Features

61st GRAMMY Awards Nominations: Our Thoughts

The nominations for the 61st Grammy Awards are out; with Drake and Kendrick Lamar leading the way throughout the field. There has also been a huge influx of female nominees this year, making for the most diverse and intriguing nominations list in years. Who will be the big winners? These are Viberant’s predictions:

General Field

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Drake

Record of the Year

  • Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin – I Like It
  • Brandi Carlile – The Joke
  • Childish Gambino – This is America
  • Drake – God’s Plan
  • Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper – Shallow
  • Kendrick Lamar & SZA – All The Stars
  • Post Malone & 21 Savage – Rockstar
  • Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey – The Middle

Our Predictions: Based on the way that this category has gone in previous years, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a victory for Cardi B or for Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper; but for me in terms of a pure record, I think this should be a shootout between Childish Gambino and Post Malone for the gong.

Song of the Year

  • Kendrick Lamar & SZA – All The Stars
  • Ella Mai – Boo’d Up
  • Drake – God’s Plan
  • Shawn Mendes – In My Blood
  • Brandi Carlile -The Joke
  • Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey – The Middle
  • Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper – Shallow
  • Childish Gambino – This is America

Our Predictions: Shallow will again be a frontrunner alongside Childish Gambino, but I really wouldn’t mind seeing Drake win this one for his smash hit God’s Plan. Don’t rule out Kendrick or Shawn Mendes, either though.

Album of the Year

  • Cardi B – Invasion of Privacy
  • Brandi Carlile – By The Way, I Forgive You
  • Drake – Scorpion
  • H.E.R. – H.E.R.
  • Post Malone – Beerbongs & Bentleys
  • Janelle Monae – Dirty Computer
  • Kacey Musgraves – Golden Hour
  • Black Panther: The Album, Music From and Inspired By

Our Predictions: Janelle Monae’s album is clearly the best of the bunch on this list here and would be my choice to take the award home; but the Grammy’s may well go for Kacey Musgraves with her impressive fourth album Golden Hour. I will be surprised if Drake or Post Malone win this with their bulked out, underwhelming projects.

Best New Artist

  • Chloe x Halle
  • Luke Combs
  • Greta Van Fleet
  • H.E.R.
  • Dua Lipa
  • Margo Price
  • Bebe Rexha
  • Jorja Smith

Our Predictions: Dua Lipa is the obvious choice here, her last 12-18 months have been a whirlwind and have propelled her to the very top of the pop genre. Other contenders will of course include Jorja Smith and Bebe Rexha, as well as the multi-nominee for this year’s awards H.E.R.; but Dua still stands out there to me.

Rock Field

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Greta Van Fleet

Best Rock Performance

  • Arctic Monkeys – Four Out Of Five
  • Chris Cornell – When Bad Does Good
  • The Fever 333 – Made An America
  • Greta Van Fleet – Highway Tune
  • Halestorm – Uncomfortable

Our Predictions: I really like Four Out Of Five, I think it’s one of the standouts from Arctic Monkeys’ latest album; and while it would be lovely to see them win it, I will be very surprised if anyone is beating Chris Cornell here. It would be a fitting way to celebrate the legacy of the Soundgarden frontman with a posthumous Grammy. Just please god don’t let it be Greta Van Fleet.

Best Rock Song

  • Greta Van Fleet – Black Smoke Rising
  • Twenty One Pilots – Jumpsuit
  • Bring Me The Horizon – MANTRA
  • St. Vincent – MASSEDUCTION
  • Ghost – Rats

Our Predictions: As bizarre an inclusion as St. Vincent’s title track from her latest album is, I would LOVE to see her win this; but realistically she shouldn’t. I think looking at this in the Rock category means that victory for Twenty One Pilots or the outside bet Bring Me The Horizon would be brilliant. Remember what I said about Greta Van Fleet previously? Copy and paste that notion here.

Best Rock Album

  • Alice in Chains – Rainier Fog
  • Fall Out Boy – M A N I A
  • Ghost – Prequelle
  • Greta Van Fleet – From The Fires
  • Weezer – Pacific Daydream

Our Predictions: I’ll be honest, three of these albums absolutely suck. Weezer and Fall Out Boy have been nominated on name alone and despite the buzz surrounding Greta Van Fleet, they’re still nothing more than a Led Zeppelin tribute band. I would lean towards giving this one to Alice in Chains but the omission of Twenty One Pilots’ album Trench is alarming.

Alternative Field

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St. Vincent

Best Alternative Music Album

  • Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino
  • Beck – Colors
  • Bjork – Utopia
  • David Byrne – American Utopia
  • St. Vincent – MASSEDUCTION

Our Predictions: Perhaps the toughest one to call, there are five great albums on show here from some truly iconic names. Any one of these could win and I’d feel like they deserve it, but if I had to choose I would say that either Bjork or St. Vincent warrant it most. This is the Grammy’s, though, so don’t be surprised to see another Beck victory.

R&B Field

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H.E.R.

 

Best R&B Performance 

  • Toni Braxton – Long As I Live
  • The Carters – SUMMER
  • Lalah Hathaway – Y O Y
  • H.E.R. feat. Daniel Caesar – Best Part
  • PJ Morton – First Began

Our Predictions: After Jay-Z’s failure to capture as many Grammy’s as anticipated last year, and Beyoncé losing out to Adele in 2016; I would expect The Carters to take this one home. With that being said, H.E.R. is an outside shout with the brilliant Best Part and Toni Braxton is a very marketable winner.

Best R&B Song

  • Ella Mai – Boo’d Up
  • Miguel, J. Cole & Salaam Remi – Come Through And Chill
  • Childish Gambino – Feels Like Summer
  • H.E.R. – Focus
  • Toni Braxton – Long As I Live

Our Predictions: As was previously mentioned with H.E.R. and Toni Braxton, they’d be solid winners for the Academy, but personally I would love to see Miguel or Childish Gambino win this one; both their respective songs are excellent and are, quite frankly, the best R&B songs on the list.

Best Urban Contemporary Album

  • The Carters – EVERYTHING IS LOVE
  • Chloe x Halle – The Kids Are Alright
  • Chris Dave And The Drumhedz – Chris Dave And The Drumhedz
  • Miguel – War & Leisure
  • Meshell Ndegeocello – Ventriloquism

Our Predictions: The Carters’ album is a celebration of urban contemporary, it is a surefire favourite to take home this award; but not a shoe-in. Miguel’s album War & Leisure is a slick, cohesive listening experience and would be a great moment for the singer to win a Grammy for it.

Best R&B Album

  • Toni Braxton – Sex & Cigarettes
  • Leon Bridges – Good Thing
  • Lalah Hathaway – Honestly
  • H.E.R. – H.E.R.
  • PJ Morton – Gumbo Unplugged (Live)

Our Predictions: H.E.R. has been truly commended in this year’s nominations with five nods; and she will be at the front of the queue to win Best R&B Album with her eponymous debut. With that being said, Leon Bridges would be my choice for his beautiful album Good Thing, full of suave sophistication and elegance.

Rap Field

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Travis Scott

Best Rap Performance

  • Cardi B – Be Careful
  • Drake – Nice For What
  • Kendrick Lamar, Future, Jay Rock & James Blake – King’s Dead
  • Anderson .Paak – Bubblin’
  • Travis Scott, Drake, Big Hawk & Swae Lee – SICKO MODE

Our Predictions: Could really be any of them that take this, but I think if logic prevails it should be between Anderson .Paak and Kendrick Lamar. Anderson would be my pick because Bubblin’ is the best song I have ever heard him do and his delivery is second to none, but Kendrick brings the fire alongside a cold Jay Rock verse and a meme-filled Future feature on King’s Dead. Drake is also in with a shout, as is Travis Scott for their commercial success.

Best Rap/Sung Performance 

  • Christina Aguilera feat. GoldLink – Like I Do
  • 6LACK feat. J. Cole – Pretty Little Fears
  • Childish Gambino – This is America
  • Kendrick Lamar & SZA – All The Stars
  • Post Malone & 21 Savage – Rockstar

Our Predictions: In a quite bizarre but nonetheless stacked list, the Best Rap/Sung Performance award could go anywhere realistically. The likely winners are Kendrick & SZA or Post Malone & 21 Savage given the huge success of their hits; but Gambino could win this one given his cross-genre style on This Is America. I would like a Post Malone victory here.

Best Rap Song

  • Drake – God’s Plan
  • Kendrick Lamar, Future, Jay Rock & James Blake – King’s Dead
  • Eminem & Joyner Lucas – Lucky You
  • Travis Scott, Drake, Big Hawk & Swae Lee – SICKO MODE
  • Jay Rock – Win

Our Predictions: Oh what I would give for a Travis Scott victory here. I think it is probably the favourite too, given the punchy beat switches and infectious deliveries that surround the number one smash hit. As long as it isn’t Eminem then I’ll be happy, but SICKO MODE is perhaps the most likely and preferred choice along with Drake’s God’s Plan.

Best Rap Album

  • Cardi B – Invasion of Privacy
  • Mac Miller – Swimming
  • Nipsey Hussle – Victory Lap
  • Pusha T – Daytona
  • Travis Scott – ASTROWORLD

Our Predictions: Pusha T’s inclusion surprised me given the controversy of his album cover, but Daytona is by far and away the best album on this list. That doesn’t guarantee it victory by any stretch, though, because this is the Grammy’s we are talking about. Mac Miller’s posthumous nomination was a nice touch but expect either Cardi B or Travis Scott to take this one.

Pop Field

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Ariana Grande

Best Pop Solo Performance

  • Beck – Colors
  • Camila Cabello – Havana (Live)
  • Ariana Grande – God is a Woman
  • Lady Gaga – Joanne (Where Do You Think You’re Goin’?)
  • Post Malone – Better Now

Our Predictions: Ariana Grande’s God is a Woman single saw huge success and acclaim, as did Post Malone’s Better Now; I think those two are the strong bets here. Although Havana is a bop, I think it’s very sly of them to put a live performance up so that it can qualify for this award; I wouldn’t begrudge Gaga of winning this either because she is just amazing.

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

  • Christina Aguilera & Demi Lovato – Fall in Line
  • Backstreet Boys – Don’t Go Breaking My Heart
  • Tony Bennett & Diana Krall – ‘S Wonderful
  • Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper – Shallow
  • Maroon 5 & Cardi B – Girls Like You
  • Justin Timberlake & Chris Stapleton – Say Something
  • Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey – The Middle

Our Predictions: This list baffles me. It is like I’ve stepped back into the early 00s with some of the names on display. Justin Timberlake, Maroon 5, Backstreet Boys and Christina Aguilera up for the same award in this day and age is puzzling, but none of them should win as Shallow by Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper is the superior song and performance.

Best Pop Vocal Album

  • Camila Cabello – Camila
  • Kelly Clarkson – Meaning of Life
  • Ariana Grande – Sweetener
  • Shawn Mendes – Shawn Mendes
  • P!nk – Beautiful Trauma
  • Taylor Swift – Reputation

Our Predictions: Taylor Swift’s album flopped, so it shouldn’t be that. P!nk is about a decade out of date so it shouldn’t be her, Kelly Clarkson is nothing more than alright so it shouldn’t be her. I’d be happy for a Camila Cabello or Shawn Mendes win here but realistically and logically this award has to go to Ariana Grande, her album was great and the vocals on it are leaps and bounds above the rest of the competition.

Dance/Electronic Field

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SOPHIE

Best Dance Recording

  • Above & Beyond feat. Richard Bedford – Northern Soul
  • Disclosure feat. Fatoumata Diawara – Ultimatum
  • Fisher – Losing It
  • Silk City feat. Dua Lipa – Electricity
  • Virtual Self – Ghost Voices

Our Predictions: Silk City and Dua Lipa are the commercial choice given how popular Electricity was, but for me this prize seems more fitting for either Disclosure for their funky masterstroke Ultimatum or Fisher’s vibrant electronic number Losing It. I wouldn’t mind seeing Silk City take this one, though, because I do enjoy that track a lot.

Best Dance/Electronic Album

  • Jon Hopkins – Singularity
  • Justice – Woman Worldwide
  • Sofi Tukker – Treehouse
  • SOPHIE – OIL OF EVERY PEARL’S UN-INSIDES
  • TOKiMONSTA – Lune Rouge

Our Predictions: Dance legends Justice will be seen as favourites for this but my choice would be SOPHIE’s brilliant debut release OIL OF EVERY PEARL’S UN-INSIDES for it’s innovation and daring to move the genre forwards. Seeing her win would be a huge moment and one which really could be one of the true success stories of the night.

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