Grammy Predictions: Who Will Win?

090204-wayne-martin-m.i.a.jpg
Lil Wayne / Coldplay's Chris Martin / M.I.A.
WRITTEN BY
David Marchese

The 51st annual Grammy Awards feature an amazing roster of performers, including U2, Radiohead, Coldplay, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, Paul McCartney, Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, Chris Brown, Taylor Swift, the Jonas Brothers, and many more. (Watch the show Sunday, Feb. 8, at 8 p.m. on CBS.) And, it turns out, the Recording Academy is also giving out a few shiny awards. Below, read our predictions for who should win and who will win. Then post your comments.

ALBUM OF THE YEAR:

- Viva La Vida - Coldplay?
- Tha Carter III - Lil Wayne?
- Year Of The Gentleman - Ne-Yo
- Raising Sand - Robert Plant & Alison Krauss?
- In Rainbows - Radiohead


Should win: You could make a good argument for any of these albums, but in terms of innovation, talent, and general zeitgeistiness, Tha Carter III was the year's best.

Will win: Coldplay are as close as a band from this decade comes to being U2-style rock gods. They get rewarded for keeping that particular banner flying.

BEST ROCK ALBUM:

- Viva La Vida - Coldplay?
- Rock n Roll Jesus - Kid Rock
- Bleeding Love - Leona Lewis
- Only By The Night - Kings of Leon
- Death Magnetic - Metallica?
- Consolers of the Lonely - The Raconteurs

Should win: Death Magnetic was a great return to form, but so was Viva La Vida, and Coldplay's effort was galvanizing, hopeful, and extroverted where the other nominated albums were insular and narrow in focus.

Will win: Chris Martin and Co. are in the absolute prime of their career. You can't say that for the other nominees in this category. This is Coldplay's time.

BEST ALTERNATIVE ALBUM:

- In Rainbows - Radiohead
- Evil Urges - My Morning Jacket?
- Modern Guilt - Beck
- Narrow Stairs - Death Cab For Cutie?
- The Odd Couple - Gnarls Barkley


Should win: At their best, which is where In Rainbows found them, Radiohead marry sonic ingenuity with deep emotion and compelling tunes like no other rock band.

Will win: I'm a bit worried that the voters will slap Radiohead on the wrist for their pay-what-you-want scheme, but I think they take the high road and reward the much-deserving Oxford lads.

BEST RAP ALBUM:

- American Gangster - Jay Z?
- Tha Carter III - Lil Wayne?
- The Cool - Lupe Fiasco?
- Nas - Nas??
- Paper Trail - T.I.


Should win: Tha Carter III proved what Lil Wayne's been saying for years -- he's the best rapper alive.

Will win: I wouldn't be completely shocked if T.I. pulled an upset, but even people who don't regularly listen to the genre know that Weezy ran the rap game in 2008.

BEST NEW ARTIST:

- Adele?
- Duffy?
- Jonas Brothers
- Lady Antebellum?
- Jazmine Sullivan


Should win: Adele writes beautiful, well-constructed songs, sings like a dream, and is sassy to boot. Unfortunately, crass as it may sound, I worry that her regular gal looks are a hindrance.

Will win: Jonas Brothers, if only as a nod to the screaming hordes of teenage girls who still actually buy records.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE GRAMMY PREDICTIONS.

RECORD OF THE YEAR:

- Chasing Pavements - Adele?
- Viva La Vida - Coldplay??
- Bleeding Love - Leona Lewis
- Paper Planes - M.I.A??
- Please Read the Letter - Robert Plant & Alison Krauss

Should win: "Paper Planes" is an aggressively anti-establishment multi-culti dancefloor track that you can dance to. And it had a Clash sample. Amazing.

Will win: Robert Plant, Alison Krauss, and their producer T Bone Burnett are all respected industry vets, and "Please Read the Letter" is a gorgeous, sensitively produced folk song. The trio comes in from left field and snags this one.

SONG OF THE YEAR:

- American Boy - William Adams, Keith Harris, Josh Lopez, Caleb Speir, John Stephens, Estelle Swaray & Kanye West
- Chasing Pavements - Adele Adkins, songwriter
- I'm Yours - Jason Mraz, songwriter?
- Love Song - Sara Bareilles, songwriter?
- Viva La Vida - Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, Will Champion & Chris Martin, songwriters

Should win: "American Boy." Every other song on the list could've been written at any point during the last 30 years. But Estelle's slinky R&B hit, featuring a guest verse from Kanye West, is fun, fresh, and contemporary

Will win: "Viva La Vida" is a great song in its own right, and Coldplay's star power gives them an added edge.

BEST ROCK SONG:

- Girls In Their Summer Clothes?- Bruce Springsteen
- House Of Cards?- Radiohead ?
- I Will Possess Your Heart?- Death Cab For Cutie
- Sex On Fire?- Kings Of Leon ?
- Violet Hill - Coldplay


Should win: For my money, the vocal hook from "Sex On Fire" (ohh ooooh!) was modern rock's most undeniably and consistently exciting moment of 2008. Also, the song is called "Sex On Fire." How can you not love that?

Will win: Bruce Springsteen has won 18(!) Grammy awards. It's hard to ignore that precedent.

BEST FEMALE POP VOCAL PERFORMANCE:

- Chasing Pavements - Adele??
- Love Song - Sara Bareilles?
- Mercy - Duffy?
- Bleeding Love - Leona Lewis
- I Kissed A Girl - Katy Perry
- So What - P!nk

Should win: "Love Song" is an utterly charming, hear it once, remember it forever gem of classic piano pop. It's not a 'cool' song though, and Bareilles lacks the Q rating of the other nominees.

Will win: It was a big year for R&B influenced British women, but I think Duffy and Adele's similarly-styled retro soul cancel each other out, leaving the more modern-sounding Leona Lewis as the winner.

PRODUCER OF THE YEAR, NON-CLASSICAL:

- Danger Mouse?
- Nigel Godrich?
- Johnny Karkazis
- Rick Rubin?
- will.i.am

Should win: Danger Mouse's work with Beck and Gnarls Barkley was a fantastically inventive mix of psychedelia, folk, and modern R&B. No other producer is as good at creating sounds you've never heard before.

Will win: Putting together the Obama campaign's "Yes We Can" made will.i.am ubiquitous. It also made him a surrogate for the President. That association puts him over the top.CLICK HERE TO GO BACK.

00:00 00:00 No Song Selected More info
00:00 00:00
placeholder
Now Playing
  • 1 Chris Brown & Trey Songz — Tuesday (Remix) " 04:26
  • 2 Buzzcocks — "It's Not You" " 02:46
  • 3 The Drums — Magic Mountain " 04:05
  • 4 Jessie Ware — Kind Of...Sometimes...Maybe " 03:46
  • 5 Flying Lotus — Coronus, the Terminator " 02:40
  • 6 JEFF The Brotherhood — Gouge Away " 02:52

SPIN is a member of SPIN Music Group, a division of BUZZMEDIA