Arts & Entertainment

The Tribune weighs in on 2011 Grammy picks

Best Pop Vocal Album:

My World 2.0 — Justin Bieber

I Dreamed a Dream — Susan Boyle

The Fame Monster — Lady GaGa

Battle Studies — John Mayer

Teenage Dream — Katy Perry

Pop music was everywhere this past year, whether you liked it or not. Although Perry’s nomination may have sprouted from her current hit singles, she’s not favoured. We predict that Lady Gaga is finally going to get what she’s been itching for—more recognition from the Grammys—and will take the Pop Vocal Album category this year.

 

Album of the Year:

The Suburbs — Arcade Fire

Recovery — Eminem

Need You Now — Lady Antebellum

The Fame Monster — Lady GaGa

Teenage Dream — Katy Perry

Everything great about pop music is in The Fame Monster: catchy hooks, direct lyrics, and the best production the industry has to offer. Techno and house music fans knew long ago that the synthesizer created catchy riffs, but the polished, 21st century Gaga persona is responsible for bringing synth-pop to the Top 40. Her songs are completely over the top, absurdly theatrical, and consistently powerful. No doubt The Suburbs has a more intelligent message behind it, but there’s something to be said for Lady Gaga’s sheer entertainment value.

 

Song of the Year:

“Beg Steal or Borrow”  — Ray LaMontagne

“Forget You” —  Cee-Lo Green

“The House That Built Me”  — Miranda Lambert

“Love the Way You Lie”  — Eminem Feat. Rihanna

“Need You Now” — Lady Antebellum  

Cee-Lo Green’s stroke of genius was writing a vengeful breakup song that’s as rude as it is playful. For most of us, it’s refreshing to hear a song about an ex that isn’t depressing, and the song is catchy enough to get stuck in our parents’ heads too. Whether they choose to sing the lyrics out loud with us or just mutter them under their breath, the song raises the same moral conundrum that’s existed since the days of Elvis Presley: Is this artist considered controversial, or are my kids just cooler than me?  

 

Record of the Year:

“Nothin’ on You” — B.o.B. Feat. Bruno Mars

“Love the Way You Lie”  — Eminem Feat. Rihanna

“Forget You” —  Cee-Lo Green

“Empire State of Mind”  — Jay-Z Feat. Alicia Keys

“Need You Now” — Lady Antebellum

Some of the most popular songs of the year are featured in this category, making it tough to predict. “Empire State of Mind” can be ruled out as its time on the top has clearly been forgotten; it should have been recognized at last year’s ceremony, considering the song was released in 2009. The award could easily go to Eminem and Rihanna, but “Forget You” is also loved by the Recording Academy. We’re going to predict “Nothin’ on You,” for an extremely successful debut single from B.o.B & Bruno Mars.  

 

Best Rap Album:

B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray – B.o.B.

Thank Me Later – Drake

Recovery – Eminem

The Blueprint 3 – Jay-Z

How I Got Over – The Roots

It will be interesting to see if the Best Rap Album honour will deservedly go to the Roots, despite their modest commercial appeal. Black Thought’s struggles aren’t nobler or more important than those of Eminem or Jay-Z, but his calmness makes his story more persuasive than the rest of the mainstream nominees. Sometimes the committee will give the award to artists who’ve been nominated in the past but have never won before. Hopefully that mindset will play in the Roots’ favour this year; otherwise Eminem will win yet another award for yet another mediocre album.

 

Best New Artist:

Justin Bieber

Drake

Florence and the Machine

Mumford and Sons

Esperanza Spalding

This category isn’t always as packed with talent as it is this year, and any nominee could walk away with the Grammy. Drake has been a huge influence in the rap scene, Bieber’s a pop phenomenon, and Mumford & Sons have shined in the folk rock scene. Although there is no clear front-runner, we’re going to predict Florence & The Machine walks away with the hardware, just because we have a hunch.

 

The 53rd annual Grammy Awards airs February 13, on CBS at 8:00 p.m.

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