On this edition of the MEB 2016 Grammy preview, we will dive into the rabbit hole of the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.
Florence + The Machine – “Ship To Wreck”: I feel that the whole How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful album is hard to categorize. It’s an amazing album as a whole that may have gotten swept up in the undercurrent of the many albums of 2015. Although, there was a little bit more rock with Florence’s 2015 release, HBHBHB was as distinguished in the “Florence mantra” as they come. This is a great song and it’s good to see another song from that album (“What Kind Of Man”) get nominated as well – I’m just not sure if it fits a pop song.
Maroon 5– “Sugar”: If I had a nickel for every time Maroon 5 wrote a catchy and head-nodding single that got stuck in my head, well, I’d have a lot of money. “Sugar” crept up on me during a Snapchat post one day and it was the perfect personification of a summer song. A great meeting between verse and chorus to add to their already stellar catalogue of hits.
Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars – “Uptown Funk”: Wow! This song was initially released as a single in November 2014 of Ronson’s Uptown Special album. Although it was a mainstay in 2015 radio with one billion views on YouTube and one of the longest running singles in Billboard Hot 100 history – doesn’t it feel like it’s years away? I feel that there has been some considerable distance between this and other songs in this category. Inspired by 1980’s funk, Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars came together to make one of the most infectious songs in recent memory.
Taylor Swift ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Bad Blood”: The superpowers of each genre paired up together to make a remix of Taylor Swift’s track off of 1989. I feel that the Kendrick verses gave the song a new element. The chorus and bridge of the song became so much bigger when this new version was put out. Not taking into account what the real song’s subject matter was intended for, Lamar’s verse about being written off with Swift’s frenemy theme made for the perfect F U theme song.
Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth – “See You Again”: This is a very emotional song that was for the Furious 7 soundtrack that became a memorial for Paul Walker who passed away during production of the movie. A rap song that was number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for 12 non-consecutive weeks is an impressive feat. I think the emotional weight of the song makes it a viable contender. Last year, “Say Something” by A Great Big World ft Christina Aguilera took the trophy home, so another pull-at-your-heartstrings song could be in the cards.
Winner: Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars – “Uptown Funk”. There’s a lot of competition in this category. The Grammys could do a total left turn and choose “Ship To Wreck” as the winner or the consensus pick with “Bad Blood”. If you are going just from a pure good pop song standpoint, you have to choose “Uptown Funk” here. It edges out “Sugar” by a nose at the finish line.