Best New Artist
Pat: Well, okay. This category always proves to be the worst in human existence, ever. How a musician like Bon Iver, who has already had one insanely popular album, is put in the category with fucking Skrillex is beyond me. Honestly, I want The Band Perry to win this because her voice makes me melt, but Bon Iver should win. But going off of who will probably win, I’m going to have to go with Nicki Minaj.
Jason: I’m usually a bit confused by who or what ends up in this category, but considering where popular music has been and will end up going in the near future, most of these make perfect sense. While Nicki Minaj has always been more appealing to me in her guest spots prior to Pink Friday, her hit “Super Bass” is probably enough to surpass the indie buzz of Bon Iver and wub-tacular appeal of Skrillex.
Should win: Bon Iver
Will win: Nicki Minaj
Best Rap Album
Pat: If Kanye doesn’t win this, then I lose all faith in humanity. Two of the albums nominated, Tha Carter IV from Lil Wayne and Lasers from Lupe Fiasco, were disappointing compared to their predecessors and definitely fall short of the other nominees. I see this coming down to Kanye’s two pieces, of which My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is undoubtedly better, and Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday. My decision is made based on the fact that Minaj sounded better on her collaborations on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and that the album as a whole is just stronger.
Jason: If My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy doesn’t win this award, I might have to reconsider my profession. It is as simple as that. I feel the only album that might challenge this is Tha Carter IV – solely on the fact that it was heavily promoted and rumored to be Weezy’s last album.
Should win: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Will win: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Best Rock Album
Pat: While I respect Jeff Beck as one of the best guitarists of all time, he just doesn’t fit in this category, nor does he really stand a chance at winning. And the remaining four candidates seem like the committee basically said “Hey, who are the top four rock bands that sell out stadiums that released an album this year?” with no bearings on quality. While I didn’t think Come Around Sundown by Kings of Leon was bad by any means, it just doesn’t stand up with the two deserving albums. And as far as I’m concerned, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ I’m With You couldn’t have been more disappointing. So, it comes down to Foo Fighters and Wilco. While I think it would be awesome for Wilco to win this category, and I liked The Whole Love a lot, Foo Fighters are simply a bigger band that put out a better record with Wasting Light.
Jason: In a kind of who’s who in modern rock, the competition is a little thin here, with Foo Fighters and Wilco being the only two real albums to be considered. While admirable to see a somewhat diverse lineup of bands in the category, Wasting Light is the only standout of the bunch – both commercially and substance-wise. No discredit to Wilco, but look for the Foos to wrangle this award up rather easily in what seems to be one of the simpler selections of the entire ballot.
Should win: Wasting Light
Will win: Wasting Light
Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance
Pat: I applaud the committee for delivering me some serious lawlz by nominating Sum 41 in this category. And while I enjoy Megadeth of decades past, I can’t really hold them as a serious contender here. For my money, it comes down to Mastodon with “Curl of the Burl,” and Foo Fighters with “White Limo.” I say it’s a no-brainer that Mastodon should win this one, but with the Grammys’ mindset, I would be surprised if the Foo Fighters didn’t snag this one too.
Jason: Ever since their appearance at movie theater concessions in the opening credits for the Aqua Teen Hunger Force film, I have been intrigued by the epic-leaning sounds of Mastodon. Though it would be easy for the committee to slide this one over to the guys in the Foo Fighters, “Curl of the Burl” deserves some recognition and would be a nice pickup for a band that maybe doesn’t quite get the attention it truly deserves.
Should win: “Curl of the Burl”
Will win: “White Limo”
Best Alternative Music Album
Pat: This never makes sense to me. I guess if you are looking at Alternative by its dictionary definition instead of its definition by genre, then it would make sense for Bon Iver and Foster the People to be nominated. But since it’s defined as the genre Alternative, the nominations confuse me. With those two not really fitting and with Codes and Keys by Death Cab for Cutie being one of the biggest disappointments of the year, I say it comes down to Radiohead and My Morning Jacket. While I like The King of Limbs by Radiohead a lot, which will probably win here, I would like to see My Morning Jacket win for Circuital.
Jason: In a slightly more interesting competition, this category has a new versus old feel, pitting newly budding artists like Foster the People and Bon Iver against tried and true vets in Death Cab for Cutie, Radiohead and My Morning Jacket. Death Cab might get a pass from the committee on this one, but not here, as great records from Bon Iver, Radiohead and My Morning Jacket make this a close call. I expect whoever is presenting this award to call out for Radiohead, but would not be surprised if Bon Iver steals the category.
Should win: Circuital
Will win: The King of Limbs/Bon Iver
Song of the Year
Pat: This category has two huge front-runners with Adele and Kanye, but I could honestly see any of these winning and the committee has thrown some curveballs in the past with this one. It’d be cool to see Bon Iver win for the underdog story, but “Holocene” simply isn’t as good as some of the other nominees. I’d like to see “The Cave” by Mumford & Sons win but I think this one will go to Adele for “Rolling in the Deep.”
Jason: I feel like this is a two-horse race between Adele and Kanye West. “All of the Lights” has all of the makings of a classic Kanye track, while “Rolling in the Deep” has been literally everywhere. Both are great songs showcasing two great artists honed in on what makes them great. While I would love to see Kanye take this one as well, look for Adele to take this one in what is sure to be a multi-award-winning night for the British songstress.
Should win: “The Cave”/”All of the Lights”
Will win: “Rolling in the Deep”
Album of the Year
Pat: This is always my least favorite category. It’s always whatever albums charted the longest and has no bearing on quality, but that’s a completely different discussion. I would like to see Foo Fighters win this one, as they are arguably one of the biggest rock bands in the world and released one of their best albums this year, but I doubt this will go to the rock band. This comes down to Lady Gaga and Adele in my opinion and I’d put money on Adele cleaning up with another win.
Jason: Of the five albums in this category, it is difficult to pick one that I can truly back as album of the year. Rihanna and Bruno Mars don’t really belong here, and Lady Gaga’s Born This Way was a drop-off no matter what way you look at it. In the end, Adele will edge Dave Grohl and company for another award to further cement her legacy-in-the-making.
Should win: Wasting Light
Will win: 21