The nominees for the 56th Annual Grammy Awards were announced Friday, Dec. 6, and it seems Captain Obvious is the presiding judge. Lines were blurred, robots "got lucky" and a teen Kiwi ruled them all. Here are some notable categories and our predictions of who will win (and who should!). The Grammys will be televised January 26, 2014 on CBS.
RECORD OF THE YEAR
- "Get Lucky" by Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams
- "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons
- "Royals" by Lorde
- "Locked Out of Heaven" by Bruno Mars
- "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell
WHO WILL WIN: Daft Punk/Pharrell Williams
WHO SHOULD WIN: Lorde
Pharrell Williams was THE MAN in 2013, and the academy recognized that by honoring his two biggest contributions to pop. With "Blurred Lines" rubbing many the wrong way with its misogynistic lyrics and video, we're thinking his teaming with French droid DJs Daft Punk will be victorious. Though, you've got to hand it to the 17-year-old known as Lorde. Her genre-crossing megahit was one of the wittiest and most badass numbers of the year.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
- The Blessed Unrest by Sara Bareilles
- Random Access Memories by Daft Punk
- Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City by Kendrick Lamar
- The Heist by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
- Red by Taylor Swift
WHO WILL WIN: Daft Punk
WHO SHOULD WIN: Kendrick Lamar
This writer honestly wretched when this category was announced, almost having me longing for the days the dinosaurs roamed the ceremony (Steely Dan's Two Against Nature, anyone?). "Best" shouldn't equal "most popular" or even "most entertaining," as either Red or The Heist could be. Daft Punk will likely take this one, if only as a roundabout way of honoring rock 'n' roll stalwart Nile Rodgers, who gave "Get Lucky" its funkiness. The only nominee that really pushed the boundaries of music's impact was Kendrick Lamar, who moved up the ranks of heralded emcees with "Swimming Pools (Drank)."
SONG OF THE YEAR
- "Just Give Me a Reason" written by Jeff Bhasker, Pink & Nate Ruess
- "Locked Out of Heaven" written by Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine & Bruno Mars
- "Roar" written by Lukasz Gottwald, Max Martin, Bonnie McKee, Katy Perry & Henry Walter
- "Royals" written by Joel Little & Ella Yelich O'Connor
- "Same Love" written by Ben Haggerty, Mary Lambert & Ryan Lewis
WHO WILL WIN: Pink & Nate Ruess
WHO SHOULD WIN: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Mary Lambert
Though we carped about white-bread rapper Macklemore's Album of the Year nomination, here's one that was truly deserved. His pairing with singer Mary Lambert about same-sex marriage was heartfelt and progressive. But the academy will likely award the "safer" duet choice of perpetual winner Pink and Nate Ruess, whose band, Fun., was named Best New Artist this past year.
BEST NEW ARTIST
- James Blake
- Kendrick Lamar
- Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
- Kacey Musgraves
- Ed Sheeran
WHO WILL WIN: Ed Sheeran
WHO SHOULD WIN: Kendrick Lamar
The adorable versus the daring. Also, where the heck is Lorde?!
BEST ALTERNATIVE MUSIC ALBUM
- The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You by Neko Case
- Trouble Will Find Me by the National
- Hesitation Marks by Nine Inch Nails
- Lonerism by Tame Impala
- Modern Vampires of the City by Vampire Weekend
WHO WILL WIN: ???
WHO SHOULD WIN: ???
This is a legitimately tough decision. This writer is partial to Neko Case's warts-and-all alt-country, but all of these albums have might. Modern Vampires has had a ton of momentum lately, topping many major outlets' Best of 2013 lists. But whether that translates to a statuette remains to be seen.