Let’s Try To Predict The Grammys (Part Two)

Jul 15th, 2008 // 11 Comments

starlandvocalband.gifEarlier this month, we examined LA Times blogger Todd Martens’ attempt to predict the nominees for the Best New Artist Grammy ahead of the Sept. 30 cutoff point for next year’s awards. Martens decided to take on the Album of the Year category this week, giving me (and you!) even more to post about and puzzle over.

Albums released between October 2007 and the end of September ’08 can be taken into account, so while will.i.am’s Songs About Girls is ineligible, the Soulja Boy full-length is ready to receive the accolades it so richly deserves.

Here’s the list Martens came up with:

Gnarls Barkley, The Odd Couple

Lupe Fiasco, The Cool

Sheryl Crow, Detours
Alicia Keys, As I Am
Radiohead, In Rainbows
Mariah Carey, E=MC2
Coldplay, Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Raising Sand

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!
Al Green, Lay It Down
Erykah Badu, New Amerykah Part One (4th World War)
Beck, Modern Guilt
Portishead, Third
Rhymefest, Man in the Mirror
Lil Wayne, Tha Carter III

Martens’ picks make sense in one way or another, although Rhymefest’s album in particular is a pipedream (a mixtape offered free online recieving a Grammy nod?), and Nick Cave probably shouldn’t go picking out a tux for Grammy night just yet, either. And even if Lil Wayne is managing to keep the business afloat alongside Coldplay this summer, Tha Carter III might be a little out there for Grammy voters. Martens isn’t re-listing acts he already profiled in his Best New Artist preview, in particular Duffy, but there are a few omissions that would be hard for Grammy voters to pass up: Bruce Springsteen’s Magic, or possibly even the Wal-Mart-only Eagles disc.

It’s hard for me to imagine the award going to anyone but Al Green, but sadly, it wouldn’t surprise me if Sheryl Crow walked away with the small gold-plated phonograph either. Or Alison Krauss, who probably has a wing of her house just for Grammys. This might be a relatively complete list, since there aren’t many other award-ready albums coming out before the deadline, unless you count Death Magnetic (I don’t.) Which means that next year’s Grammys might shape up to be one of the more depressing Grammy Awards ceremonies in recent memory, and that’s saying a lot.

Grammys midway Part 3: An early look at the albums of the year [LA Times]
Grammys midway Part 4: Is this Coldplay or Mariah Carey’s year? [LA Times]

  1. TheRunningboard7

    Lupe Fiasco’s album is my favorite of his proposed list. I have no need to predict my own list, I’d have to think too hard. Looking at his, though, it is an easy enough choice for me. But, much like enjoying Coheed and Cambria, if one can, I don’t try to make sense of the concept album, and take it song by song.

  2. Al Shipley

    This guy’s trying to cover all his bases and ending up with a lot of really impossible predictions. Gnarls Barkley didn’t even get the nod with the album that had a hit. Mariah’s AOTY nod for Mimi was a onetime thing, all part of a big comeback story. Sheryl Crow has as much a chance of sweeping the Grammys again as Marisa Thomei has of winning another Oscar. Wayne’s profile right now is more 50 Cent than Kanye, as far as Grammy voters are concerned. And even with the Grammys’ bias towards neo soul Badu seems like a long shot. Only plausible suggestions are Alicia, Coldplay, Plant/Krauss, and maybe Radiohead and Lupe.

  3. Dan Gibson

    @Al Shipley: Not to be too picky, but St. Elsewhere was nominated for Album of the Year in 2007, losing to the Dixie Chicks.

    I have a hard time imagining the voters taking too well to Radiohead’s distribution methods in giving them a nomination, but I could be wrong.

  4. Al Shipley

    My bad, I thought I remembered GB getting an AOTY nod the first time but then misread their wikipedia entry and thought it said they only got nominations for some minor awards. Either way, no chance in hell of that happening again, at least not with this album.

  5. Halfwit

    Wait… Sheryl Crow released an album last year?

  6. The Illiterate

    Which means that next year’s Grammys might shape up to be one of the more depressing Grammy Awards ceremonies in recent memory, and that’s saying a lot.

    And it should be, considering how depressing mainstream pop has been in general this year.

    At any rate, I’d vote for Al Green, too, but I bet they go for Keys.

    And how did he forget Neil Diamond?

  7. Anonymous

    He’s trying to cover all bases but I agree that Coldplay, Mariah, Sheryl, and Wayne have no chances of AOTY. Though, Coldplay *may* get a nom as a nod to their collective catalog.

    My picks are

    Al G

    One notable exception could be SIGUR ROS – that’d be a great surprise nom!

  8. Rob Murphy

    I’m so depressed by the sad state of on-Grammy’s-radar music this year that this guessing game makes me almost cry. This category — the biggest of The Big Four — is even tougher to pick than BNA (which we discussed here).

    So, I’ll need to mull these over a bit, and scroll through my own iTunes to jog my memory a bit — yes, that’s how few really stand out for me.

    But I will say…quite shrewd release date management on the Plant/Krauss album, releasing it 23 October 2007. That was just barely not-too-late for it to make many critics “Best Of ’07″ year-end lists — and then build further buzz on this outstanding but hard-to-genrify CD throughout the year, including attaching “Killing The Blues” to a ubiquitous ad campaign for JC Penneys in the spring — but just barely not-too-early for it to be eligible after all the tastemakers and industry folks got around to realizing they loved it.

    This is a solid contender in this category, and don’t be surprised if it wins.

  9. Anonymous

    Magic was eligible last time out (remember that the Boss intentionally dropped the vinyl release on September 30th), and only got nominated in song categories (where it was beat by ‘The Pretender’). I think the same goes for As I Am (don’t quote me on that though).

    In Rainbows is a lock for a nomination, and I sincerely hope Coldplay scores one too. After that I’d say Lupe Fiasco was the only one I’d get up for.

    Also, don’t forget that Green Day and U2 are slated to have albums come out by the end of the year. If they sneak in ahead of the deadline, then it might get interesting.


  10. Rob Murphy

    @Rob Murphy: Also, in re: the brilliant release date / marketing management for Raising Sand, should it get a nom in this category, it will see a sales bump in Winter ’08/’09 as well. And obviously an even bigger bump in March if it wins the award.

  11. Captain Wrong

    Plant/Krauss to win. Coldplay, Keys, Green and Crow nominated.

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