On The Download: Our 2011 Grammy Picks
First Published: February 11, 2011 1:48 PM EST Credit: Getty Images, Access Hollywood
BURBANK, Calif. -- The 53rd Annual Grammy Awards are this Sunday, February 13, 2011, and seven members of Access Hollywood’s On The Download staff got together to discuss who they think will and should win in each of the four main categories.
Our picks… below.
Album of the Year:
By Jeremy Blacklow:
Will Win: Eminem, “Recovery” Should Win: Eminem, “Recovery”
It’s an extremely strong year for great albums, but one of them stood out beyond the rest. Six of the seven on our team agreed that Eminem was going to win this category, hand down, for several reasons. First and foremost, Eminem’s magnificent comeback narrative – a story that the Recording Academy has loved time and time again. Moreover, Em was robbed when he didn’t win for “The Marshall Mathers LP” in 2001 and “Recovery” is his strongest work since then. The album spawned two huge singles (“Love the Way You Lie” and “Not Afraid”) and it was also the best-selling album of the year. Only one vote from our group went to Lady Antebellum for “Need You Now,” because that person acknowledged how the country music voting contingency of the Recording Academy is so significant.
However, when it came to who should win, we were more divided. Two in our group voted for Arcade Fire’s “The Suburbs,” because they felt that it was a masterpiece concept album, from start to finish. Moreover, the band brought back the idea of a music collective and showed versatility in various band members’ contributions throughout different parts of the album. Plus, the Canadian rockers are the most buzzed about live band of the past year and this is the most outstanding alternative music album which has come along in years.
Finally, one of us argued that Lady Gaga should win here because she had such a meteoric rise to superstardom as a result of “The Fame Monster.”
Record of The Year:
By Jolie Lash:
Will Win: Jay Z & Alicia Keys, “Empire State of Mind” Should Win: Cee Lo Green, “F*** You”
It’s one of the toughest competitions at the 2011 Grammys, but we’re predicting a Record of the Year win for Jay Z and Alicia Keys’ “Empire State of Mind.” Since it’s release, “Empire…” has quickly become a New York City anthem – an ode for the ages to that glittering, tough town — a magical place where anyone can follow their dreams. The fresh take, by two of the world’s hippest artists, has, over the last year, cemented its place as part of a the trifecta of NYC anthems — Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York,” and Billy Joel’s “State of Mind” – about the city which so many consider the center of the world.
Cee Lo Green has been everywhere since his anthem about moving on (begrudgingly) from a girl who leaves you for another fellow (with a bigger wallet) was released, and the OTD crew thinks his track is a pop classic. “F*** You” is a perfectly crafted number, in the vein of some of cuts from the greatest ‘60s doo-wop groups, a mood-boosting track that you just can’t get out of your head. And why would you want to? It’s simply splendid.
Song of The Year:
By Breanna Hughes:
Will Win: Lady Antebellum, “Need You Now” Should Win: Cee Lo Green, “F*** You”
Though all the nominees are very deserving, it’s country music sensation Lady Antebellum who we think will take home this prize. This past year, they helped make country cool again and broke through to the mainstream in a big way. “Need You Now” was everywhere in 2010: country stations, pop stations, playing in gyms, blaring from bar jukeboxes and being belted out at karaoke joints. This song could not be escaped. And with good reason! The words could not be any clearer. We’ve all had that moment of weakness about which they sing so passionately, which is what made the song so prevalent.
Can a song with the F-word in it win Song of the Year? Statistically speaking, there’s a very slim chance, but we here at OTD feel that Cee Lo Green’s “F*** You” should win. Some would call it a novelty song, but we feel differently. Sure, it’s a song that has been parodied on many a YouTube video, but it has also been performed on “Glee” by an Academy Award-winning actress, and it is now burned into our brains with its original sound and catchy, catty lyrics. Just the pure cleverness and quirkiness of the words is reason enough to take home the Grammy. Novelty song? Hardly.
Best New Artist:
By Ivan Aldersen
Will Win: Florence + the Machine Should Win: Justin Bieber
If only you could have listened in on our debate for this category! There is no denying the amazing impact Justin Bieber has had on music and pop culture this past year. He is deserving of Best New Artist so while we felt that he should win, our team of voters has decided not to go with the “shoe in,” as we think the Recording Academy will vote for critical Brit darlings Florence + the Machine as Best New Artist instead. English-rose Florence Welch and her songwriting prowess has attracted the attention of music notables, including Elton John who has booked her to perform at his annual Academy Awards party and everyone loves a beautiful ethereal new songstress. We acknowledge, however, that Drake also has a legitimate shot in this category. His collaborations with Rihanna, Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne put him in the mainstream, but we don’t think the Recording Academy will go for his harder edged music. While Mumford & Sons has some fans at On The Download, they along with Esperanza Spalding remain long shots. Still, the seemingly out of left field Zac Brown Band took this category last year, so one never knows.
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