As the announcement of the nominations come in by November 28, let’s take a stab at who we think are going to get some Grammy love. For this article, let’s talk about Album of the Year. We’ve split the pool into three locks, two more likely, two less likely and three possible ones. Of course, there are others who might just surprise us all.
(1) Kendrick Lamar – DAMN.
While Kendrick Lamar’s album is the most critically acclaimed for the eligibility period, there is some doubt if that is sufficient to secure a win. And while some may argue it is inferior to To Pimp a Butterfly, there is zero doubt in my mind it will secure a nomination at the very least.
(2) Ed Sheeran – Divide
The most commercially successful album of the year will definitely get some love. And he is a major threat considering how mainstream the Grammy’s have become throughout the years. It is nowhere near 25 or 1989, but it was a juggernaut for 2017 and that counts a lot.
(3) Bruno Mars – 24K Magic
Even though it was released in 2016, and might not be fresh in people’s minds, the Grammy Awards love Bruno Mars. He even edged out Justin Timberlake in the Pop Vocal Album when most people predicted Justin had locked it in with The 20/20 Experience. Not to mention, Bruno Mars has had a terrific year with That’s What I Like and there is generally nothing to hate about him.
(1) Lorde – Melodrama
Even though Lorde has managed to sustain her love from the critics, the commercial success that Royals was met with is no longer there. Yet, I cannot imagine a female slot going to anyone else but her. Initially, it was Miranda Lambert. But if she could lose to Chris Stapleton on an album that the public was not too excited about, I’m afraid Miranda Lambert will continue her general field snub she’s gotten accustomed to.
(2) Metallica – Hardwired… to Self-Destruct
Only because we need rock representation, and a veteran at that. After Bowie and Radiohead getting snubbed in 2017, I can imagine them making up for it. I’m just not sure who it will be among Metallica, Foo Fighters and Leonard Cohen. Though I’m putting a premium on recall and Metallica has a lot of it now, especially if this will be their first nomination in this category.
(1) Foo Fighters – Concrete and Gold
The Foo Fighters have proven their dominance in the general field throughout the years. But the snub of their last studio album leads me to believe Metallica has an upper hand. To be fair though, it is easier to build consensus around The Foo Fighters, who are generally well received across all genres and have good relationship with their peers.
(2) SZA – Ctrl
If we base it solely on critical acclaim, SZA has a real shot. And given how under represented R&B and women are, she might just be able to squeeze in. The familiarity of her name is minimal today, but that might just give her the edge that used to work in the Grammy Awards (though not in recent years)
(1) Miranda Lambert – The Weight of These Wings
I initially thought she would represent the country field in the Album of the Year pool. But given her recent defeat at the CMAs, I’m not too keen to predict her. She has had a spotty record with the Grammy Awards and if her base will not back her, then I’m doubtful she can prosper. But it is well deserved. Let’s see.
(2) Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker
I’m no fan but I understand how the Grammy Awards work. Hence, I’m predicting this as there will likely be representation from most genres. Leonard Cohen might just be that candidate.
(3) Harry Styles – Harry Styles
I would personally cheer for this to happen but doubtful given (1) his background as a member of a boy band and (2) lackluster performance of his singles. But truly, he should be proud of his effort, no matter the Academy reception.
OTHERS in the RADAR:
(1) Lady Gaga – Joanne
(2) Weeknd – Starboy
(3) LCD Soundsytem – American Dream
(4) Chris Stapleton – From a Room: Volume 1
(5) War on Drugs – A Deeper Understanding