Place Your Bets: The 2017 Grammy Awards

46th Annual Grammy Awards - Pressroom

To me, The Grammys are the Super Bowl.  I always want to gamble on it.  I usually know what’s going to happen.  I’m glued to the TV for hours, and I get drunk while doing it.  Unlike the Super Bowl though, the person who wins is either met with indifference or excitement, rarely anger.  This year, BurgerADay are laying out the pics for who will win versus who should win.  Check out our picks, and either way, just remember it’s much more important than the Patriots and Falcons.  No one’s deflating these balls.

 

Album Of The Year:

25 — Adele

Lemonade — Beyoncé

Purpose — Justin Bieber

Views — Drake

A Sailor’s Guide To Earth — Sturgill Simpson

Should Win: Lemonade-Beyoncé

I may have been late to the party for a long time, but at the tail end of 2016, I listened to Lemonade, and it’s pretty damn great.  Beyoncé is completely worthy of all the praise she’s gotten for this album.  As most of the best albums of the year, Bey mixed the political with the personal, and the record can transition from an emotional gut-punch like on “Pray You Catch Me” or “Don’t Hurt Yourself” to a genuinely fun as hell hype song like “Formation.”  There may be a little protest to the politicization of Beyoncé, but as someone who’s never been on board with her as a simple pop-artist, she’s certainly left a great impression this year.

Will Win: Lemonade or A Sailor’s Guide to Earth-Sturgill Simpson

Drake, Adele and Bieber all put out seminal albums this year.  Each may even be called the best of their careers, especially in Bieber and Drake’s cases, but all fall flat in comparison to how universally appealing Lemonade is.  That being said, Simpson’s third album is a great from the alt-country singer.  His album is almost as varied as Beyoncé’s, and if there’s one thing that the Grammys have taught, it’s that if there’s one artist who makes people say “Who the fuck is…?” there’s a good chance that they’ll win.

 

Record Of The Year:

“Hello” — Adele

“Formation” — Beyoncé

“7 Years” — Lukas Graham

“Work” — Rihanna Featuring Drake

“Stressed Out” — Twenty One Pilots

Should Win: “Formation”-Beyoncé

“Formation” stood leaps and bounds above all the other nominees for not only being a fun song, but it also has Bey touching on everything.  She touches on sex: “When he fuck me good, I take his ass to Red Lobster.”  She makes this a posse song: “Okay, ladies, let’s get in formation, I slay.”  Most importantly, the chorus of the song makes this an anthem for black empowerment.  Beyoncé’s Lemonade doesn’t hold back it’s statements about race, and “Formation” is perhaps the perfect centerpiece.

Will Win: “Formation” or “Work”-Rihanna

The only reason “Work” has a chance is just how catchy and inescapable it was.

 

Song Of The Year:

“Formation” — Khalif Brown, Asheton Hogan, Beyoncé Knowles & Michael L. Williams II, songwriters (Beyoncé)

“Hello” — Adele Adkins & Greg Kurstin, songwriters (Adele)

“I Took A Pill In Ibiza” — Mike Posner, songwriter (Mike Posner)

“Love Yourself” — Justin Bieber, Benjamin Levin & Ed Sheeran, songwriters (Justin Bieber)

“7 Years” — Lukas Forchhammer, Stefan Forrest, Morten Pilegaard & Morten Ristorp, songwriters (Lukas Graham) 

Should Win: “Formation”-Beyoncé

There’s a part of me that wants to argue that “I Took A Pill in Ibiza” should win, because it’s catchy and regretful.  In a year that’s been hectic and hurtful, Posner’s hit has never felt more fitting, as the hangover of 2017 starts.  We’re being real here, though, and Beyoncé had the song of the year here.

Will Win: “Formation”-Beyoncé

 

Best New Artist:

Kelsea Ballerini

The Chainsmokers

Chance The Rapper

Maren Morris

Anderson .Paak

Should Win: Chance the Rapper

From “Ultralight Beam” to “Blessings,” it’s been an incredible year for Chance.  He’s no longer the cool, under-the-radar rapper he was during his Acid Rap period, Coloring Book and his other appearances cemented him as one of the best rappers around.

Will Win: The Chainsmokers

“Closer” has become a shocking hit, and it’s faux romantic, and it kind of sucks.  The mellow electronic pop of the duo (?) is strangely entrancing, and it’s sure to attract the Grammy voters.  Also, if one of these artists won’t be around anymore, let’s hope it’s the Chainsmokers.

 

Best Pop Vocal Album:

25 — Adele

Purpose — Justin Bieber

Dangerous Woman — Ariana Grande

Confident — Demi Lovato

This Is Acting — Sia

Should Win: Purpose-Justin Bieber

Bieber’s fourth album is not only slightly more mature, but it also really great in its execution.  Bieber’s “contemplative” album could have been a grungy acoustic mess, but it’s incredible production realizes Bieber as a real popstar-not a former bubblegum artists trying to make a name for himself.

Will Win: 25-Adele

Adele’s third album is an excellent follow up to her breakthrough 21, and the Grammys love that sort of thing.  It’s mature mom-pop that can attract listeners of all ages.  It’s not particularly challenging, but the songs are hits.

 

Best Pop Solo Performance:

 

“Hello” — Adele

“Hold Up” — Beyonce

“Love Yourself” — Justin Bieber

“Piece By Piece (Idol Version)” — Kelly Clarkson

“Dangerous Woman” — Ariana Grande

Should Win: “Dangerous Woman”-Ariana Grande

2016 was a great year for pop music, and Ariana Grande’s vocal chops made her album of the same name a standout, and this song does rise above the other nominees.  It’s a little slower than your standard pop song, and it has layers of western bombast.  Grande sounds like she’s setting the scene for a saloon shootout, where Bieber sounds more indifferent in his hit, and Adele just can’t reach the level of greatness that she had with “Someone Like You.”

Will Win: “Dangerous Woman” or “Hold Up”-Beyoncé

This could go either way.  If Beyoncé wins here, it’s because she’s taking it all.  “Hold Up” is a great song, but Grande’s is a little bit better in this case.

 

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance:

“Closer” — The Chainsmokers Featuring Halsey

“7 Years” — Lukas Graham

“Work” — Rihanna Featuring Drake

“Cheap Thrills” — Sia Featuring Sean Paul

“Stressed Out” — Twenty One Pilots

Should Win: “Work”-Rihanna Featuring Drake

Rihanna’s Anti is the best album she’s put out in her whole career, and “Work,” despite being repetitive and overplayed, really is an excellent song.  It’s easy to underestimate songs after they’ve hit their pop peak, but “Work” is a truly fun and great song.

Will Win: “Work”-Rihanna Featuring Drake

 

Best Rock Performance:

“Joe (Live From Austin City Limits)” — Alabama Shakes

“Don’t Hurt Yourself” — Beyoncé Featuring Jack White

“Blackstar” — David Bowie

“The Sound Of Silence” — Disturbed

“Heathens” — Twenty One Pilots

 

Should Win: “Don’t Hurt Yourself”-Beyoncé Featuring Jack White

Technically, out of respect, yes, Bowie should win, but in the honor of being true to myself, this song is better.  It’s a raw, bluesy number that is leagues better than anything Jack White has put out as a solo artist.  Plus there’s nothing better than hearing Beyoncé howl “Tonight, I’m fucking up all of your shit, boy.”

Will Win: “Blackstar”-David Bowie

A year after Bowie’s death became a defining moment of 2016, it would be shocking if the Grammys didn’t give Bowie this honor.  Blackstar served as such a perfect exit for Bowie, and he does deserve the recognition.

 

Best Metal Performance:

“Shock Me” — Baroness

“Slivera” — Gojira

“Rotting in Vain” — Korn

“Dystopia” — Megadeth

“The Price Is Wrong” — Periphery

 

Should Win:  Honestly, I don’t feel qualified to discuss this, but it seems like maybe Baroness or Gojira.  I heard they both had great albums.

Will Win:  “Dystopia”-Megadeth.  Dave Mustaine and his merry band of thrashers have never won, and the Grammy’s love paying their dues.

 

Best Rock Song:

“Blackstar” — David Bowie, songwriter (David Bowie)

“Burn the Witch”  —Radiohead, songwriters (Radiohead)

“Hardwired” — James Hetfield & Lars Ulrich, songwriters (Metallica

“Heathens” — Tyler Joseph, songwriter (Twenty One Pilots)

“My Name Is Human” — Rich Meyer, Ryan Meyer & Johnny Stevens, songwriters (Highly Suspect)

Should Win: “Blackstar”-David Bowie

See above.

Will Win: “Blackstar” or “Heathens”-Twenty-One Pilots

Despite how bizarre the success of the pop-rock duo has been, it seems unlikely that the band will lose in each of their nominations.  This would be an easy one to give them.

 

Best Rock Album:

California — Blink-182

Tell Me I’m Pretty — Cage The Elephant

Magma — Gojira

Death Of A Bachelor — Panic! At The Disco

Weezer — Weezer

 

Should Win: Death of A Bachelor-Panic! At the Disco

Where all of their 2006 contemporaries of either broken up, sold out, or become repetitive, Brendon Urie has grown to a point where his project still sounds like P!ATD, but has resisted becoming stale.  This album is both fun and contemplative, as Urie pumps out dark party anthems like “The Good, the Bad, and the Dirty” or somber Sinatra homages like “Impossible Year.”

Will Win:  Maybe Magma-Gojira? Or Weezer

There can’t be another reason why the metal band Gojira is nominated in this category, but also Weezer’s triumphant White Album may call for a Grammy.  This one’s tough to call.

 

Best Alternative Music Album:

22, A Million — Bon Iver

Blackstar — David Bowie

The Hope Six Demolition Project — PJ Harvey

Post Pop Depression — Iggy Pop

A Moon Shaped Pool — Radiohead

Should Win: 22, A Million-Bon Iver

Bon Iver’s strange return has been well worth the years waiting since Bon Iver, Bon Iver.  The electronic instrumentation is sparse and grand in each place it needs to be.  The opening song shows that this album isn’t far off from the album that was recorded in that log cabin all those years ago that made Justin Vernon an indie legend.  Where 22, A Million could have been stale indie folk, it burned the bridge, making it a Grammy favorite.

Will Win: 22, A Million or A Moon Shaped Pool-Radiohead.

22, A Million winning Bon Iver’s third Grammy would be somewhat validating for the strange dip Vernon made, but Radiohead are worthy contenders.  Johnny Greenwood’s orchestral arrangements steered Radiohead away from the mellow beats of The King of Limbs, and it’s for the best.  Plus, Radiohead’s over twenty-year-long legacy precedes that, making them an automatic favorite.

 

Best Urban Contemporary Album:

Lemonade — Beyoncé

Ology — Gallant

We Are King — KING

Malibu — Anderson .Paak

Anti — Rihannadesi

Should/Will Win: Lemonade-Beyoncé

Do you understand yet?

 

Best Rap Performance:

“No Problem” — Chance The Rapper Featuring Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz

“Panda” —Desiigner

“Pop Style” — Drake Featuring The Throne

“All The Way Up” — Fat Joe & Remy Ma Featuring French Montana & Infared

“That Part” — ScHoolboy Q Featuring Kanye West

Should Win: “Panda”-Desiigner

Beats have become the focus of modern rap music, and Desiigner’s “Panda” fetishizes the beat in the best way in his incomprehensible slurring.  It’s an unlikely hit, completely fresh and strange.

Will Win: “No Problem”-Chance the Rapper Featuring Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz

Like Desiigner’s song, this is a fun song, but it’s more lyrical.  The words aren’t slurred as much, and the production is much more textured and well thought out.  Plus, performance is full of joyous taunting, making it a grand psych track.

 

Best Rap/Sung Performance:

“Freedom” — Beyoncé Featuring Kendrick Lamar

“Hotline Bling” — Drake

“Broccoli” — D.R.A.M. Featuring Lil Yachty

“Ultralight Beam” — Kanye West Featuring Chance The Rapper, Kelly Price, Kirk Franklin & The-Dream

“Famous” — Kanye West Featuring Rihanna

Should Win:  “Ultralight Beam”-Kanye West Featuring Chance the Rapper, Kelly Price, Kirk Franklin & The Dream

Kanye’s opening to The Life of Pablo was so full of promise for a great year for Yeezy, and even though he ended up being a dud, everyone else really carries this song.  Kanye’s vocal performance is minimal, but Price and Chance really carry this song.  Price stops the show with her verse in the middle, but Chance steals it back with a biblical verse.  There isn’t a song more deserving.

Will Win: “Ultralight Beam” or “Hotline Bling”-Drake

The only reason “Hotline Bling” could win would be due to how inescapable of a song it was, but it wasn’t great comparatively.

 

Best Rap Song:

“All The Way Up” — Joseph Cartagena, Edward Davadi, Shandel Green, Karim Kharbouch, Andre Christopher Lyon, Reminisce Mackie & Marcello Valenzano, songwriters (Fat Joe & Remy Ma Featuring French Montana & Infared)

“Famous” — Chancelor Bennett, Ross Birchard, Ernest Brown, Andrew Dawson, Kasseem Dean, Mike Dean, Noah Goldstein, Kejuan Muchita, Patrick Reynolds, Kanye West & Cydel Young, songwriters (Kanye West Featuring Rihanna)

“Hotline Bling” — Aubrey Graham & Paul Jefferies, songwriters (Drake)

“No Problem” — Chancelor Bennett, Dwayne Carter & Tauheed Epps, songwriters (Chance The Rapper Featuring Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz)

“Ultralight Beam” — Chancelor Bennett, Kasseem Dean, Mike Dean, Kirk Franklin, Noah Goldstein, Samuel Griesemer, Terius Nash, Jerome Potter, Kelly Price, Nico “Donnie Trumpet” Segal, Derek Watkins, Kanye West & Cydel Young, songwriters (Kanye West Featuring Chance The Rapper, Kelly Price, Kirk Franklin & The-Dream)

Should/Will Win: “Ultralight Beam”

See above.

 

Best Rap Album:

Coloring Book — Chance The Rapper

And the Anonymous Nobody — De La Soul

Major Key — DJ Khaled

Views — Drake

Blank Face LP — ScHoolboy Q

The Life of Pablo — Kanye West

Should Win: The Life of Pablo-Kanye West.  Pablo isn’t Kanye’s most realized studio effort, especially considering the fact that it’s an ever evolving monster, but it has been a simultaneously controversial, fun, uplifting and cold album.  Besides being one of the best albums of the year, it was also probably the most discussed.

Will Win:  The Life of Pablo or Views-Drake.  Drake’s the sort of pop-friendly, uncontroversial artist that the Grammy’s eat up.

 

Best Country Solo Performance:

“Love Can Go To Hell” — Brandy Clark

“Vice” — Miranda Lambert

“My Church” — Maren Morris

“Church Bells” — Carrie Underwood

“Blue Ain’t Your Color” — Keith Urban

Will Win:  Miranda Lambert-“Vice.”  Her most recent album was one of her best and most critically acclaimed.

Should Win:  Where the fuck is Sturgill Simpson?

 

Best Country Song:

“Blue Ain’t Your Color” — Clint Lagerberg, Hillary Lindsey & Steven Lee Olsen, songwriters (Keith Urban)

“Die A Happy Man” — Sean Douglas, Thomas Rhett & Joe Spargur, songwriters (Thomas Rhett)

“Humble and Kind” — Lori McKenna, songwriter (Tim McGraw)

“My Church” — busbee & Maren Morris, songwriters (Maren Morris)

“Vice” — Miranda Lambert, Shane McAnally & Josh Osborne, songwriters (Miranda Lambert) 

Will Win/Should Win: Where the fuck is Sturgill Simpson?

 

Best Country Album:

Big Day In A Small Town — Brandy Clark

Full Circle — Loretta Lynn

Hero — Maren Morris

A Sailor’s Guide To Earth — Sturgill Simpson

Ripcord — Keith Urban

Will Win/Should Win: A Sailor’s Guide to Earth-Sturgill Simpson.  Bet you didn’t see that one coming.

 

Best Comedy Album:

…America…Great… — David Cross

American Myth — Margaret Cho

Boysih Girl Interrupted — Tig Notaro

Live At The Apollo — Amy Schumer

Talking For Clapping — Patton Oswalt

Should Win:  Talking for Clapping-Patton Oswalt.  Oswalt is both hilarious and conscience of the modern world.  The guy also deserves a win following the tragic loss of his wife last year.

Will Win: Live at the Apollo-Amy Schumer.  Schumer’s comedy special only furthered her to huge heights in her ever-expanding career.  Apollo is hilarious, and sure to please both fans and critics.

 

Best Music Video:

“Formation” — Beyoncé

“River” — Leon Bridges

“Up & Up” — Coldplay

“Gosh” — Jamie XX

“Upside Down & Inside Out” — OK Go

Should Win:  “Formation”-Beyoncé.  To be honest she should win for all of Lemonade, but I guess, we’re getting picky with the single.

Will Win:  “Formation” or “Upside Down & Inside Out”-Ok Go.  If it’s not going to Queen B, it may as well go to the music video kings.

James Crowley

One thought on “Place Your Bets: The 2017 Grammy Awards

  1. Pingback: Sturgill Simpson shares “All Around You” video | Burger A Day

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