Monthly Archives: January 2014

GRAMMY WEEK: Adam Picks The Winners for The Big Four

Gram bam, thank you, ma'am.

Gram bam, thank you, ma’am.

It’s finally here… the week before the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards, airing on Sunday, January 26 at 8PM Eastern on CBS. This week on POP! Goes The Charts, we’ll be taking a look at nearly half the categories on the list and laying out who I think will taking home a prize or two or five (maybe!) on the big day.

As you may remember, I did my predictions for who was going to be nominated for the Big Four way back in October. As it turns out, I wasn’t 100% right, not that I was expecting to be. (For the record, I wasn’t 100% wrong either.) So, for the final GRAMMY Week post, let’s deal with the actual nominations and see who I think will be taking home the night’s top prizes at the big show!

(For a full list of nominations, check it out on GRAMMY.com along with more interactive features. You can also order the 2014 GRAMMY Nominees album, from Atlantic Records.)

1. RECORD OF THE YEAR

“Get Lucky”, Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams & Nile Rodgers
Thomas Bangalter & Guy-Manuel De Homem-Christo, producers; Peter Franco, Mick Guzauski, Florian Lagatta & Daniel Lerner, engineers/mixers; Antoine “Chab” Chabert & Bob Ludwig, mastering engineers (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

“Radioactive”, Imagine Dragons
Alex Da Kid, producer; Manny Marroquin & Josh Mosser, engineers/mixers; Joe LaPorta, mastering engineer

“Royals”, Lorde
Joel Little, producer; Joel Little, engineer/mixer; Stuart Hawkes, mastering engineer

“Locked Out Of Heaven”, Bruno Mars
Jeff Bhasker, Emile Haynie, Mark Ronson & The Smeezingtons, producers; Alalal, Josh Blair, Wayne Gordon, Ari Levine, Manny Marroquin & Mark Ronson, engineers/mixers; David Kutch, mastering engineer

“Blurred Lines”, Robin Thicke featuring T.I. & Pharrell
Pharrell, producer; Andrew Coleman & Tony Maserati, engineers/mixers; Chris Gehringer, mastering engineer

PREDICTION: I think the general consensus is that “Blurred Lines” has the best shot of winning this category. It was the biggest song of last year and gave Robin Thicke his biggest hit ever on the charts. However, I’m more inclined to think that “Get Lucky” is going to take this category and give Daft Punk, Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers a big thrill. It was a slick and catchy summer hit and makes the French duo and American producer/singer my big winners of the night.

2. ALBUM OF THE YEAR

The Blessed Unrest, Sara Bareilles
Sara Bareilles, Mark Endert & John O’Mahony, producers; Jeremy Darby, Mark Endert & John O’Mahony, engineers/mixers; Greg Calbi, mastering engineer

Random Access Memories, Daft Punk
Julian Casablancas, DJ Falcon, Todd Edwards, Chilly Gonzales, Giorgio Moroder, Panda Bear, Nile Rodgers, Paul Williams & Pharrell Williams, featured artists; Thomas Bangalter, Julian Casablancas, Guy-Manuel De Homem-Christo, DJ Falcon & Todd Edwards, producers; Peter Franco, Mick Guzauski, Florian Lagatta, Guillaume Le Braz & Daniel Lerner, engineers/mixers; Antoine “Chab” Chabert & Bob Ludwig, mastering engineers (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

Good Kid, M.A.A.D CityKendrick Lamar
Mary J. Blige, Dr. Dre, Drake, Jay Rock, Jay Z, MC Eiht & Anna Wise, featured artists; DJ Dahi, Hit-Boy, Skhye Hutch, Just Blaze, Like, Terrace Martin, Dawaun Parker, Pharrell, Rahki, Scoop DeVille, Sounwave, Jack Splash, Tabu, Tha Bizness, THC & T-Minus, producers; Derek Ali, Dee Brown, Andrew Coleman, Dr. Dre, James Hunt, Mauricio ‘Veto”” Iragorri, Mike Larson, Jared Scott, Jack Splash & Andrew Wright, engineers/mixers; Mike Bozzi & Brian ‘Big Bass”” Gardner, mastering engineers

The HeistMacklemore & Ryan Lewis
Ab-Soul, Ben Bridwell, Ray Dalton, Eighty4 Fly, Hollis, Mary Lambert, Baffalo Madonna, Evan Roman, Schoolboy Q, Allen Stone, The Teaching & Wanz, featured artists; Ryan Lewis, producer; Ben Haggerty, Ryan Lewis, Amos Miller, Reed Ruddy & Pete Stewart, engineers/mixers; Tom Coyne & Brian Gardner, mastering engineers

Red, Taylor Swift
Gary Lightbody & Ed Sheeran, featured artists; Jeff Bhasker, Nathan Chapman, Dann Huff, Jacknife Lee, Max Martin, Shellback, Taylor Swift, Butch Walker & Dan Wilson, producers; Joe Baldridge, Sam Bell, Matt Bishop, Chad Carlson, Nathan Chapman, Serban Ghenea, John Hanes, Sam Holland, Michael Ilbert, Tyler Johnson, Jacknife Lee, Steve Marcantonio, Manny Marroquin, Justin Niebank, John Rausch, Eric Robinson, Pawel Sek, Jake Sinclair, Mark “”Spike”” Stent & Andy Thompson, engineers/mixers; Tom Coyne & Hank Williams, mastering engineers

PREDICTION: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s name has been tossed around a bit for the win here, but I’m not sure if the whole effort appeals to the committee. (I do think Best New Artist is theirs, however.) The most successful both on the Billboard 200 and on my own personal chart is Taylor Swift‘s Red, which I’m pegging as the winner. She may have won four years ago for Fearless, but she’s certainly grown since then, and scored major pop and country hits from this album.

3. SONG OF THE YEAR

“Just Give Me A Reason”, Pink featuring Nate Ruess
Jeff Bhasker, Pink & Nate Ruess, songwriters

“Locked Out Of Heaven”, Bruno Mars
Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine & Bruno Mars, songwriters

“Roar”, Katy Perry
Lukasz Gottwald, Max Martin, Bonnie McKee, Katy Perry & Henry Walter, songwriters

“Royals”, Lorde
Joel Little & Ella Yelich O’Connor, songwriters (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

“Same Love”, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Mary Lambert
Ben Haggerty, Mary Lambert & Ryan Lewis, songwriters

PREDICTION: Much like the huge Gotye and Kimbra duet of last year’s ceremony, “Somebody That I Used To Know”, Pink and Nate Ruess seems like a strong enough team to pull off double duty at this year’s show with Song of the Year, as well as Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for “Just Give Me A Reason”. Bruno Mars and Lorde will certainly stand their ground against the beautiful ballad, but “Reason” is such a timeless record that it will sway a lot of voters to get on its side.

4. BEST NEW ARTIST

James Blake (Day In The Life)
Kendrick Lamar (Day In The Life)
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (DITL video not available) (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
Kacey Musgraves (Day In The Life)
Ed Sheeran (Day In The Life)

PREDICTION: This year’s pack, as many people have stated, is out of whack; what can you do? Of the five, the easiest choice for me is Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, who have four solid hits now and will likely produce a big second album. Ed Sheeran will too, but he would’ve made sense as a winner last year. Kacey Musgraves and Kendrick Lamar likely don’t stand a chance; however, James Blake could always be the Esperanza Spalding of this year. You never know!
_____

Watch to see how I did with my picks on Sunday night when the GRAMMY Awards air! Until then, follow the blog below and find us on social media by click the “Get Social!” tab.

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GRAMMY WEEK: Adam Picks The Winners for Dance/Pop Fields

Gram bam, thank you, ma'am.

Gram bam, thank you, ma’am.

It’s finally here… the week before the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards, airing on Sunday, January 26 at 8PM Eastern on CBS. This week on POP! Goes The Charts, we’ll be taking a look at nearly half the categories on the list and laying out who I think will taking home a prize or two or five (maybe!) on the big day. Let’s go for the Dance and Pop fields, shall we?

(For a full list of nominations, check it out on GRAMMY.com along with more interactive features. You can also order the 2014 GRAMMY Nominees album, from Atlantic Records.)

5. Best Pop Solo Performance

Brave”, Sara Bareilles
“Royals”, Lorde (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
“When I Was Your Man”, Bruno Mars
“Roar”, Katy Perry
“Mirrors”, Justin Timberlake

PREDICTION: Difficult decision right here. “Brave” and “Roar” will probably cancel each other out (if only Bareilles and Perry would do a medley on GRAMMY night!) A safer choice would be Bruno Mars‘s “When I Was Your Man”; it’s a classic ballad.

6. Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

“Get Lucky”, Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams & Nile Rodgers (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
“Just Give Me A Reason”, Pink featuring Nate Ruess
“Stay”, Rihanna featuring Mikky Ekko
“Blurred Lines”, Robin Thicke featuring T.I. & Pharrell
“Suit & Tie”, Justin Timberlake featuring Jay Z

PREDICTION: This is tough too. Looks like we’re going to have another year where the winner of this category also wins one of the Big Four, whether it’s “Blurred Lines”, “Get Lucky” or “Just Give Me A Reason”. I’m going with the Pink and Nate Ruess duet.

7. Best Pop Instrumental Album

Steppin’ Out, Herb Alpert (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
The Beat, Boney James
Handpicked, Earl Klugh
Summer Horns, Dave Koz, Gerald Albright, Mindi Abair & Richard Elliot
Hacienda, Jeff Lorber Fusion

PREDICTION: Again, this isn’t my best area of expertise, but I know a lot of these names from the occasional look at the Jazz survey. A version of “Puttin’ On The Ritz” from Alpert’s album just got serviced to AC radio; it could be a sign that this this one is his.

8. Best Pop Vocal Album

ParadiseLana Del Rey
Pure HeroineLorde
Unorthodox JukeboxBruno Mars (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
Blurred Lines, Robin Thicke
The 20/20 Experience – The Complete Experience, Justin Timberlake

PREDICTION: Believe it or not, this is the only category in which Justin Timberlake‘s album is nominated for. Is that some major shade on the Academy’s part? Yet, the biggest album of last year has to win something, right? It would only seem fair to me.

9. Best Dance Recording

“Need U (100%)”Duke Dumont featuring A*M*E & MNEK
Adam Dyment & Tommy Forrest, producers and mixers

“Sweet Nothing”, Calvin Harris featuring Florence Welch
Harris, producer and mixer

“Atmosphere”, Kaskade
Finn Bjarnson & Ryan Raddon, producers; Raddon, mixer

“This Is What It Feels Like”, Armin Van Buuren featuring Trevor Guthrie
Armin Van Buuren & Benno De Goeij, producers and mixers

“Clarity”, Zedd featuring Foxes
Zedd, producer and mixer (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

PREDICTION: With no Skrillex in the mix (and no Al Wasser, thank God), this category is probably going to go back to one of the bigger hits of the bunch, most likely “Clarity” or “Sweet Nothing”. Of the two, I prefer the Calvin Harris and Florence Welch song.

10. Best Dance/Electronica Album

Random Access Memories, Daft Punk (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
SettleDisclosure
18 MonthsCalvin Harris
AtmosphereKaskade
A Color Map Of The SunPretty Lights

PREDICTION: There was no bigger Dance album in 2013 than Random Access Memories. Daft Punk didn’t just get lucky; they knocked it out of the park. The critical acclaim of Disclosure will keep it in the running, but the French duo will likely take it.

11. Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album

Viva DuetsTony Bennett and Various Artists
To Be Loved, Michael Bublé (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
The StandardsGloria Estefan
Cee Lo’s Magic MomentCee Lo Green
NowDionne Warwick

PREDICTION: This category is usually a two horse race between Bennett and Bublé, and because the Canadian crooner didn’t win last year for his Christmas album, I think Michael Bublé is overdue for yet another win here. “It’s A Beautiful Day” indeed.

67. Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical

Annie UpPistol Annies
Chuck Ainlay, engineer; Bob Ludwig, mastering engineer

The Blue RoomMadeleine Peyroux
Helik Hadar & Leslie Ann Jones, engineers; Bernie Grundman, mastering engineer

The Devil Put Dinosaurs HereAlice In Chains
Paul Figueroa & Randy Staub, engineers; Ted Jensen, mastering engineer

…Like ClockworkQueens Of The Stone Age
Joe Barresi & Mark Rankin, engineers; Gavin Lurssen, mastering engineer

The MooringsAndrew Duhon
Trina Shoemaker, engineer; Eric Conn, mastering engineer

Random Access Memories, Daft Punk
Peter Franco, Mick Guzauski, Florian Lagatta & Daniel Lerner, engineers; Antoine “Chab” Chabert, Bob Ludwig, mastering engineers (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

PREDICTION: I don’t know a ton about this category, but the winners in past years have been a real mix of commercial releases and some lesser-known works. Though I’m placing Daft Punk for the win here, it could essentially be any one of these six.

68. Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical

Rob Cavallo
Dr. Luke
Ariel Rechtshaid
Jeff Tweedy
Pharrell Williams (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

PREDICTION: I love Rob Cavallo and would be thrilled to see him win this category, but 2013 was clearly the year of Pharrell Williams, both as a producer and singer, and he’s very much deserving of this honor. Tell Dr. Luke to go back to medical school.

69. Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical

“Days Turn Into Nights”, Delerium featuring Michael Logen
Andy Caldwell, remixer

“If I Lose Myself”, OneRepublic
Alesso, remixer

“Locked Out Of Heaven”, Bruno Mars
Ned Shepard & Sultan, remixers

“One Love/People Get Ready”, Bob Marley and The Wailers
Rupert Parkes (Photek), remixer

“Summertime Sadness”, Lana Del Rey
Cedric Gervais, remixer (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

PREDICTION: Long after Lana Del Rey had been written off in the U.S., Interscope’s push of the Cedric Gervais remix of “Summertime Sadness” launched her at radio, selling over 2 million copies with all versions combined. Not so sad anymore, huh?
_____

Check back tomorrow to see what I take a second swing at predicting the Big Four! Until then, follow the blog below and find us on social media by click the “Get Social!” tab.

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GRAMMY WEEK: Adam Picks The Winners for R&B/Rap Fields

Gram bam, thank you, ma'am.

Gram bam, thank you, ma’am.

It’s finally here… the week before the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards, airing on Sunday, January 26 at 8PM Eastern on CBS. This week on POP! Goes The Charts, we’ll be taking a look at nearly half the categories on the list and laying out who I think will taking home a prize or two or five (maybe!) on the big day. Today, we continue with the fields for R&B and Rap music.

(For a full list of nominations, check it out on GRAMMY.com along with more interactive features. You can also order the 2014 GRAMMY Nominees album, from Atlantic Records.)

17. Best R&B Performance

“Love And War”, Tamar Braxton
“Best Of Me”, Anthony Hamilton
“Nakamarra”, Hiatus Kaiyote featuring Q-Tip
“How Many Drinks?”, Miguel featuring Kendrick Lamar
“Something”, Snarky Puppy with Lalah Hathaway (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

PREDICTION: Many of the winners in this category are generally successful on the R&B survey, and with a former top 5 hit on the Urban airwaves as well as a #2 album, singer Tamar Braxton stands out with her single “Love And War”. It is one smooth track.

18. Best Traditional R&B Performance

“Please Come Home”, Gary Clark, Jr. (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
“Get It Right”, Fantasia
“Quiet Fire”, Maysa
“Hey Laura”, Gregory Porter
“Yesterday”, Ryan Shaw

PREDICTION: A few of these acts really don’t have a lot of coverage out on social media. Fantasia, a prior nominee in this category, has a good shot, but if he isn’t a winner in Best Rock Song, I think Gary Clark, Jr. may take this one with “Please Come Home”.

19. Best R&B Song

“Best Of Me”
Performed by: Anthony Hamilton
Written by: Hamilton & Jairus Mozee

“Love And War”
Performed by: Tamar Braxton
Written by: Braxton, Darhyl Camper, Jr., LaShawn Daniels & Makeba Riddick

“Only One”
Performed by: PJ Morton featuring Stevie Wonder
Written by: Morton

“Pusher Love Girl”
Performed by: Justin Timberlake
Written by: James Fauntleroy, Jerome Harmon, Timothy Mosley & Timberlake (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

“Without Me”
Performed by: Fantasia featuring Kelly Rowland & Missy Elliott
Written by: Barrino, Elliott, Al Sherrod Lambert, Harmony Samuels & Kyle Stewart

PREDICTION: Even though he was shut out of the Big Four, a huge shock to many, Justin Timberlake‘s “Pusher Love Girl” was a fan favorite from his album. Hard to believe it didn’t even get an Urban AC servicing. I think it will pull off the trick here.

20. Best Urban Contemporary Album

Love And War, Tamar Braxton
Side Effects Of You, Fantasia
One: In The Chamber, Salaam Remi
Unapologetic, Rihanna (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
New York: A Love Story, Mack Wilds

PREDICTION: This category is probably going to end up being won by a female; I was initially going to pick Rihanna for the win, but I think this is Tamar Braxton‘s year to shine at The GRAMMY’s. Otherwise, this may be some bull you know what.com.

21. Best R&B Album

R&B Divas, Faith Evans
Girl On Fire, Alicia Keys (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
Love In The Future, John Legend
BetterChrisette Michele
Three Kings, TGT

PREDICTION: Both Keys and Legend are prior winners here, so the choice is ultimately between them. However, this is the only award that John Legend is up for and he’s singing “All Of Me” on the show, so be prepared for him to walk away with this one.

22. Best Rap Performance

“Started From The Bottom”Drake
“Berzerk”, Eminem
“Tom Ford”Jay Z
“Swimming Pools (Drank)”Kendrick Lamar
“Thrift Shop”Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

PREDICTION: Heavy hitters are a-plenty here, a few of whom could win in bigger categories. However, given the rock field and all the older acts there, the Billy Squier sample and Rick Rubin production on “Berzerk” by Eminem could help secure a win.

23. Best Rap/Sung Collaboration

“Power Trip”J. Cole featuring Miguel
“Part II (On The Run)”Jay Z featuring Beyoncé
“Holy Grail”, Jay Z featuring Justin Timberlake (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
“Now Or Never”Kendrick Lamar featuring Mary J. Blige
“Remember You”Wiz Khalifa featuring The Weeknd

PREDICTION: I’m convinced that one of the Jay Z collaborations is going to win here — question is, which one? “Holy Grail” was the hit, but “Part II (On The Run)” packs some marriage power and a potential performance. However, I’m going with “Grail”.

24. Best Rap Song

“F***in’ Problems”
Performed by: A$AP Rocky featuring Drake, 2 Chainz & Kendrick Lamar
Written by: Tauheed Epps, Graham, Lamar, Rakim Mayers & Noah Shebib

“Holy Grail”
Performed by: Jay Z featuring Justin Timberlake
Written by: Carter, Terius Nash, J. Harmon, Timothy Mosley, Timberlake & Ernest Wilson (sample: “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, Nirvana – Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl & Krist Novoselic)

“New Slaves”
Performed by: Kanye West
Written by: Christopher Breaux, Ben Bronfman, Mike Dean, Noah Goldstein, Louis Johnson, Malik Jones, Sham Joseph, Elon Rutberg, Sakiya Sandifer, Travis Scott, Che Smith, West & Cydel Young, songwriters (Anna Adamis & Gabor Presser, songwriters)

“Started From The Bottom”
Performed by: Drake
Written by: W. Coleman, Graham & Noah Shebib

“Thrift Shop”
Performed by: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz
Written by: Haggerty & Lewis (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

PREDICTION: Since 2010, either Jay Z or Kanye West have won this particular award, both separately and together. Once again, they’re competing against each other. Yet, this category usually goes to a hit song, so “Holy Grail” is your best best for the win.

25. Best Rap Album

Nothing Was The Same, Drake
Magna Carta… Holy GrailJay Z
Good Kid, M.A.A.D CityKendrick Lamar
The HeistMacklemore & Ryan Lewis (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
YeezusKanye West

PREDICTION: Best Rap Album hasn’t gone to a newcomer in some time, and it generally goes to an act with a large first-week, which should pit Drake vs. Jay Z. The Canadian rapper won last year for Take Care; I’m guessing that a repeat is in the cards.
_____

Check back tomorrow to see what I’m thinking for the Dance and Pop categories! Until then, follow the blog below and find us on social media by click the “Get Social!” tab.

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GRAMMY WEEK: Adam Picks The Winners for Alternative/Rock/Country Fields

Gram bam, thank you, ma'am.

Gram bam, thank you, ma’am.

It’s finally here… the week before the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards, airing on Sunday, January 26 at 8PM Eastern on CBS. This week on POP! Goes The Charts, we’ll be taking a look at nearly half the categories on the list and laying out who I think will taking home a prize or two or five (maybe!) on the big day. Today, we continue with the fields for Alternative, Rock and Country.

(For a full list of nominations, check it out on GRAMMY.com along with more interactive features. You can also order the 2014 GRAMMY Nominees album, from Atlantic Records.)

12. Best Rock Performance

“Always Alright”, Alabama Shakes
“The Stars (Are Out Tonight)”, David Bowie
“Radioactive”, Imagine Dragons (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
“Kashmir (Live)”, Led Zeppelin
“My God Is The Sun”Queens Of The Stone Age
“I’m Shakin'”Jack White

PREDICTION: It’s hard to deny the overwhelming success of “Radioactive” during the past year, but it’s only up for two categories, one being Record Of The Year, which is out of the question. (To me, at least.) This is the safer bet for the Las Vegas band.

13. Best Metal Performance

“T.N.T.”Anthrax
“God Is Dead?”, Black Sabbath (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
“The Enemy Inside”Dream Theater
“In Due Time”Killswitch Engage
“Room 24”Volbeat featuring King Diamond

PREDICTION: While metal isn’t a genre of choice when it comes to my listening habits, I do know a little bit about the acts in this category. With their first studio album in 18 years, I’m hoping the reformed trio of Black Sabbath is rewarded with this.

14. Best Rock Song

“Ain’t Messin ‘Round”
Performed and Written by: Gary Clark Jr.

“Cut Me Some Slack”
Performed and Written by: Dave Grohl, Paul McCartney, Krist Novoselic & Pat Smear (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

“Doom And Gloom”
Performed by: Rolling Stones
Written by: Mick Jagger & Keith Richards

“God Is Dead?”
Performed and Written by: Black Sabbath (Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi & Ozzy Osbourne)

“Panic Station”
Performed by: Muse
Written by: Matthew Bellamy

PREDICTION: There are classic acts galore in this category, along with a few newcomers. Gary Clark, Jr. would be a good choice for the win, but I think Dave Grohl, Paul McCartney, Krist Novoselic & Pat Smear have this. Just keepin’ it Reel.

15. Best Rock Album

13Black Sabbath
The Next DayDavid Bowie
Mechanical BullKings Of Leon
Celebration Day, Led Zeppelin (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
…Like Clockwork, Queens Of The Stone Age
Psychedelic Pill, Neil Young with Crazy Horse

PREDICTION: I’ll say this category is probably going to be a fight between Bowie and Zeppelin – both albums did well. Though they have several entries in the GRAMMY Hall of Fame, wouldn’t it be cool to see Led Zeppelin win their first regular award?

16. Best Alternative Music Album

The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You, Neko Case
Trouble Will Find Me, The National
Hesitation Marks, Nine Inch Nails
Lonerism, Tame Impala
Modern Vampires Of The City, Vampire Weekend (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

PREDICTION: There’s quite a few buzzworthy acts in this category, but people seemed rather surprised that Vampire Weekend was shut out of the Big Four. This is their only chance to win an award as a band this year, so I think it will easily go to them.

26. Best Country Solo Performance

“I Drive Your Truck”, Lee Brice
“I Want Crazy”, Hunter Hayes
“Mama’s Broken Heart”Miranda Lambert
“Wagon Wheel”Darius Rucker (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
“Mine Would Be You”Blake Shelton

PREDICTION: It’s a man’s, man’s, man’s year for this category, and while all five did particularly well on the Country chart, Hayes will probably take this honor. He’s the youngest in the pack and “Crazy” managed some minor crossover airplay in 2013.

27. Best Country Duo/Group Performance

“From This Valley”The Civil Wars (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
“Don’t Rush”Kelly Clarkson featuring Vince Gill
“Your Side Of The Bed”Little Big Town
“Highway Don’t Care”, Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift & Keith Urban
“You Can’t Make Old Friends”Kenny Rogers with Dolly Parton

PREDICTION: It would be fantastic to see The Civil Wars win this one. That being said, if Taylor Swift is going to be at the show and performing, I’ll give her this one. (cue Swift’s shocked face) “Highway” was a #1 Country hit for the three performers.

28. Best Country Song

“Begin Again”
Performed and Written by: Taylor Swift

“I Drive Your Truck”
Performed by: Lee Brice
Written by: Jessi Alexander, Connie Harrington & Jimmy Yeary

“Mama’s Broken Heart”
Performed by: Miranda Lambert
Written by: Brandy Clark, Shane McAnally & Kacey Musgraves

“Merry Go ‘Round”
Performed by: Kacey Musgraves
Written by: Shane McAnally, Musgraves & Josh Osborne (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

“Mine Would Be You”
Performed by: Blake Shelton
Written by: Jessi Alexander, Connie Harrington & Deric Ruttan

PREDICTION: This category is a little more balanced than the Performance award. I could conceivably see the lyric-driven “I Drive Your Truck” winning, but Kacey Musgraves is up twice here and I think she’ll be able to win for the song she performed.

29. Best Country Album

Night Train, Jason Aldean
Two Lanes Of Freedom, Tim McGraw
Same Trailer Different Park, Kacey Musgraves (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
Based On A True Story, Blake Shelton
Red, Taylor Swift

PREDICTION: Aldean, McGraw and Shelton have never won this category despite being nominated before, and don’t get me started about Red being classified as “Country album.” So, under careful consideration, Kacey Musgraves shall be the winner here.
_____

Check back tomorrow to see what I’m thinking for the Rap and R&B categories! Until then, follow the blog below and find us on social media by click the “Get Social!” tab.

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TURN IT UP TUESDAY: What’s New In Stores This Week (January 21)

Gram bam, thank you, ma'am.

And the winner is…

In the middle of GRAMMY Week on the blog, let’s take a breather to see what’s new in stores this week. After all, the schedule goes on. Here are all the releases you need to know about for January 21:

  • This one is perhaps a little obvious, but the 2014 GRAMMY Nominees compilation is out today. It features top hits from Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry and more, who could all be big winners come Sunday night. Look for it to debut somewhere in the top 5, if not top ten. (iTunes)
  • Here’s a fabulous collection for the Fab Four fan (say that three times fast.) The Beatles release The U.S. Albums collection, featuring all 13 of their Stateside-issued LPs with their original artwork, tracklistings and edits on top of remastered sound quality and more. All 13 are also being rereleased individually. With a hefty price tag, it may not debut the highest, but it sure is a treat. (iTunes)
  • I just reviewed their album last week; now, duo A Great Big World are out with Is There Anybody Out There?, their debut release for Epic Records. It features their hit duet with Christina Aguilera, “Say Something”. Given their newfound coverage, it could surprise on the charts. For now, I’ll say a top ten debut with potential to go higher. (iTunes)
  • Indie rockers Young The Giant are out with their second album, Mind Over Matter, their first since 2010. Lead single “It’s About Time” is currently top ten on Alternative radio. (iTunes)
  • Other albums out this week include Aer‘s Aer (iTunes), Against Me!‘s Transgender Dysphoria Blues (iTunes), Graham Colton‘s Lonely Ones (iTunes), Los Lonely Boys‘s Revelation (iTunes), Mogwai‘s Rave Tapes (iTunes), Scorpions‘s MTV Unplugged (iTunes) and Ty Dolla $ign‘s Beach House (EP). (iTunes)

New digital-only singles that you can buy this week include:

  • “All The Way”, a fresh track from the duo Timeflies. (iTunes)
  • “Blue Moon”, a new single from rocker Beck. (iTunes)
  • “Free/Into The Mystic”, a live medley from Zac Brown Band and Clare Bowen from Nashville. (iTunes)
  • “How I Feel (Remixes)”, a new six-song package from rapper Flo Rida. (iTunes)
  • “Me And Liza”, the latest single from singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright. (iTunes)
  • “Walking On Air”, from former *NSYNC member Lance Bass along with Anise K and featuring Bella Blue and Snoop Dogg. (iTunes)
  • “Who We Are (Remixes)”, a three-song EP featuring the Alternative hit by Switchfoot. (iTunes)

Next week, we’ll see those classic post-GRAMMY sales swings, plus new albums from Casting Crowns, David Crosby and more. See you in seven!

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GRAMMY WEEK: Adam Picks The Winners for Packaging/Visual Media Fields

Gram bam, thank you, ma'am.

Gram bam, thank you, ma’am.

It’s finally here… the week before the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards, airing on Sunday, January 26 at 8PM Eastern on CBS. This week on POP! Goes The Charts, we’ll be taking a look at nearly half the categories on the list and laying out who I think will taking home a prize or two or five (maybe!) on the big day. Today, we start out with the fields for Packaging and Visual Media.

(For a full list of nominations, check it out on GRAMMY.com along with more interactive features. You can also order the 2014 GRAMMY Nominees album, from Atlantic Records.)

56. Best Musical Theater Album

Kinky Boots (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
Matilda: The Musical
Motown: The Musical

PREDICTION: Much like the Tony Awards back in June, I think Best Musical winner Kinky Boots will be the winner in this category. This would mark singer and songwriter Cyndi Lauper‘s first GRAMMY win since claiming Best New Artist way back in 1985.

57. Best Companion Soundtrack for Visual Media

Django Unchained
Quentin Tarantino, compilation producer

The Great Gatsby (Deluxe Edition)
Baz Luhrman, compilation producer

Les Misérables (Deluxe Edition)
Cameron Mackintosh, Lee McCutcheon & Stephan Metcalfe, compilation producers

Muscle Shoals
Stephan Badger & Greg Camalier, compilation producers

Sound City: Real To Reel
Butch Vig, compilation producer (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

PREDICTION: I was going back and forth between Luhrman and Vig for this Award, as both soundtracks have the star power to win, but I’ll give the edge to The Great Gatsby on this one. As a stand-alone work, it’s quite inspired and did well commercially.

58. Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media

Argo
Alexandre Desplat, composer

The Great Gatsby
Craig Armstrong, composer

Life Of Pi
Mychael Danna, composer

Lincoln
John Williams, composer

Skyfall
Thomas Newman, composer (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

Zero Dark Thirty
Alexandre Desplat, composer

PREDICTION: Five out of the six nominations (minus Danna) are by previous winners in the category; that is some serious competition. However, I’m giving it to Lincoln. The movie was fantastic and Williams did an exceptional job setting the mood for it.

59. Best Song Written for Visual Media

“Atlas” (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire)
Performed and Written by: Coldplay (Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, Will Champion & Chris Martin)

“Silver Lining (Crazy ‘Bout You)” (Silver Linings Playbook)
Performed by: Jessie J
Written by: Diane Warren

“Skyfall” (Skyfall)
Performed by: Adele
Written by: Adkins & Paul Epworth (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

“We Both Know” (Safe Haven)
Performed and Written by: Colbie Caillat and Gavin DeGraw

“Young And Beautiful” (The Great Gatsby)
Performed by: Lana Del Rey
Written by: Del Rey & Rick Nowels

“You’ve Got Time” (Orange Is The New Black)
Performed and Written by: Regina Spektor

PREDICTION: This is a pretty hard category – two of the selections in here went to #1 on my personal chart. As much as I want “Atlas” to take the prize, I am going with “Skyfall”. The GRAMMY’s wouldn’t be complete without an Adele win, would they?

63. Best Recording Package

Geneseo, Automatic Music Can Be Fun
Mike Brown, Zac DeCamp, Brian Grunert & Annie Stoll, art directors

Reckless Kelly, Long Night Moon
Sarah Dodds & Shauna Dodds, art directors  (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

Jay Z, Magna Carta… Holy Grail
Brian Roettinger, art director

Metallica, Through The Never (Music From The Motion Picture)
Bruce Duckworth, Sarah Moffat, Brian Steele & David Turner

David Bowie, The Next Day
Jonathan Barnbrook, art director

PREDICTION: All five sets have pretty unique artwork even though I don’t know two of the acts in the category. I do believe David Bowie has the best chance of a win here. I liked the campaign based around it; it’s a simple piece, yet it’s also mysterious.

64. Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package

Rolling Stones, The Brussels Affair
Charles Dooher & Scott Sandler, art directors

Mayer Hawthorne, How Do You Do (Limited Edition Box Set)
Mayer Hawthorne, art director

Mumford & Sons, The Road To Red Rocks (Special Edition)
Ross Stirling, art director

Various Artists, The Smith Tapes
Masaki Koike, art director

Wings, Wings Over America (Deluxe Edition)
Simon Earith & James Musgrave, art directors (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

PREDICTION: There’s some major GRAMMY darlings in here, and of course, my dream win would be for Hawthorne. Yet, I’ll be realistic here and say Wings Over the other four. Hey, I even got the “Maybe I’m Amazed” 12″ for Record Store Day last year.

81. Best Music Video

“Safe And Sound”, Capital Cities
Grady Hall, video director; Buddy Enright, Javier Jimenez, Danny Lockwood & Daniel Weisman, video producers

“Picasso Baby” (A Performance Art Film), Jay Z
Mark Romanek, video director; Shawn Carter & Aristides McGarry, video producers

“Can’t Hold Us”, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Ray Dalton
Jon Jon Augustavo, Jason Koenig & Ryan Lewis, video directors; Tricia Davis, Honna Kimmerer & Jenny Koenig, video producers

“Suit & Tie”, Justin Timberlake featuring Jay Z
David Fincher, video director; Timory King, video producer (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

“I’m Shakin'”, Jack White
Dori Oskowitz, video director; Saul Levitz & Candice OvaKnine, video producer

PREDICTION: Of the five entries here, only one music video helped me to like the song better, and that would be “Safe And Sound” by Capital Cities. With a clip featuring dancers from multiple eras, the nostalgia should prove to be positive with the committee.

82. Best Music Film

Coldplay, Live 2012
Paul Dugdale, video director; Jim Parsons, video producer

Green Day, ¡Cuatro!
Tim Wheeler, video director; Tim Lynch, video producer

Ben Harper with Charlie Musselwhite, I’m In, I’m Out And I’m Gone: The Making Of Get Up!
Danny Clinch, video director; Ben Harper, video producer

Paul McCartney, Live Kisses
Jonas Åkerlund, video director; Violaine Etienne, Aron Levine & Scott Rodger, video producers (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

Mumford & Sons, The Road To Red Rocks
Nicolas Jack Davies & Frederick Scott, video directors; Dan Bowen, video producer

PREDICTION: I only own one of these (Coldplay), but I think Mumford & Sons will take it. I saw the special when it aired on HBO; besides being a fan of them, it’s a high quality film and edited together well. Their past GRAMMY history also helps the cause.
_____

Check back tomorrow to see what I’m thinking for the Alternative, Rock and Country categories! Until then, follow the blog below and find us on social media by click the “Get Social!” tab.

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Highlights from Adam’s Top 40: January 19, 2014

Playing for Ceeps.

Playing for Ceeps.

DEBUTS
40. Emerson Hart – The Best That I Can Give
34. Foster The People – Coming Of Age | HIGHEST DEBUT

TOP GAINERS
35. Max Frost – White Lies (40)
26. Neon Trees – Sleeping With A Friend (39) | BIGGEST MOVER
23. Mayer Hawthorne – Reach Out Richard (28)
21. Bastille – Bad Blood (26)
13. Grouplove – Shark Attack (18)

THIS WEEK’S TOP TEN
10. The 1975 – Girls (07) | PEAK: #01 for one week
09. Boy & Bear – Southern Sun (10) | PEAK: #09
08. A Great Big World – Say Something (06) | PEAK: #02
07. MAGIC! – Rude (11) | PEAK: #07
06. Fitz & The Tantrums – The Walker (08) | PEAK: #06
05. Gary Barlow – Let Me Go (05) | PEAK: #05
04. One Direction – Story Of My Life (04) | PEAK: #01 for three weeks
03. The Fray – Love Don’t Die (03) | PEAK: #03
02. Bastille – Of The Night (01) | PEAK: #01 for two weeks
01. Christina Perri – Human (02) | PEAK: #01 for one week | NEW #1

Top 10 Next In Line:
1. Disclosure featuring Sam Smith – Latch (1)
2. The Vamps – Can We Dance? (5)
3. James Durbin – Parachute (4)
4. Mary Lambert – She Keeps Me Warm (6)
5. Lea Michele – Cannonball (3)
6. The 1975 – Settle Down (-)
7. Naughty Boy featuring Sam Smith – La La La (10)
8. MKTO – God Only Knows (9)
9. Shane Filan – Knee Deep In My Heart (-)
10. tyDi featuring Carmen Keigans – Live This Lie (8)

In The Mix:
Bastille – Flaws
Birdy – Skinny Love
Chet Faker – No Diggity
Daft Punk featuring Julian Casablancas – Instant Crush
Daughtry – Battleships
Gabriel Rios – Gold
HAIM – Forever (new)
Jared & The Mill – Breathe Me In
John Butler Trio – Only One
Lo-Fang – When We’re Fire (new)
Los Lonely Boys – Don’t Walk Away
Magic Man – Paris (new)
needtobreathe – The Heart (new)
New Politics – Tonight You’re Perfect
OneRepublic – I Lived
Paloma Faith featuring Pharrell Williams – Can’t Rely On You (new)
Passenger – All The Little Lights
Royal Wood – Forever And Ever (new)
Sara Bareilles – I Choose You (new)

Chart Notes:

  • There’s a new song at the top this week; one might say it’s Perri, Perri nice. 27-year-old Christina Perri garners her first #1 on my personal chart as “Human” rises from 2-1. The singer previously charted as high as #9 with “A Thousand Years” in early 2012. Her forthcoming sophomore album, Head Or Heart, sees a release on March 11 and given the inclusion of collaborations with Ed Sheeran and Jamie Scott, I’m so excited to get a listen to it then.
  • Entering the top ten this week is the Canadian formed, U.S. based quartet MAGIC!, who wave their wands up from 11-7 with “Rude”. A few weeks ago, it went to #2 on the ARIA Charts out of Australia and looks to crack the top ten in Canada very soon. Expect a U.S. release of the song during the later spring/early summer — it’s only fitting given the feel of the song, right? (My profile on the group from early December)
  • Launching up 13 spots from 39-26 is the week’s Biggest Mover, “Sleeping With A Friend” by Utah’s Neon Trees. They’re the first singing shrubs to chart since 1997 and the trip-hop group Forest For The Trees. Their single “Dream” went top 20 on Alternative radio and scratched the CHR top 40 in the fall. (From the useless information department, “Dream” is best known as being one of the only charting songs on which a didgeridoo is heard.)
  • Of this week’s two debuts, Foster The People comes in highest at #34 with “Coming Of Age”, the first single off their forthcoming album titled Supermodel. It was co-produced by lead singer Mark Foster and well-known Adele collaborator Paul Epworth. To no one’s surprise, it’s currently racing up the Alternative survey and should be top 20 by the official Sunday update.
  • The other entry at #40 on the countdown is by Emerson Hart with his third top 40 solo single, “The Best That I Can Give”. Hart’s two previous entries, “If You’re Gonna Leave” in 2007 and “I Wish The Best For You” in 2008, both hit #1. We’ll see if this one can do the same. (My extended post on the single from Friday)

(See my full chart on the M4BCC message board)

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