Posted in GRAMMY Awards

56th GRAMMYs: Odds for Album of the Year

aoty-nods

The race for Album of the Year turned out to be very odd. By far, the most shocking line-up ever. Particularly due the still unbelievable snubs from Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars by out of the blue nominee Sara Bareilles for her effortlessly The Blessed Unrest. This year’s contenders also include the best-selling album (Taylor Swift’s Red) against the best-reviewed album (Kendrick Lamar’s Good Kid, M.A.A.D. Cityof the eligibility period alongside Random Access Memories by Daft Punk featuring a classy production with the middle-of-the-road debut by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis (The Heist). 

Now, let’s take a closer look at this year’s nominees. They are listed in order of likelihood of winning:

 Daft_Punk_Random_Access_Memories

DAFT PUNK Random Access Memories

  • Field / Genre: Dance / Funk
  • Metacritic score: 87 / 100
  • GRAMMY Record: 2 wins / 13 nods
  • GoldDerby Odds: 8/5

Random Access Memories is the first actual EDM record to receive an Album of the Year nomination. Which was the main reason why I wouldn’t consider it a lock. However it does contain great ingredients for a perfect winning formula: It is a come-back studio album; features collaborative work with veteran Nile Rodgers; production by 3-time GRAMMY winner Pharrell Williams; and a rendition to California’s late 1970s disco/funk music. It also takes advantage off the rest of the nominees which consist of two female singer-songwriters and two rap albums that could trigger a voting split. For now, we can say its a safe bet for the French duo. 

 Taylor_Swift_-_Red

TAYLOR SWIFT ─ Red

  • Field / Genre: Country / Country-Pop
  • Metacritic score: 77 / 100
  • GRAMMY Record: 7 / 15 (52nd Album of the Year WINNER)
  • GoldDerby Odds: 11/2

Taylor is the only performing artist in this line-up with a previous Album of the Year win (and nomination). In fact, she became only the third female soloist to grab a nod for an album of her own followed by a win (with Barbra Streisand and Bonnie Raitt being the other two). Red is also this year’s best-selling album with over 4 million copies in the U.S. alone. It seems like an easy triumph. However there are mixed feelings toward this album. It has failed to receive the equivalent prize at any of America’s major country music awards -most likely thanks to its approach to pop music-. And that could even hurt her chances to get Best Country Album. Yet Taylor has received several non-competitive awards -such as CMA’s Pinnacle Award and ACA’s Worldwide Artist- meaning she still enjoys great support from the country music community. 

 220px-The_blessed_unrest_cover

SARA BAREILLES The Blessed Unrest

  • Field / Genre: Pop / Adult Contemporary
  • Metacritic score: 68 / 100
  • GRAMMY Record: 0 / 5
  • GoldDerby Odds: 100/1

Music magazines and related forums are still discussing what Sara Bareilles is doing here. Not because she hit the nod with an average pop record. But because she managed to beat other far more deserving, better reviewed, and best-selling pop albums. Some people are comparing this to Steely Dan’s and Herbie Hancock’s wins in 2001 and 2008 respectively. The only difference here is she is no veteran. Furthermore, her winning chances should not be disregarded. Being the only pop album is quite an advantage. And her nomination assures there’s definitively something about this New York songwriter.

 KendrickGKMC

Kendrick Lamar Good Kid, M.A.A.D City 

  • Field / Genre: Rap / West Coast Rap
  • Metacritic score: 91 / 100
  • GRAMMY Record: First-time nominee
  • GoldDerby Odds: 50/1

Released in October 2012, Lamar’s debut album Good Kid, M.A.A.D City was the best-reviewed album last year. And despite many better-selling hip-hop albums were released after his. Lamar was still able to get the nod. He is also up for other six awards. But, can he become the third rapper with an Album of the Year trophy? If only production and composition is to be taken into account, he will for sure. The album features GRAMMY darlings Pharrell, Mary J. Blige and Jay-Z, among others. And it deals around rapper’s real-life experiences in the violent Compton county of Los Angeles. Similarly, the first hip-hop Album of the Year winner, Lauryn Hills’ 1999 The Miseducation of…, is also socially-charged. Stances against Kendrick Lamar’s hypothetical win is the presence of another hip-hop album; and this his only his first release. A debutante’s album is yet to win since Norah Jones did so back in 2003.

 The_Heist_Macklemore.jpeg

MACKLEMORE & RYAN LEWIS ─ The Heist 

  • Field / Genre: Rap / Hip-Hop
  • Metacritic score: 74 / 100
  • GRAMMY Record: First-time nominee
  • GoldDerby Odds: 27/21

The Heist‘s nomination might just respond to a way to recognize the achievements an indie record made by itself. Rapper Macklemore and producer Ryan Lewis did have a great year and were able to score big at music awards all over the world in the last couple of months. But it seems all the buzz surrounding this two is starting to cool down. Hence the Seattle duo’s winning chances are slim. Also rap voters would go for Lamar because he’s a more traditional rapper. It is worth mentioning that it is the first time since 2004 that two hip-hop albums are facing each other in this category. Furthermore they lack of any big names in their album. Anyways, who knows? Arcade Fire won in 2011 but they were far more respected by the music community in general. 

9 thoughts on “56th GRAMMYs: Odds for Album of the Year

      1. I don’t hate her. I think she’s a nice girl who’s a great songwriter and she has a mediocre voice. I just don’t think she deserved to win the vocal performance Grammys that she won but she’s a great songwriter. Who would you like to see win AOTY?

      2. I don’t like any of the artists here. To me, there are only two serious contenders: Daft Punk and Kendrick Lamar. The first for their production and the second for his composition. The other three are pretty mediocre.

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