56th Annual Grammy Awards- soulhead Predictions

56th Annual Grammy Awards- soulhead Predictions

It’s Grammy weekend!  At this moment, the biggest names in the industry are putting their final touches on all the pageantry and glory that is the Grammy’s.  And already, things are heating up with the announcement that Madonna as well as Beyonce and Jay Z will be performing live.  As the big night looms near, we wanted to offer the official soulhead predictions.  And, of course, look out for our event recap in which we will detail the winners for you!

56th Annual Grammy Awards –  soulhead Predictions
Sunday, January 26th
8-11:30 PM EST
Los Angeles, CA

Record of the Year

soulhead pick: Based on the popularity of all these records, a case could be made for any of them.  However, we have to say that Blurred Lines will be the favorite.  Despite all of its controversy, this song was spring-turned-summer-turned-fall anthem for many.  It’s infectious beat (here’s to you, Marvin Gaye) paired with Thicke’s smooth voice, Williams’ hook and TI’s guest bars, this song definitely earns the right to record of the year.

Album of the Year

soulhead pick: Again, a difficult field.  On numbers alone, Ms. Swift would get the gold.  But indeed, Daft Punk created a very solid album in their signature style.  However, the two artists to look at are Kendrick and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.  Not the only competition between the two acts for the night, conventional wisdom holds that this one should go to the Seattle duo.  Between their underdog-underground story, and the love they garner from diverse demographics, they are the safe winners.  That said, Kendrick is far more deserving of the gramophone and will be the likely winner.  His concept album at once paid homage to all things that made hip-hop great while still giving voice to a whole new generation of artists.  good Kid, MAAD City is laced with a rare artistry, the NARAS can’t help but to agree that is the most comprehensive album nominated.

Song of the Year

  • Just Give Me a Reason –  Jeff Bhasker, Pink & Nate Ruess, songwriters (Pink Featuring Nate Ruess)
  • Locked Out of Heaven –  Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine & Bruno Mars, songwriters (Bruno Mars)
  • Roar –  Lukasz Gottwald, Max Martin, Bonnie McKee, Katy Perry & Henry Walter, songwriters (Katy Perry)
  • Royals –  Joel Little & Ella Yelich O’Connor, songwriters (Lorde)
  • Same Love –  Ben Haggerty, Mary Lambert & Ryan Lewis, songwriters (Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Featuring Mary Lambert)

soulhead pick:  An award for the writing and composition of a song, it almost seems this will be a dead give away to Ben, Ryan, and their friend Mary.   With this song’s theme of equality and sweet melodies, it’s a sure win.

Best New Artist

  • James Blake
  • Kendrick Lamar
  • Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
  • Kacey Musgraves
  • Ed Sheeran

soulhead pick:  While we love Ed Sheeran’s voice and Kacey Musgraves brought that authenticity of country music that we appreciate, this award will likely go to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.  Their music had a real presence in 2013.  Loved for being goof balls in “Thrift Shop” or serious in “Neon Cathedrals”,  they are poised to reign in this competition.  But, we wouldn’t mind if the statue went to Kendrick…

Best Pop Solo Performance

  • Brave –  Sara Bareilles
  • Royals –  Lorde
  • When I Was Your Man –  Bruno Mars
  • Roar –  Katy Perry
  • Mirrors –  Justin Timberlake

soulhead pick: As much as we at soulhead love Justin,  it was Lorde’s Royals that dominated the top 40 last year.  Her song about the ostentatious and elusive lifestyles of the rich and famous has ironically launched her to fame.  As such, it’s a smart pop song and smart choice for Solo Performance.

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

  • Get Lucky –  Daft Punk Featuring Pharrell Williams & Nile Rodgers
  • 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 & Jay Z

soulhead pick: So, remember that time we said Blurred Lines would win Record of the Year over Get Lucky?  Where here’s the NARAS’ opportunity to make it up to Daft Punk.  Either way, Pharrell comes out on top!

Best Pop Vocal Album

soulhead pick: It would just be simply rude to NOT give this award to Justin Timberlake.  Considering that he made two albums, masterfully produced, replete with a vocal styling that is all his own, Justin is sure to be a winner.

Best Dance Recording

  • Need U –  Duke Dumont Featuring A*M*E & MNEK.  Adam Dyment & Tommy Forrest, producers; Adam Dyment & Tommy Forrest, mixers
  • Sweet Nothing –  Calvin Harris Featuring Florence Welch.  Calvin Harris, producer; Calvin Harris, mixer
  • Atmosphere – Kaskade.  Finn Bjarnson & Ryan Raddon, producers; Ryan Raddon, mixer
  • This is What it Feels Like –  Armin Van Buuren Featuring Trevor Guthrie.  Armin Van Buuren & Benno De Goeij, producers; Armin Van Buuren & Benno De Goeij, mixers
  • Clarity – Zedd Featuring Foxes.  Zedd, producer; Zedd, mixer

soulhead pick:  Though Calvin Harris is the king of the mix and he and Florence Welch had a wonderful hit on their hands, Clarity was one of those numbers that just made you want to…well…dance!

Best Dance/Electronica Album

  • Random Access Memories – Daft Punk
  • Settle – Disclosure
  • 18 Months – Calvin Harris
  • Atmosphere – Kaskade
  • A Color Map of the Sun – Pretty Lights

soulhead pick– Calvin Harris, undoubtedly.  18 Months featured something for everybody and featured such a cross over appeal, it arguably has made other genres shift towards electronica.

Best R&B Performance

  • Love and War – Tamar Braxton
  • Best of Me – Anthony Hamilton
  • Nakamarra – Hiatus Kaiyote Featuring Q-Tip
  • How Many Drinks? – Miguel Featuring Kendrick Lamar
  • Something – Snarky Puppy With Lalah Hathaway

soulhead pick:  Tamar demonstrated all of her skills and talents with her second solo album.  And this song is indicative of such.

Best Traditional R&B Performance

  • Please Come Home – Gary Clark Jr.
  • Get it Right – Fantasia
  • Quiet Fire – Maysa
  • Hey Laura – Gregory Porter
  • Yesterday – Ryan Shaw

soulhead pick – Talk about traditional!  Brother Gregory Porter has so much soul, the award just has his name written all over it!

Best R&B Song

  • Best of Me –  Anthony Hamilton & Jairus Mozee, songwriters (Anthony Hamilton)
  • Love and War – Tamar Braxton, Darhyl Camper, Jr., LaShawn Daniels & Makeba Riddick, songwriters (Tamar Braxton)
  • Only One –  PJ Morton, songwriter (PJ Morton Featuring Stevie Wonder
  • Pusher Love Girl –  James Fauntleroy, Jerome Harmon, Timothy Mosley & Justin Timberlake, songwriters (Justin Timberlake)
  • Without Me – Fantasia Barrino, Missy Elliott, Al Sherrod Lambert, Harmony Samuels & Kyle Stewart, songwriters (Fantasia Featuring Kelly Rowland & Missy Elliott)

soulhead pick– Perhaps to the chagrin of many R&B purists, this award is for Pusher Love Girl.  Not only are the lyrics clever and coy (key for an R&B romance ballad), but the arrangement on the full 242 seconds of the song is just sublime.

Best Urban Contemporary Album

  • Love and War – Tamar Braxton
  • Side Effects of You – Fantasia
  • One: In the Chamber – Salaam Remi
  • Unapologetic – Rhianna
  • New York: A Love Story – Mack Wilds

soulhead pick– The ridiculous category title notwithstanding, Tamar Braxton well earned this one.  However, we would not be surprised if Fantasia ran away with it either.

Best R&B Album

soulhead pick– John Legend returned to the scene without missing a beat.  His well crafted album will definitely earn him the gramophone.

Best Rap Performance

soulhead pick– Drake had a nation leaning and chanting with Started From the Bottom.  It is the type of audacious anthem that you want hip to be.

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration

  • Power Trip – J Cole ft Miguel
  • Part II (On the Run) – Jay Z ft Beyonce
  • Holy Grail – Jay Z ft Justin Timberlake
  • Now or Never – Kendrick Lamar ft Mary J. Blige
  • Remember You – Wiz Khalifa ft The Weeknd

soulhead pick– Though probability favors Mr. Carter with his two nominations, J Cole’s lead single to his sophomore studio album was just that song.

Best Rap Song

  • F***kin’ Problems – Tauheed Epps, Aubrey Graham, Kendrick Lamar, Rakim Mayers & Noah Shebib, songwriters  (ASAP Rocky Featuring Drake, 2 Chainz & Kendrick Lamar)
  • Holy Grail – Shawn Carter, Terius Nash, J. Harmon, Timothy Mosley, Justin Timberlake & Ernest Wilson, songwriters (Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl & Krist Novoselic, songwriters)  (Jay Z Featuring Justin Timberlake)
  • New Slaves – Christopher Breaux, Ben Bronfman, Mike Dean, Noah Goldstein, Louis Johnson, Malik Jones, Sham Joseph, Elon Rutberg, Sakiya Sandifer, Travis Scott, Che Smith, Kanye West & Cydel Young, songwriters (Anna Adamis & Gabor Presser, songwriters) (Kanye West)
  • Started from the Bottom – W. Coleman, Aubrey Graham & Noah Shebib, songwriters (Bruno Sanfilippo, songwriter) (Drake)
  • Thrift Shop – Ben Haggerty & Ryan Lewis, songwriters (Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Featuring Wanz)

soulhead pick – Considering composition and lyrics, Kanye’s New Slaves is the only song that is laudable on both fronts.

Best Rap Album

soulhead pick – A truly difficult field, in which every artist has his (noting the absence of women) own merits, would it be unlikely for the NARAS to award Kendrick in two categories?  Likely, yes. So in that regard, the award will go to the man, the myth, the legend: Yeezy.

Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance

  • Break Every Chain (Live) – Tasha Cobbs
  • Hurricane – Natalie Grant
  • Lord, I Need You – Matt Maher
  • Overcomer – Mandisa
  • If He Did it Before…Same God (Live) – Tye Tribbett

soulhead pick– Mandisa certainly gets individuals in a bright and lifted mood with her “Overcomer”. But it’s Tasha Cobbs with Break Every Chain that has gripped the gospel scene.

Best Gospel Song

  • Have Your Way – Calvin Frazier & Deitrick Haddon, songwriters (Deitrick Haddon)
  • If He Did it Before…Same God –  Tye Tribbett, songwriter (Tye Tribbett)
  • If I Believe – Wirlie Morris, Michael Paran, Charlie Wilson & Mahin Wilson, songwriters (Charlie Wilson)
  • A Little More Jesus –  Erica Campbell, Tina Campbell & Warryn Campbell, songwriters (Erica Campbell)
  • Still –  Percy Bady, songwriter (Percy Bady Featuring Lowell Pye)

soulhead pick– The MaryMary singer, Erica Campbell has listeners stomping and clapping along with the simple cry for just a little more Jesus.

Best Gospel Album

  • Grace – Tasha Cobbs
  • Best for Last: 20 Year Celebration – Donald Lawrence
  • Best Days Yet – Bishop Paul Morton
  • God Chaser – William Murphy
  • Greater Than [Live] – Tye Tribbet

soulhead pick– Donald Lawrence is a perennial favorite.  This work reflects on his years in the industry, while introducing more beautiful big choir music.

Best Blues Album

  • Remembering Little Walter – Billy Boy Arnold, Charlie Musselwhite, Mark Hummel, Sugar Ray Norcia & James Harman
  • Cotton Mouth Man – James Cotton
  • Get Up! – Ben Harper With Charlie Musselwhite
  • Seesaw – Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa
  • Down in Louisiana – Bobby Rush

soulhead pick – Admittedly, we have a bit of a Ben Harper bias.

Best Reggae Album

  • One Love, One Life – Beres Hammond
  • Ziggy Marley in Concert – Ziggy Marley
  • The Messiah – Sizzla
  • Reggae Connection – Sly & Robbie And The Jam Masters
  • Reincarnated – Snoop Lion

soulhead pick– To be sure, Snoop Lion’s Reincarnated was more than a gimmick, and his infusion of hip-hop stylings makes this a dynamic album.  But, the weightiness of Sizzla’s content makes him a favorite.

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