. That being said, Blake has the kind of unique, fully-formed and identifiable sound that tends to resonate with voters in the category (see also: past winners Bon Iver, Adele, Amy Winehouse, etc.).


The nominees: “Paradise” – Lana Del Rey; “Pure Heroine” – Lorde; “Unorthodox Jukebox” – Bruno Mars; “Blurred Lines” – Robin Thicke; “The 20/20 Experience: The Complete Experience” – Justin Timberlake
Who will win: “Unorthodox Jukebox” – Bruno Mars
Who should win: “Pure Heroine” – Lorde

Solo women have won this category six of the last eight years and Lorde deserves to carry that torch. Robin Thicke and Justin Timberlake’s albums should cancel each other out, while the winner in the top three categories usually doesn’t win this one. Lorde should beat Lana on positive buzz alone.


The nominees: “Random Access Memories” – Daft Punk; “settle” – Disclosure; “18 Months” – Calvin Harris; “Atmosphere” – Kaskade; “A Color Map of the Sun” – Pretty Lights
Who will win: “Random Access Memories” – Daft Punk
Who should win: “Random Access Memories” – Daft Punk

“Like the legend of the phoenix,” Daft Punk rose up to retake their titles as the robot kings of dance music. You didn’t hear their songs in commercials or TV shows—The Colbert Report aside—but it was just about everywhere else. Instead of trying to sound futuristic, Random Access Memories found soul in paying tribute to the dance music of the past—its sights, sounds, and even prominent players like Giorgio Moroder—making it an insightful trip down memory lane as well as a fun dance record.


The nominees: “13” – Black Sabbath; “The Next Day” – David Bowie; “Mechanical Bull” – Kings of Leon; “Celebration Day” – Led Zeppelin; “…Like Clockwork” – Queens of the Stone Age; “Psychedelic Pill” – Neil Young and Crazy Horse
Who will win: “The Next Day” – David Bowie
Who should win: “…Like Clockwork” – Queens of the Stone Age

It’s not that David Bowie doesn’t deserve to win, it’s just that Queens of the Stone Age put out the best rock album in 2013, regardless of the competition. Its sound is out of left field—compared to the rest of the rock world, if you’re a Queens fan it’s more of a natural progression—but manages to be familiar, while its songs are well-crafted and soulfully executed.


The nominees: “Nothing Was the Same” – Drake; “Magna Carta Holy Grail” – Jay-Z; “Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City” – Kendrick Lamar; “Yeezus” – Kanye West; “The Heist” – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Who will win: “Yeezus” – Kanye West
Who should win: “Nothing Was the Same” – Drake

Kanye is all but a lock in this category, and with good reason because Yeezus had the biggest impact this year by far—it’s hard to believe it’s not up for album of the year. But while it’s masterfully constructed, it can be hard to palate from beginning to end, which is why Drake’s album deserves some strong consideration as well.

Tags: Justin Timberlake

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