Posted in Album of the Year, Best New Artist, GRAMMY Awards, Record of the Year, Song of the Year

58th GRAMMYs: Final predictions for the General Field

The submissions are in and the date for the nominations have been set (December 7), hence it is time to start rounding out the final predictions for the 58th GRAMMY Awards. And today we will be looking at the major contenders for the general field. In the following weeks, I’ll be posting predictions for the mainstream fields.

RECORD OF THE YEAR

  1. Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars — Uptown Funk
  2. Taylor Swift — Blank Space
  3. The Weeknd — Can’t Feel My Face
  4. Ed Sheeran — Thinking Out Loud
  5. Kanye West, Rihanna & Paul McCartney — FourFiveSeconds

The Record of the Year line-up hasn’t change much (or hardly at all) since thebeginning of the year. Four songs are certainly locked up: Uptown Funk (hit single of the year, throwback sound, elaborated production); Taylor Swift’s Blank Space (considered by some as the best single of 1989, is Taylor Swift); The Weeknd’s Can’t Feel My Face (another hit single of the year, another Michael Jackson sound-alike tune); and Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud (a GRAMMYs’ favourite, the major contender with live instrumentation). Now the fifth contender could hopefully be a surprise, but I’m rooting for FourFiveSeconds. As I mentioned before, the Academy wouldn’t pass out a collaboration with some of its favourite performers. If nominated, McCartney would have his first appearence in this category since last 1983.

Other likely contenders: 

  • Alabama Shakes — Don’t Wanna Fight
  • Foo Fighters — Something from Nothing
  • Wiz Khalifa & Charlie Puth — See You Again
  • Kendrick Lamar — Alright
  • OMI — Cheerleader (Live 2015)

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

  1. Taylor Swift — 1989
  2. Kendrick Lamar — To Pimp A Butterfly
  3. Foo Fighters — Sonic Highways
  4. Alabama Shakes — Sound & Color
  5. D’Angelo & the Vanguard — Black Messiah

At this point there’s unanimous consent that the Album of the Year will be a two-way race between Taylor Swift’s multi-platinum 1989 and the critically-acclaimed To Pimp A Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar. Now the rest of the line-up is unclear. The Foos could be looking at their third consecutive AoTY nomination for Sonic Highways despite it’s mixed reception, GRAMMY voters might be looking at its elaborate production. The emerging favourites are the Alabama Shakes for their sophomore effort Sound & Color, with some even calling it the ‘Arcade Fire of the year’. Lastly, if the Academy voters want to reward an R&B album that would be D’Angelo’s Black Messiah, (his first album in 14 years).

Other likely contenders

  • Drake — If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late
  • Florence + the Machine — How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
  • Mumford & Sons — Wilder Mind
  • Mark Ronson — Uptown Special
  • The Weeknd — Beauty Behind the Madness

SONG OF THE YEAR

  1. Blank Space — Taylor Swift, Max Martin & Shellback
  2. Thinking Out Loud — Ed Sheeran & Amy Wadge
  3. Alright — Kendrick Lamar, Mark Spears & Pharrell Williams
  4. Can’t Feel My Face — The Weeknd, Savan Kotecha, Max Martin, Ali Payami, Peter Svenson
  5. Budapest — George Ezra, Joel Putt

Song of the Year is always quite tricky to predict. In recent years, we’ve seen a dominance of radio-friendly pop songs and this is likely to happen again for the 58th GRAMMYs. Three of the hypothetical RoTY nominees could end up grabbing nods here: Blank Space, Thinking Out Loud, and Can’t Feel My Face. This last one does not seem to be fitting quite well among other predictors, but the song is one of the few hits of the year with clever lyrics. Also Max Martin (one of the songwriters) has been making the line-up for the last two years and he could snatch a double-nod this time. Here, we could also see the odd hip-hop song nominated, and if that’s the case, Lamar’s “Alright” with the assistance of Pharrell Williams, is the most likely contender. Lastly, we could also see an out-of-the-blue nominee and for that I’m predicting “Budapest” by George Ezra.

Other likely contenders

  • Elastic Heart
  • Fight Song
  • Glory
  • See You Again
  • Uptown Funk

BEST NEW ARTIST

  1. Meghan Trainor
  2. Sam Hunt
  3. James Bay
  4. Tori Kelly
  5. Hozier

There’s a wide open race for the Best New Artist category. Basically any ‘new’ artist can get nominated simply because none of them had an extraordinary year. Having said that, the top contender (and most likely winner) seems to be last year’s nominee, Meghan Trainor. She is the only breakthrough act of the year with the most hit singles. Secondly, we have the guaranteed country spot for Sam Hunt. Third, the unofficial ‘British solo male performer’ spot that goes to James Bay. Fourth, the most respected new act from Max Martin’s school of pop stars, Tori Kelly. And lastly there’s Hozier. Amongst other predictors, Hozier seems to be on top of the list alongside Trainor and that’s the only reason he is in my list of predictions. However, I would not say that the Irish singer/songwriter had a tremendous year since he seemed to have faded away after the massive success of the SoTY-nominee, “Take Me to Church”.

Other likely contenders

  • Leon Bridges
  • George Ezra
  • Fetty Wrap
  • FKA Twigs
  • Walk the Moon
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