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Grammy 2014 Predictions and Picks

As the 2014 Grammy Awards telecast approaches, as is the custom, many fans, critics and journalists are speculating as to who will win which awards. I am no exception. While there are far too many categories to go through them all, here are a few of my predictions for some of the higher profile categories. See if you agree with my picks.


Album Of The Year:
The Blessed Unrest — Sara Bareilles
Random Access Memories — Daft Punk
Good Kid, M.A.A.D City — Kendrick Lamar
The Heist — Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Red — Taylor Swift

MY PICK: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis have had a runaway year, being the latest in a growing line of independent artists who have risen to national prominence (and the first indie rap/hip-hop artists in recent memory to have this much acclaim). Hits like “Same Love,” “Thrift Shop” and “Can’t Hold Us” have given their debut album a great deal of momentum. I think they’ll take this one.


Record Of The Year:
“Get Lucky” — Daft Punk & Pharrell Williams
“Radioactive” — Imagine Dragons
“Royals” — Lorde
“Locked Out Of Heaven” — Bruno Mars
“Blurred Lines” — Robin Thicke Featuring T.I. & Pharrell Williams

MY PICK: Daft Punk 

While I’d personally like to see Lorde take this category, “Record of the Year” is actually about quality of recording more than popularity or chart success. Based on that criterion, I’d have to admit that “Get Lucky” is the most likely candidate for this one, although “Locked Out of Heaven” and “Blurred Lines” could easily surprise us.


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)

MY PICK: “Royals”

Another whirlwind success seemingly from out of nowhere (but actually from out of New Zealand), teen songstress Lorde dominated the charts through the late summer months with “Royals,” a minimally produced but extremely catchy tune. I’d be surprised if she doesn’t grab this Grammy. (The only possible spoiler might be “Same Love” on the basis of its social message.)


Best New Artist:
James Blake
Kendrick Lamar
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Kacey Musgraves
Ed Sheeran

MY PICK: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Based on personal choice, I’d like to see Kacey Musgraves or Ed Sheeran take this, but based on gut instinct, I think Macklemore & Ryan Lewis have the advantage of chart dominance for a longer period of time. If Lorde had been on this list, it might have been different ball game.


Best Pop Vocal Album:
Paradise — Lana Del Rey
Pure Heroine — Lorde
Unorthodox Jukebox — Bruno Mars
Blurred Lines — Robin Thicke
The 20/20 Experience – The Complete Experience — Justin Timberlake

MY PICK: Toss up—Lorde or Justin Timberlake

Call me a coward (no, don’t), but I honestly am split on my pick here. Lorde has the later-year momentum, but J.T. has the vocal chops (and with a double album, more material by which to judge). I’d be okay with either.


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

MY PICK: Daft Punk

Not really even close, in my opinion.


Best Alternative Music Album
The Worse Things Get… — Neko Case
Trouble Will Find Me — The National
Hesitation Marks — Nine Inch Nails
Lonerism — Tame Impala
Modern Vampires Of The City — Vampire Weekend

MY PICK: Vampire Weekend

The National might steal this one (their album was stellar), but Vampire Weekend outdid themselves with Modern Vampires this year.


Best Rock Album:
13 — Black Sabbath
The Next Day — David Bowie
Mechanical Bull — Kings Of Leon
Celebration Day — Led Zeppelin
…Like Clockwork — Queens Of The Stone Age
Psychedelic Pill — Neil Young With Crazy Horse

MY PICK: David Bowie

First off, I love how this category was dominated by established, iconic acts this year. Simply put, Bowie put out a record that matched or exceeded the artistic quality of his early work. I think he’ll nab this one.


Best Country Album:
Night Train — Jason Aldean
Two Lanes Of Freedom — Tim McGraw
Same Trailer Different Park — Kacey Musgraves
Based On A True Story… — Blake Shelton
Red — Taylor Swift

MY PICK: Blake Shelton

Taylor may have the fan base and record sales, but Blake has the blend of country vibe, personality and hit quality.  I pick Blake.


What about you? What are your picks for tomorrow’s Grammy Awards? Feel free to leave them in the comments.

The Grammy Awards will air at 8:00 PM EST, Sunday night on CBS.

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About the Author


David Tillman is an independent composer/arranger whose primary work involves writing jingles for commercials for radio and television, with several film and television placements to his credit as well. David has a fascination for all things related to the music business and the music industry in general, an obsession which his wife finds to be mildly unhealthy at times. His personal tastes in music are in electronica and industrial rock, and include The Chemical Brothers, Daft Punk and Nine Inch Nails (he loves that Trent Reznor is writing soundtracks!). When not in his office or in his man-cave, David enjoys skiing, hiking, the occasional game of golf, and sometimes just lounging by the pool. David lives with his wife and three children in Los Angeles, CA.

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