Music Musings

The Politician’s Grammy Picks

I’ve never made Grammy predictions before because A) neither I nor anyone else cares about my picks or the eventual winners, and B) the Grammys suck. It is decidedly not about music as art but rather music as popularity contest. Most years the list of nominees look like they were culled from a glance at the Billboard charts. Anyway, here’s who I want to win for the categories about which I think I actually know something. Half-assed slapdash snarky commentary ensues.


Album Of The Year

25 — Adele
Lemonade — Beyoncé
Purpose — Justin Bieber
Views — Drake
A Sailor’s Guide To Earth — Sturgill Simpson

Who Should Win: Beyoncé. Lemonade is a great album, an arguably better visual album, and Bey got snubbed hard in 2015 when she lost to Beck’s Groggy Hangover. But because Republicans have decided she’s a controversial figure, don’t be surprised if they hand it over to Adele’s third album imitating black artists.


Record Of The Year
“Hello” — Adele
“Formation” — Beyoncé
“7 Years” — Lukas Graham
“Work” — Rihanna Featuring Drake
“Stressed Out” — Twenty One Pilots

Who Should Win: Beyoncé again. Out of those five it is easily the best. But again don’t be surprised if it goes to Adele because the judges think “Hello” starts off as a humorous callback to Lionel Ritchie. “Stressed Out” is now in contention for worst songs nominated for Record of the Year.


Song Of The Year

“Formation” — Khalif Brown, Asheton Hogan, Beyoncé Knowles & Michael L. Williams II, songwriters (Beyoncé)
“Hello” — Adele Adkins & Greg Kurstin, songwriters (Adele)
“I Took A Pill In Ibiza” — Mike Posner, songwriter (Mike Posner)
“Love Yourself” — Justin Bieber, Benjamin Levin & Ed Sheeran, songwriters (Justin Bieber)
“7 Years” — Lukas Forchhammer, Stefan Forrest, Morten Pilegaard & Morten Ristorp, songwriters (Lukas Graham)

Who Should Win: Can we all pause for a moment and just admit this is the Grammys’ way of basically giving out two Best Record/Song awards? Anyway, it should go to Beyoncé again.


Best New Artist

Kelsea Ballerini
The Chainsmokers
Chance The Rapper
Maren Morris
Anderson .Paak

Who Should Win: I haven’t given Anderson .Paak’s album enough of a chance to say whether I like it, but everyone I know who seems to know anything about music seems to like him, so any problem with him is my own. And though I have for some inexplicable reason never written about any of Chance the Rapper’s records, I’ve really liked them all (really don’t know why I haven’t written about them), so I know his discography is strong enough that as a ‘breakout’ artist he is deserving. I like The Chainsmokers as a kind of novelty, but those guys strike me as idiots. I haven’t listened to country stars Ballerini or Morris, but have reason to listen now. Note: Taylor Swift isn’t up for any award this year, so they might see this as a reason to hand this off to either of them.


Best Pop Vocal Album

25 — Adele
Purpose — Justin Bieber
Dangerous Woman — Ariana Grande
Confident — Demi Lovato
This Is Acting — Sia

Who Should Win: No one. Of all the categories this year, this may be the worst one. If Beyoncé gets album of the year, figure Adele a shoe-in for this. Probably a shoe-in regardless.

pj harvey hope six demolition project

Best Alternative Music Album

22, A Million — Bon Iver
Blackstar — David Bowie
The Hope Six Demolition Project — PJ Harvey
Post Pop Depression — Iggy Pop
A Moon Shaped Pool — Radiohead

Who Should Win: Doesn’t matter, because Bowie’s dead and that means he wins. Not a complaint—if he doesn’t win it’s disrespect, if he wins it’s because he’s dead. Of those five I liked PJ Harvey’s the best (need to give Pop’s another spin), but after Bowie this is a tossup between Radiohead as reliable standby and Bon Iver as the Grammys’ attempt to display their ability to recognize artistic albums.


Best Urban Contemporary Album

Lemonade — Beyoncé
Ology — Gallant
We Are King — KING
Malibu — Anderson .Paak
Anti — Rihanna

Who Should Win: Again, Bey doesn’t win the top award this one’s hers (and again, probably that way regardless). But like I said, .Paak’s album is popular and respected, and you know what? Anti is pretty good, too. A fairly decent lineup for this category.


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