Predicting the 2014 Grammys: Daft Punk to Win Big?
In the realm of music we here at Relix operate in, there are plenty of legitimate reasons to detest the Grammy Awards and everything they've become. It is more of a popularity contest than it's ever been, and this year looks to be no different. However, to many artists winning a Grammy is still considered the mountain top. Whether you're an up and coming band that just released the hot album of the year (see: Arcade Fire in 2011) or the grizzled old vet still plugging away after all these years, collecting a Grammy is still a big deal, despite what Eddie Vedder might say.
While the night is sure to be dominated by the likes of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Robin Thicke (and his foam finger) and the always bubbly Taylor Swift, there are still some extremely competitive categories featuring some Relix favorites, so let's predict how they will fare in their quest to collect some hardware this Sunday, January 26.
Record of the Year
Who Should Win: Daft Punk "Get Lucky"
Who Will Win: Daft Punk "Get Lucky"
The song of the summer, the song that nearly crashed the internet, the song that crushed nearly every streaming record on every streaming service over the entire world wide web, should be record of the year. I don't see the selection committee getting this one wrong. While they will be tempted with the likes of Lorde's "Royals" and Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines," at the end of the day Daft Punk's triumphant return to music was everything we wanted it to be. "Get Lucky" is also nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, where it will have to top Justin Timberlake's "Suit & Tie" as well as Thicke's "Blurred Lines."
A lovely surprise in this category would be Imagine Dragons taking the award for "Radioactive," another tune that captivated the country for an extended period of time. Everyone had that stuck in their head at some point.
Album of the Year
Who Should Win: Daft Punk Random Access Memories
Who Will Win: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis The Heist
Unfortunately it looks like this will be a classic case of riding the hot hand rather than giving the award to the true album of the year. Daft Punk's time out of the spotlight is hurting them in awards season, and pitted up against the likes of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar, it doesn't look good for the French duo in this category. Fortunately, Random Access Memories is up for Best Dance/Electronica Album, which it should take home unanimously.
It is worth noting however that while Macklemore & Ryan Lewis may seem like the more popular act, their album The Heist only topped out at #2 on the Billboard 200 chart, while Daft Punk debuted at #1.
Best Rock Performance
Who Should Win: Jack White "I'm Shakin'"
Who Will Win: Imagine Dragons "Radioactive"
Jack White is back again with "I'm Shakin'" from his 2012 record Blunderbuss. The record that garnered two nominations last year including Album of the Year has held up over time, and despite being the fourth single off the album, the Little Willie John cover should take home best rock performance. However, the safe bet is Imagine Dragons' "Radioactive" due to its massive popularity early in 2013. White's biggest obstacle here is time, and it appears to be one he might not be able to overcome. Still, let's look forward to a new Dead Weather record sometime soon.
Best Rock Song
Who Should Win: Paulvana "Cut Me Some Slack"
Who Will Win: Paulvana "Cut Me Some Slack"
This is a softball category for Grohl, McCartney, Novoselic and Smear. The reincarnation of Nirvana with Paul McCartney as frontman should be enough star power to bring home the Grammy. That, and the song is pretty damn good.
Best Rock Album
Who Should Win: Queens of the Stone Age ...Like Clockwork
Who Will Win: Pick 'Em
Out of the 82 Grammys awarded on Sunday, this category might be the closest race of them all. There is no telling who this award will go to, but if I had to pick, I'll go with QOTSA's latest effort. It's dark, gritty and captivating throughout and warrants the praise it is receiving. With heavyweights like Bowie, Neil Young and Black Sabbath also rounding out the nominees, QOTSA would be notching one for the young guys if they are able to pull this one off.
Best Alternative Music Album
Who Should Win: Nine Inch Nails Hesitation Marks
Who Will Win: Tame Impala Lonerism
These two picks could very well be reversed, but either way the right decision will be made here as there are several fantastic records up in this category. The National, Vampire Weekend and Neko Case round out the nominees and all present strong cases for the award. In the end, I have to imagine the committee will go with Trent Reznor's latest from his longtime project, NIN. Reznor crafted a record that draws you in with its infectious beats and frantic pace, completely altering the landscape of NIN leading them into one of the highest regarded tours in some time. However, Tame Impala's Lonerism ended up atop many "best of" lists in 2012 for a reason. They remain the favorite until we hear the final word on Sunday.
There, in a nutshell, is the 2014 Grammys. At least the awards you should put stock into. Sure, the television portion of the show will consist of this year's pop stars and starlets strutting about to a pre-recorded track, but you can always check online after the show to see if any of your favorite artists took home some hardware.