2012 Grammy Awards preview

| Movie/TV Editor

The 54th Grammy Awards air this Sunday on CBS at 7 p.m. CST. Here are my views on who should and will win some of the major awards. (I wanted to cover them all, but really, who cares about Best Americana or Best Tropical Latin Albums?)

Song of the Year

The Song of the Year award goes to the songwriter, and the songwriter alone.

Nominated this year are “Rolling in the Deep” (Adele), “Holocene” (Bon Iver), “Grenade” (Bruno Mars), “The Cave” (Mumford and Sons) and “All of the Lights” (Kanye West). Adele, who has spent 19 weeks atop the album charts, seems like she will dominate these awards. “Rolling in the Deep” was everywhere this year, and the songwriting is solid and catchy. I suppose Bruno Mars could be a spoiler here, but Adele is unstoppable.

Favorite: “Rolling in the Deep”
Spoiler: “Grenade”
Should have been nominated: “Countdown” by Beyoncé

Record of the Year

Nominated this year are “Rolling in the Deep” (Adele), “Holocene” (Bon Iver), “Grenade” (Bruno Mars), “Firework” (Katy Perry) and “The Cave” (Mumford and Sons).

Though this list is almost identical to the one above, the Record of the Year award actually goes to the producers and the artist. Once again, “Rolling in the Deep” looks like it was too big of a hit to ignore. The production is subtle, if unspectacular. If “Rolling in the Deep” somehow loses, “Firework” was a pretty big hit, and Katy Perry just got a divorce. Sympathy vote? The biggest surprise is a complete snub of the impeccable production of Kanye’s song.

Favorite: “Rolling in the Deep”
Spoiler: “Firework”
Should have been nominated: “All of the Lights” by Kanye West

Best New Artist

Nominated this year are The Band Perry, Bon Iver, J. Cole, Nicki Minaj and Skrillex. As per usual, the general public knew almost every single one of these artists before the Grammys recognized them as “new.” It seems like either Bon Iver or Nicki Minaj (who has industry support and powerful allies) should win. But last year, the Grammys threw conventional wisdom to the wind and chose unknown Esperanza Spalding over Justin Bieber and Florence + the Machine, each of whom deserved the award for different reasons. So, who knows? Maybe Skrillex will win.

Favorite: Tossup between Bon Iver and Nicki Minaj
Spoiler: The Band Perry
Should have been nominated: The Weeknd

Album of the Year

Nominated are “21” (Adele), “Doo-Wops & Hooligans” (Bruno Mars), “Wasting Light” (Foo Fighters), “Born This Way” (Lady Gaga) and “Loud” (Rihanna). Yet again, Adele looks to triumph. “21” sold the most copies (and consistently still tops the charts, almost a year after its release). In addition, critics respected it. “Born This Way” had a stellar debut but fizzled out, and it hasn’t received nearly as much radio play as Lady Gaga’s previous efforts. The most curious nomination is Rihanna, who is more known for her singles than for her actual album. And who even knew Foo Fighters put out another album?

There are several albums that deserved nominations more than most of this category, such as Beyoncé’s “4” and Kanye’s “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”—both daring and career-best efforts from two of America’s best modern artists. However, it is a pleasant surprise that Taylor Swift’s “Speak Now” was not nominated.

Favorite: “21” by Adele
Spoiler: “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga
Should have been nominated: “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” by Kanye West

Rap Album

Nominated are “Watch the Throne” (Jay-Z & Kanye West), “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” (Kanye West), “Tha Carter IV” (Lil Wayne), “Lasers” (Lupe Fiasco) and “Pink Friday” (Nicki Minaj). It’s Kanye-on-Kanye action, and I hope it doesn’t lead to him being snubbed for both his career-best work on “MBDTF” and one of the greatest rap collaboration albums of all time (“Watch the Throne”). Kanye’s nomination for Song of the Year for “All of the Lights” points to a little more support for that effort, so it is the de facto “favorite” in another tossup.

Favorite: Kanye
Spoiler: Anyone who isn’t Kanye.
Should have been nominated: If there was a way for all 5 slots to belong to Kanye, he would deserve all of them.

Country Album

Nominated are “Red River Blue” (Blake Shelton), “Here for a Good Time” (George Strait), “My Kinda Party” (Jason Aldean), “Own the Night” (Lady Antebellum) and “Speak Now” (Taylor Swift). Taylor Swift is always unstoppable at the Grammys. She’s like Meryl Streep if Meryl Streep won for every nomination. And if Meryl Streep acted extremely surprised when she won. And if Meryl Streep was awful. Basically, Taylor Swift for the win in this category. Nothing else could happen. Lady Antebellum won a lot of Grammys for “Need You Now,” though, so maybe they can pull off an upset.

Favorite: “Speak Now” by Taylor Swift
Spoiler: “Own the Night” by Lady Antebellum
Should have been nominated: Is “Not Taylor Swift” an option?

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