Who Will Win and Who Should Win: Grammys 2019

Who Will Win and Who Should Win: Grammys 2019

General Field

1.Record Of The Year

  • Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin - “I Like It”

  • Brandi Carlile - “The Joke”

  • Childish Gambino - “This is America”

  • Drake - “God’s Plan”

  • Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper - “Shallow”

  • Kendrick Lamar & SZA - “All The Stars”

  • Post Malone Featuring 21 Savage - “Rockstar”

  • Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey - “The Middle”

Will Win: “God’s Plan”

Should Win: “This Is America”

Like Marvel’s Infinity War, the Grammys seek the most ambitious crossover in history. The addition of both Black Panther’s “All The Stars” and A Star is Born’s “Shallow” along with Country singer Brandi Carlile’s “The Joke” and Cardi B’s Latin inspired “I Like It” give the Record of the Year category a wealth of diversity. Despite this, Drake’s all powerful popularity will most likely shine through leading to a victory for “God’s Plan.” On the flip side, the fact that two records for film are nominated is a good sign that either “All The Starts” or “Shallow” could win out. When it comes to who should win there is no contest. Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” has by far the largest cultural relevance and impact of any song nominated. Gambino has been a favorite of the recording academy in recent years so there still is a very good chance “This Is America” wins over Drake.

2. Album Of The Year

  • Cardi B - Invasion Of Privacy

  • Brandi Carlile - By The Way, I Forgive You

  • Drake - Scorpion

  • H.E.R - H.E.R

  • Post Malone - Beerbongs & Bentleys

  • Janelle Monáe - Dirty Computer

  • Kacey Musgraves - Golden Hour

  • Various Artists - Black Panther: The Album

Will Win: Invasion Of Privacy

Should Win: Golden Hour

With many of the male artists turning down performances (Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino) it seems that the Grammys are poised to be Cardi B’s night. With all the Grammy love over the past two cycles, it would be no surprise for the academy to pick Invasion of Privacy as the album of the year. I could also see Dirty Computer winning out for its Prince influence and slew of popular features. If Scorpion wins we riot. That album is trash. Anyways Kacey Musgrave’s Golden Hour should win for its amazing blend of Country Rock and Pop. Golden Hour cemented Kacey Musgraves as a force in popular music and therefore should get the award.

3. Song Of The Year

  • Kendrick Lamar & SZA - “All The Stars”

  • Ella Mai - “Boo’d Up”

  • Drake - “God’s Plan”

  • Shawn Mendes - “In My Blood”

  • Brandi Carlile - “The Joke”

  • Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey - “The Middle”

  • Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper - “Shallow”

  • Childish Gambino - “This Is America”

Will Win: “God’s Plan”

Should Win: “This Is America”

See 1.

4. Best New Artist

  • Chloe x Halle

  • Luke Combs

  • Greta Van Fleet

  • H.E.R

  • Dua Lipa

  • Margo Price

  • Bebe Rexha

  • Jorja Smith

Will Win: “Dua Lipa”

Should Win: “Dua Lipa”

The best new artist category seems a bit more clear cut than in recent years, partially due to the massive rise of Dua Lipa. I could maybe see Jorja Smith or Margo Price edging this award out as they have both put out outstanding music recently but they don’t have as crazy the star power as Dua Lipa. I worry that since the academy is made up of a bunch of old classic rock die hards, they will go for the Led Zeppelin rip off, Greta Van Fleet. Let’s hope they don’t

Pop

5. Best Pop Solo Performance

  • Beck - “Colors”

  • Camila Cabello - “Havana (Live)”

  • Ariana Grande - “God Is A Woman”

  • Lady Gaga - “Joanne (Where Do You Think You’re Goin?)”

  • Post Malone - “Better Now”

Will Win: “God Is A Woman”

Should Win: “Joanne (Where Do You Think You’re Goin?)

The clash of two pop titans will play out in this category. Camila Cabello’s hit “Havana” has the oomph to win this category but the live version and technicalities prevent it. The new queen of pop, Ariana Grande, will inevitably win out with the soulful “God Is A Woman.” Though Beck’s “Colors” and Post Malone’s “Better Now” are great songs, they don’t have the firepower to keep up with Cabello and Grande. One person who does is Lady Gaga. Though “Joanne” came out in 2016 the piano ballad version of the song came out in 2018 and reminded us how beautiful a song it is. With the success of A Star Is Born, it would be no surprise for her to snatch this award.

6. Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

  • Christina Aguilera Featuring Demi Lovato - “Fall In Line”

  • Backstreet Boys - “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”

  • Tony Bennett & Diana Krall - “'S Wonderful”

  • Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper - “Shallow”

  • Maroon 5 Featuring Cardi B - “Girls Like You”

  • Justin Timberlake Featuring Chris Stapleton - “Say Something”

  • Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey - “The Middle”

Will Win: “Shallow”

Should Win “Shallow”

Though A Star Is Born brings me to a mix of feelings (EGOT bait?), there is no denying that Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga were the duo to beat this year. “Shallow” is an amazing song that will surely cement both Gaga and Cooper as cultural chameleons.

8. Best Pop Vocal Album

  • Camila Cabello - Camila

  • Kelly Clarkson - Meaning Of Life

  • Ariana Grande - Sweetener

  • Shawn Mendes - Shawn Mendes

  • P!nk - Beautiful Trama

  • Taylor Swift - Reputation

Will Win: Sweetener

Should Win: Sweetener

Though Taylor Swift is a HUGE Grammy favorite, Reputation kind of sucks so I think it would be hard for even the academy to reward it. That leaves only Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello’s work as potential threats to Sweetener. And although Shawn Mendes had a great year and gives me similar vibes to another academy favorite (a la Ed Sheeran), it is still unlikely that it will beat Ariana Grande. This isn’t a bad thing as Sweetener is a very innovative bubbly pop album that pushed Ariana into the limelight and made her a permanent fixation in the pop music landscape.

Rock

12. Best Rock Performance

  • Arctic Monkeys - “Four Out Of Five”

  • Chris Cornell - “When Bad Does Good”

  • The Fever 33 - “Made an America”

  • Greta Van Fleet - “Highway Tune”

  • Halestorm - “Uncomfortable”

Will Win: “When Bad Does Good”

Arctic Monkeys: “Four Out Of Five”

The Grammys has a soft spot for recently deceased artist and they should as there is no better way than to display someones legacy than keeping them in the spotlight with a posthumous award. Despite this, Arctic Monkeys came out with the best performance out of this bunch. “Four Out Of Five” is the most straightforward rock song off of their latest album and it deserves the inevitable praise.

14. Best Rock Song

  • Greta Van Fleet - “Black Smoke Rising”

  • Twenty One Pilots - “Jumpsuit”

  • Bring Me Horizon - “Mantra”

  • St. Vincent - “Masseduction”

  • Ghost - “Rats”

Will Win: “Black Smoke Rising”

Should Win: “Masseduction”

This category shows the dichotomy of modern “Rock” that has plagued the academy for many years. On the one hand there is classic rock acts that are in the twilight of their career and release sub par money grabs that will please the academy (Greta Van Fleet is used here as a proxy for Led Zeppelin) or Metal which should have its own category. On the other hand there is the true modern rock which is represented by St. Vincent’s fantastic song “Masseduction” and is somewhere between the realm of Alternative, and Indie Rock. While there is an “alternative” category it is not as extensive. This disconnect between the realms of rock is what leads to many of these awards being laughable.

15. Best Rock Album

Alice In Chains - Rainier Frog

Fall Out Boy - Mania

Ghost - Prequelle

Greta Van Fleet - From The Fires

Weezer - Pacific Daydream

Will Win: Weezer memes fandom

Should Win: Parquet Courts - Wide Awake!

What a travesty this category is. Let’s go down the list: Aging rockers that the academy loves despite being sub par (2check), Metal album that should be in a separate category (check), shitty Pop-Rock (2*check). If I were to have to pick I’d say the academy would lean towards Weezer but Pacific Daydream is not exactly Weezer’s most treasured material. Who SHOULD win in Bad Paper Jam’s album of the year, Wide Awake! by Parquet Courts. A searing punk-rock record that is as diverse in sound as it is in commentary and severely underrated by the academy.

Alternative

16. Best Alternative Music Album

  • Arctic Monkeys - Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino

  • Beck - Colors

  • Björk - Utopia

  • David Byrne - American Utopia

  • St. Vincent - Masseduction

Will Win: Utopia

Should Win: Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino

This one’s a doozy. Though David Byrne’s is in the twilight of his career, American Utopia is not some half assed attempt to bring Talking Heads back into the limelight and I can see the academy loving it. In the same vain, the academy simply adores Björk and her “alternative” music and so it is safe to say that she is the favorite. For me I have trouble choosing between Arctic Monkeys and St. Vincent. Masseduction is and odyssey of synth pop and storytelling and St. Vincent is seen as a somewhat young Björk to the academy. Ultimately the overarching lounge pop sound of Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino deserves the award. The complete 180 that Arctic Monkey’s pulled off this year is staggering and they should be awarded justly.

Rap

22. Best Rap Performance

  • Cardi B - “Be Careful”

  • Drake - “Nice For What”

  • Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Future & James Blake - “King’s Dead”

  • Anderson .Paak - “Bubblin”

  • Travis Scott, Drake & Swae Lee - “Sicko Mode”

Will Win: “Sicko Mode”

Should Win: “Sicko Mode”

Though “Sicko Mode” and “Mo Bamba” have been buried in the graveyard of memes, they still remain significant songs from last year. While Drake’s solo “Nice For What” (by far the best song off Scorpion) could potentially take the category, the internet popularity will propel “Sicko Mode” to the top. Stripping down the memes, “Sicko Mode” is a psychedelic rap masterpiece that shows Travis Scott’s production at the top of his game. Some would say, award worthy.

23. Best Rap/Sung Performance

  • Christina Aguilera Featuring Goldlink - “Like I Do”

  • 6lack Featuring J. Cole - “Pretty Little Fears”

  • Childish Gambino - “This Is America”

  • Kendrick Lamar & SZA - “All The Stars”

  • Post Malone Featuring 21 Savage - “Rockstar”

Will Win: “Rockstar”

Should Win: “This Is America”

Can we pour one out for Sir 21 Savage? The man was on top of the world when it came out that he was from the UK on an incredibly expired visa. His seminal hit with Post Malone, “Rockstar,” remains a statement of wealth and excess that electrified audiences in late 2017. I think with all the 21 buzz, this song will win and he will get a shoutout and whatnot but for the reason previously stated, “This Is America” should win.

24. Best Rap Song

Drake - “God’s Plan”

  • Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Future & James Blake - “King’s Dead”

  • Eminem Featuring Joyner Lucas - “Lucky You”

  • Travis Scott, Drake & Swae Lee - “Sicko Mode”

  • Jay Rock - “Win”

Will Win: “Sicko Mode”

Should Win: “Sicko Mode”

See 22 (replace “Nice For What” with “God’s Plan”)

25. Best Rap Album

  • Cardi B - Invasion Of Privacy

  • Mac Miller - Swimming

  • Nipsey Hussle - Victory Lap

  • Pusha T - Daytona

  • Travis Scott - Astroworld

Will Win: Invasion Of Privacy

Should Win: Daytona

This is a close toss up between Cardi B and Travis Scott. Both extremely popular artist this past year but the academy seems to be all in on Cardi and so Invasion Of Privacy will prevail. Sadly both these records are inferior to Pusha T’s Kanye Produced Daytona. This album started the feud that was heard around the world and cemented Push as one of the best in the rap game. The academy should recognize his greatness.

Country

29. Best Country Album

  • Kelsea Ballerini - Unapologetically

  • Brother Osborne - Port Saint Joe

  • Ashley McBryde - Girl Going Nowhere

  • Kacey Musgraves - Golden Hour

  • Chris Stapleton - Froom A Room: Volume 2

Will Win: Golden Hour

Should Win: Golden Hour

Although Golden Hour is country in the heart but not the mind, the impact that this album has had for Kacey Musgraves’ career is staggering. Her audience expanded as the accessibility of Golden Hour led to a new love of country music by many. Despite all of this, the grammys could potentially chose the popular album from Christ Stapleton. Let’s hope they get off their high horse and choose the correct candidate.

Music For Visual Media

59. Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media

  • Various Artists - Call Me By Your Name

  • Various Artists - Deadpool 2

  • Various Artists - The Greatest Showman

  • Various Artists - Lady Bird

  • Various Artists - Stranger Things

Will Win: The Greatest Showman

Should Win: Call Me By Your Name

Scanning the latter Grammy categories, I came across this interesting “Visual Media” category that doesn’t have Black Panther in it! Looking at the numbers from last year, The Greatest Showman soundtrack was the best selling release of 2018. It should come as no surprise when they win in this category. The problem is there are 3 other amazing soundtracks (don’t know if the Deadpool 2 soundtrack is any good) that will not be awarded. Stranger Things contains a master class of 80’s sound pieces. Everything from The Clash to Joy Division to Devo is on this thing. Lady Bird and Call Me By Your Name have similar vibes as they both contain modern music intertwined with classical tid bits to set the tone. I have to give it to Call Me By Your Name as the songs from Ryuichi Sakamoto has changed my view of classical composition. Also the two songs from Sufjan Stevens are haunting and beautiful and SHOULD propel this soundtrack to Grammy glory.

60. Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media

Ludwig Göransson - Black Panther

Benjamin Wallfisch & Hans Zimmer - Bladerunner 2049

Michael Giacchino - Coco

Alexandre Desplat - The Shape Of Water

John Williams - Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Will Win: Bladerunner 2049

Should Win: The Shape Of Water

Based on the Oscar’s pick we can predict that The Shape Of Water will win this category. I would agree on this pick as the score is so so beautiful and creates a pretty yet creepy tone that permeates throughout the entire movie. The grammys might differ from the Oscars as both Bladerunner 2049 and Star Wars: The Last Jedi were composed by very popular grammy gods. Bladerunner 2049 is my prediction as the very popular first movie had a game changing soundtrack that is evoked by this soundtrack.

Happy Jamming!

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