Earlier 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
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.