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
Paradise, Lana Del Rey
Pure Heroine, Lorde
Unorthodox Jukebox, Bruno 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
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***)
18 Months, Calvin Harris
A Color Map Of The Sun, Pretty 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 Duets, Tony Bennett and Various Artists
To Be Loved, Michael Bublé (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
The Standards, Gloria Estefan
Cee Lo’s Magic Moment, Cee Lo Green
Now, Dionne 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 Up, Pistol Annies
Chuck Ainlay, engineer; Bob Ludwig, mastering engineer
The Blue Room, Madeleine Peyroux
Helik Hadar & Leslie Ann Jones, engineers; Bernie Grundman, mastering engineer
The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here, Alice In Chains
Paul Figueroa & Randy Staub, engineers; Ted Jensen, mastering engineer
…Like Clockwork, Queens Of The Stone Age
Joe Barresi & Mark Rankin, engineers; Gavin Lurssen, mastering engineer
The Moorings, Andrew 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
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
“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.