Grammy Awards 2012: We Pick Album Of The Year

Music’s biggest night is but days away, and though we know who’s showing up and who’s performing with whom, the winners of the actual 2012 Grammy Awards remain a mystery. (Okay, so we’re pretty sure Adele is going to pick up a few trophies.) After posting our predictions for Best New Artist, Song Of The Year, Record Of The Year and all the Pop and Dance categories, we turn our crystal ball to the biggest award of the night, Album Of The Year. This year’s group of nominees include a rock act, two wildly-dressed pop stars, a classy crooner and a woman who turned her heartbreak into an unprecedented amount of album sales. Head below to see our picks for whose album will come out on top.

Adele, 21
The Foo Fighters, Wasting Light
Lady Gaga, Born This Way
Bruno Mars, Doo-Wops and Hooligans
Rihanna, Loud

THOUGHTS ON THE NOMINEES: The Foo Fighters are the sole rock group of the pack, and with all this pop filling the category (and possibly splitting the votes), it’s not completely ridiculous to think Dave Grohl and Co. could be more of a frontrunner than they would have been otherwise. Though there are bigger, more ubiquitous contenders here, let’s not forget when Herbie Hancock bested both Amy Winehouse and Kanye West’s mega-hit albums in 2008. (We definitely didn’t see that one coming.)

Rihanna’s Loud appears to have landed a spot here because it was simply inescapable in 2011 — she released six singles (a couple of those paired with controversial music videos), embarked on a world tour, and made a ridiculous amount of live appearances to make sure this album made an impact. But how many of those six singles will we be considered classic RiRi songs a year from now? “Only Girl In The World”, “What’s My Name”, maybe? We don’t see a long shelf life for the majority of this album. (Good thing Rihanna releases a new set of tunes pretty much every November.)

This is Lady Gaga’s third consecutive Album Of The Year nomination, as Mama Monster’s The Fame and The Fame Monster were nominated in 2010 and 2011, respectively. Born This Way — whose title track was performed during last year’s Grammy ceremony — certainly yielded quite a few wonderful singles (and “Judas”…) and showed us a brand new side of the pop star. Perhaps too many new sides of the pop star, as the whole album lacked cohesion and focus — it seemed like a bunch of big ideas stuffed into one package. Basically, Gaga’s BTW era comes off as a bit of a disappointment when compared to her previous releases, which were nowhere near as divisive.

Bruno Mars’ debut is all style and class, even when he’s singing with monkeys about being oh-so lazy. The man was practically bred to win Grammys — as he did last year for Best Male Pop Solo Performance for Doo-Wops single “Just The Way You Are”. In any other year, we think he’d be the one to beat. But…

Can anyone stop Adele from scoring Album Of The Year? Because, face it, 21 really was the album of the year. It sold more copies than any other LP this year (over six million), scored the best-selling single of the year with “Rolling In The Deep”, landed at the top of countless year-end lists, and had four of its tracks covered on Glee. It turned Adele from that lovely British singer who sang “Chasing Pavements” to the savior of the music industry.

WHO WILL WIN: We know the blog should just be rechristened Adelator at this point, but this is the Brit songbird’s award to lose.

WHO SHOULD WIN: Born This Way and 21 both landed on our list of our Favorite 10 Albums of 2011, so we’re big fans of both LPs. But Gaga’s opus, though ambitious and unique, still comes off as trying too hard. Adele’s 21, however, is as much a masterpiece as breakup albums come, and it all seems effortless. We think Adele deserves this one more.

Now it’s your turn — who will win the big prize of the night? Vote below!

Question of the day

Who do you think will win a Grammy for Album Of The Year?


  • Lady Gaga, 'Born This Way' (40%, 492 Votes)
  • Adele, '21' (34%, 410 Votes)
  • Rihanna, 'Loud' (20%, 242 Votes)
  • Foo Fighters, 'Wasting Light' (4%, 44 Votes)
  • Bruno Mars, 'Doo-Wops & Hooligans' (2%, 33 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,221

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Do you agree with our predictions? Did we get it wrong with the picks? Let us know your thoughts below, or by hitting us up on Facebook and Twitter! And make sure you keep up to date with all our 2012 Grammy coverage!

  • Cock

    Adele “21″ will win. DUHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

  • RtA1913

    God I’m gonna get so much in trouble here, but I have to, respectfully, disagree with you Idolator, Loud is a better album than Born This Way (sorry it is true) and before attacking me, here is my explanation:

    Loud (which, has to be noted even as a hardcore Rihanna stan I am, didn’t receive any creative input from Rih in writing or production) is a perfectly produced album, which is why it got nominated and not because it couldn’t be “escaped” which was the case of Born This Way (I have NEVER seen an album promoted like that). The variety of producers made Loud a truly jukebox, it was a great combination of genres: dancepop (Only Girl, S&M), rockish-chillout (Cheers), reggae (Man Down), R&B (Fading, Skin), urban-caribbean-pop (What’s My Name, Raining Men), a bit of country (California King Bed), trance (Complicated) and a pop power ballad (occasionally the sequel to the biggest hit of 2010, and performed at the last year ceremony): Love the Way You Lie. It had also 3 major guests: Nicki Minaj, Eminem, Drake (all of them have been nominate to a Grammy before), produced 5 top 40 hits, 4 top 10 and 3 #1s (one was a tricky one but anyway). Vocally was an improvement, it showed Rihanna’s versatility, was a critical acclaimed album and eventually, the biggest seller of the pack (worldwide, and of course excluding Adele). So thanks to all of that I think Loud (more than Rihanna herself) DESERVED the nomination and it should be in a head to head race with Adele for the Grammy, and Rihanna deserved too, after being totally SNUBBED with Rated R.

    As for Born This Way, I just like 4 tracks (Heavy Metal Lover, Electric Chapel, Marry the Night and The Edge of Glory), and I consider it a boring album, a try too hard effort and seriously it’s not the 80s or 90s anymore to try to use religion as a topic to create controversy, it sounds recycled at some points (same case with The Fame, where RedOne recycled the same beat in like 6 songs) and an homogenous sound, not showing too much versatility (I didn’t find the heavy metal influences she said, and the album is NOWHERE near to album of the century or whatever crazy title she gave it)

    • Becky Bain

      We would never attack you! You’re allowed to have (and share!) your opinion. Loud WAS pretty great, we just personally enjoyed BTW more.

    • layder

      “Loud” was a well-produced album, that’s correct, and sold very well (wouldn’t say it was the best-seller out of the pack, because BTW sold a little better. Note: It was 2011s second best selling album after “21.”)

      BTW was also well-produced. You mentioned yourself that because “Loud” is nominated, it has to mean it was well-produced. Well, isn’t it the same for BTW? It’s nominated = well-produced. Lady Gaga just has a far better idea with what she’s doing and what her album is about. “Loud” is about hard beats etc. but BTW deals with what it’s about. Lyrical contexts are also very important in the Album category. Besides, Lady Gaga is a bigger star in the world (NOT saying Rihanna isn’t huge) and is creatively a lot more in control and in the process of recording than Rihanna, which gives a big plus to Gaga from the Grammy panel.

      To be honest, Rihanna releases too many albums too often to be taken seriously by the Grammy’s. She looks like a puppet singing others songs, while (if you want it or not) Gaga is in pretty much every single part of the album-making process. Therefore I see a higher chance for Gaga to win that Grammy than Rihanna. Rihanna’s win is her nomination, she WON’T ever win that award unless she starts to be a little more in control.

  • RtA1913

    BUT Adele will win that i for sure

  • Mack

    LOUD- Rihanna all the way.
    This album had a variety of song genres.
    I actually enjoy listening to the tracks from LOUD.
    3 of the tracks are #1 hits.
    I am a Rihanna stan, and I think she deserves the win.
    Sorry, idolator.
    Adele songs are mostly about depression, which is not really needed in the industry much.
    But, anyways we’ll see.

  • Daniel

    In My opinion, I think LOUD is way better than Born This Way, The Mix of differents genres, the beats, the lyrics, amazing chart performance, beautiful vocals and what people really LOVE about this album is there’s Variety on LOUD… Love songs, Break up songs, Sex songs, Let’s party songs, ballads… AND actually EVERY song match the Album title, every song is LOUD in their own way…. beautiful concept, Image and Structure. I think is a Really solid album, It has cohesion and focus… Great production!

    21 is far from Epic, Adele earned the title of a Great artist and vocalist.
    My bets are Adele and Rihanna, I think they Ruled the music world last year with their albums, in general… Adele, Rihanna, Kanye and Bruno will go to the stage to say Thank you, I’m sure!

  • josh

    i feel that 21 was too safe
    dont get me wrong it is a masterpiece but i respect gaga more for taking a risk with her album
    it will come down to gaga and adele and ill be fine if either of them wins
    being divisive doesn’t mean its not good… in fact its better to be interesting and unique than boring and bland

    i do think adele will win because of its commercial success and i wish her all the best but its a highly overrated album and shes definitely not the vocal and musical messiah everyone makes her out to be

  • RtA1913

    Adele’s 21 overrated?? And what was exactly the risk GaGa took? I mean I reall want to understand how monsters (or gaga “likers” think)

    If there was an album which was overrated and overhyped in 2011 that is Born This Way! The Fame is much better

    I repeat it’s a showdown between Adele and Rihanna, but Adele will take it, and I’m fine with that

    • layder

      Rihanna will NEVER win an award like this. She won’t win against artists that write, compose and produce their albums. You think, after the last 20 years of evidence that Grammy’s give their awards to artists in control of their work, that she will win that award? The album is really well-produced but it’s A HUGE MINUS for Rihanna that she didn’t do anything other that put her vocals on it. Her nomination is her win.

  • Xcaliver

    For people saying Gaga does not take risks, are you kidding me. She released a mainstream song with the word “Transgendered.” She gave a face to the LGBT community. She opened a foundation for bullied youth. Born This Way was the fastest selling record of 2011. Born This Way was number 1 in 23 countries for seven weeks. I honestly think its between Adele and Gaga and whoever voted for Rihanna needs there heads checked.

  • Juvi

    I really wish Gaga win this, but i think that Adele will because 21 was sooooooooooooooooooooooo successful

  • chris

    Well personally I believe that, why is GaGa nominated for the 3rd year in a row without winning it this time? Grammys in a certain way are not that much of a “buzz” kinda winning thing. So despite 21 is more successful and everyone thinks Adele is gonna get it all maybe are wrong. Don’t forget BTW was right behind it in the Year’s End albums chart ww.

  • Nikki
  • Amanda

    You people are fools!! The album of the year deserves to go to Foo Fighters, without a doubt. Has anyone voting/commenting even heard the album?! It’s amazing! Not to mention, it was done completely analog in Dave Grohls garage. Nowadays for a mainstream album, that’s insanely rare. As far the rest, Adele would take the cake. But as far as the most deserving of the award, Foo Fighters. Absolutely.

  • numa1

    omg so true!!! i love RiRi but sadly i dont think shes gonna win