It’s important that we don’t take the Grammys too seriously. I’m not going to waste my time trashing them here, not because I’m some sort of weird pervert who actually enjoys them, but because The Simpsons slew them with such grace in 1993 that it’s not even worth the effort. All you complainers out there need to realize that pretty much nobody, not even the people who vote on The Grammys actually believe that the artists, albums and songs that win are the best of the year. In fact, I have personal knowledge of no fewer than three members of The Recording Academy who have allowed their young children to cast their votes for them. What I’m trying to say here is that there are very few people who take these awards with anything less than a full shaker of salt.
The Grammys are meant to be a wholesome night of family television, and that’s exactly what they are. Fun, popular artists are nominated and win because they are just that: fun and popular. If you don’t like popular music (here’s looking at you, hardo music critics of the world), then you probably shouldn’t bother giving your opinion about the Grammys at all, because they aren’t for you.
Here are my predictions —
Album of the Year:
This one is probably going to Lemonade, because Beyonce could shit in a paper bag and people would buy it for $11.00 on Tidal.
Record of the Year:
“Hello” from the other side of the podium.
Song of the Year:
I already used my “Hello” pun.
Best New Artist:
I hear this Chance the Rapper guy is pretty cool.
—Mikey Light, Editor-in-Chief
That being said, here’s what some other members of the 20 Watts staff think of this year’s Grammy noms.
Carolyn Saxton, Managing Editor:
I hope Beyonce’s “Formation” wins Song of the Year. Its obvious social message makes it much more than a bop, and truly believe it’s more deserving of the award than any of its competitors. It seems like a no brainer, but considering the surprises our nation has been throwing at us lately, I’m not holding my breath.
Jackie Frere, Features Editor:
This year the Grammy nominations were a little lackluster in my opinion, but scattered among the pop-heavy noms are a few gems that just may have a shot for the golden award. For album of the year, I’ve got to give it to my girl Adele for 25. I had been waiting for this album since 21 came out four years ago, and it didn’t disappoint. She kept to her traditional sound and poured her heart out in relatable lyrics. I may be a tiny bit biased because I saw her live two weeks ago and I may have shed a couple tears, but she doesn’t need anything but some cat eye eyeliner and mic to shine. But, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Sturgill Simpson take the category like Beck did two years ago, too. Best new artist? Come on, Chance. Even Obama agrees.
Kyle Driscoll, Front of Book Editor:
The Grammys are one of my least favorite things. The nominations are incredibly easy to predict, and not because they’re accurate. They’re more of a popularity contest than anything. Beyonce will win Album of the Year, even though I’ve never heard it because I don’t have stupid Tidal (see my earlier article to hear more about my anger for this). Views and 25 were too easy to predict, even though they were far from amazing. The fact that Bon Iver wasn’t nominated kills me, but does not surprise me. David Bowie will win every single award he is nominated for, Kanye will go back to his state of bed rest with exactly zero Grammys, and of course, Tig Notaro will dominate the Best Comedy Album category, whoever that is.
Rachel Kline, Photo Editor:
While Leon Bridges has become one my favorite artists of 2016, and the artist I believe to be runner up in the Best Music Video category, even I admit there is nothing quite like Beyonce’s “Formation.” Although Bridges does contend with Knowles through messages conveyed in his music video almost more authentically, artistically the lighting, color, and moments, no one can contend Queen Bey. The layered nuances found throughout Beyonce’s video album, displayed so eloquently and artistically in “Formation’s” choreography, setting, and general style deliver a message so old it becomes new again. As per usual there has been uproar over Beyonce’s display of artistic expression, but I do not believe this will hurt her in the category, if anything it will give her more buzz to carry her over the competition.
Joe Bloss, Web Editor:
Something that immediately stuck out to me was the award for Best Alternative Music Album. A quick glance and you’d think it has to go to Radiohead, right? A Moon Shaped Pool sort of made the world stand still for several days, and if that’s not a winning accomplishment then I don’t know what is. But then look at some of the other noms and it doesn’t seem as clear-cut. Bon Iver’s 22, A Million got just about the same amount of hype. Sheesh, even David Bowie’s Blackstar is in there — can you really rob a legend of his final prize? If I were a betting man, I’d say Radiohead takes the cake. But I’m not, so let’s just wait and see.
Hannah Malach, Assistant Web Editor:
Though some may label Beyonce as “overrated,” this year she broke pop boundaries by experimenting with new sound and creating an album that embodies multiple genres. It’s the first time ever that Beyonce is being nominated in a rock category for “Don’t Hurt Yourself.” However, she also dove into country with “Daddy Lessons,” experimented with electronic in “Forward” and went full-on gospel with “Freedom,” none of which have been discussed nearly to the extent that they deserve to be. The ability to mix genres and yet, create a cohesive album — which Lemonade does perfectly — should be taken note of. With a powerful social message to boot, it would be a mistake not to give Beyonce her first Album of the Year Grammy for Lemonade.