Last November, I correctly predicted that Kendrick Lamar, Bruno Mars and Lorde would secure a nomination. However, I was blindsided by Jay-Z and Childish Gambino’s inclusion in the pool. On January 28, the winners of the show will be unveiled. Here is my fearless forecast on how the Album of the Year race will unfold.
24K Magic by Bruno Mars
Awaken, My Love! by Childish Gambino
4:44 by Jay-Z
DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar
Melodrama by Lorde
(5) – Awaken, My Love! by Childish Gambino
To be transparent, among all the nominees, this is the only album I have yet to listen to. If “Redbone” is an accurate representation of what the record has to offer, it would probably sound great. But victories are rarely determined by the quality of the artist’s music. Childish Gambino’s nomination is the reward. He has a strong narrative for most awards except this one.
(4) 4:44 by Jay-Z
Am I the only one that was caught off guard by the love he received from the Academy? If Beyonce couldn’t milk his infidelity for this trophy, then Jay-Z certainly doesn’t deserve to. He’s the veteran in the category and that normally counts for something. But the album is just underwhelming it would likely be ignored and rightfully so.
(3) Melodrama by Lorde
As compared to previous years, four genres are underrepresented this year – pop, country, rock and alternative. I can’t imagine a better candidate they’d rally behind than Lorde. Not to mention, she is the only woman in this category. Or would that hurt her chances? I legitimately feel she is a credible threat to win the award. However, this being her only nomination, makes me wonder how much support she actually has. Add to the fact that her sophomore album didn’t perform commercially well.
(2) – DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar
The list I am making is for who I think will win the award, as opposed to who I think should. When Kendrick Lamar lost the award to Taylor Swift two years ago, there was a backlash. A year later, Beyonce had the best album, as well as the narrative of an ignored community. Yet, the night ended up with disappointment. Again. I would be happy to be wrong. But somehow I feel hip-hop and rap will be relegated to the genre awards. Again.
(1) – 24K Magic by Bruno Mars
Honestly, the record is solid. It’s not groundbreaking but it is a work of art that got enough people to jam to it and didn’t leave a lot of critics complaining. It helped Bruno Mars that Jay-Z got nominated and is splitting votes with Kendrick. Lorde doesn’t appear to be the consensus choice for this cycle. It seems Bruno would take that crown. It might go down as one of the less memorable Album of the Year recipients. But the stars seem to be lining up for a win for Bruno.
WILL WIN: 24K Magic by Bruno Mars
SHOULD WIN: DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar