Saturday, May 15

Who will (and should) win the 2021 Grammy Awards? | 2021 Grammy Awards

Record of the year

Beyoncé – Black Parade
Black Cougars –
DaBaby – Rockstar (feat Roddy Ricch)
Doja cat – Tell me
Billie Eilish – Everything I Wanted
Dua Lipa – Don’t start now
Post Malone – Circles
Megan Thee Stallion – Savage (with Beyoncé)

Beyoncé didn’t release an album this year, but she’s still atop this year’s Grammy nominations with nine in eight different categories. It is a testament to his versatility, as well as the lyrical power of Black parade, a poetic vision of her intertwining with her African roots and becoming impervious to racial hatred: “Rubber bullets ricocheting off me / I made a picket sign on your picket fence.” However, it was not a success, and although his performance, more majestic and majestic than ever, is inspiring and hard-earned, the music and writing of the chorus are not as dazzling as the lyrics or his mellifluous vocal delivery.

Divided votes with Savage will also affect his chances, and with Billie Eilish winning this award last year on the path to sweeping the board, voters could look elsewhere. Doja Cat’s Tell me It was rightly a pop culture phenomenon, though Dr. Luke’s involvement in it will be controversial: The producer has long denied any wrongdoing as Kesha alleges, but nominee Fiona Apple has been among those protesting loudly. high for your presence in this vote. Rockstar, which targets cops, was cleanly connected in 2020 and DaBaby’s star quality could fill a constellation, but rap rarely pays off in this category and its past run-ins with the law can also put members off. more conservative of the Academy. Dua Lipa, then, could close this, and indeed should: Don’t Start Now’s hedonism arguably doesn’t sound pandemic, but pop is no better than this dizzying, perfect punch. However, there is very little daylight among most of these nominees.
Will win: Dua Lipa
Should win: Dua Lipa

Album of the year

Jhene aiko – The beast
Black Pumas – Black Pumas
Coldplay – Everyday Life
Jacob Collier – Djesse Vol 3
Haim – Women in Music Pt III
Dua Lipa – Nostalgia for the future
Post Malone – Hollywood’s Bleeding
Taylor Swift – Folklore

It feels like the easiest win to call. The sudden arrival of folklore, rich songwriting, grandly performed aesthetics, and pop culture influence made it a true album event, and its numerous nominations this year suggest that perhaps the Academy is ready to embrace the twice winner of this category once again after scorning it. last two albums. Plus, unlike some of the quality-packed categories below, here’s a shaky year, with just three truly classic LPs: Swift, Lipa, and my favorite, Haim’s loose, varied, and casually omnipotent display of hi-fi lo- fi. But the Grammys often make disconcertingly bad decisions in this category: Beck beat Beyoncé. Mumford & Sons beat Frank Ocean. Herbie Hancock’s Joni Mitchell cover album beat out Amy Winehouse and Kanye West. The fairly decent releases from Bruno Mars, Daft Punk, and Taylor Swift were deemed better than Kendrick Lamar’s trio of masterpieces. Jacob Collier could end up getting over this, as far as I know.
Will win: Taylor Swift
Should win: Haim

Song of the year

Beyoncé – Black Parade
Roddy Ricch – The Box
Taylor Swift – Cardigan
Post Malone – Circles
Dua Lipa – Don’t start now
Billie Eilish – Everything I Wanted
SHE – I can’t breathe
JP Saxe – If the world was ending (with Julia Michaels)

It’s a loose rubric, but this award is based on lyrics and melody rather than the overall produced product advertised in the record-of-the-year category. Therefore, there is room for If the world was ending, which is deeply cheesy, but his story of a small earthquake that triggered apocalyptic thoughts and love is nonetheless poignant and speaks forcefully of the pandemic; Taylor Swift does this sentimental storytelling best. ELLA’s tirade against the injustices and hypocrisies of white America she is dynamite, although her music is a relatively superficial platform for her; The language, in all its percussion, music and meaning, is the best of the equally pointy Black Parade. Box it is another impressive display of linguistic musicality and it would be a well deserved (if surprising) winner. But this is where Eilish could triumph despite last year’s victories: Everything I Wanted is a deeply moving song that miraculously evokes the liminal state between dream and nightmare created by fame, and an example of how something intensely personal: it’s about your brother’s support. and creative partner Finneas – can be made universal.
Will win: Billie eilish
Should win: Billie eilish

Best New Artist

Ingrid andress
Phoebe bridgers
Noah cyrus
D smoke
Doja cat
Stallion Megan Thee

Some weird options here, particularly when you consider that DaBaby should win this category and it’s not even nominated. Similarly, one could argue that one of the Academy’s most helpful and least self-indulgent roles should be breaking up lesser-known artists, and the likes of Ingrid Andress and Chika are worthy inclusions. Phoebe Bridgers’ heartfelt indie-rock has had a huge impact on a generation of young women; in fact, young women are now by far the most interesting proponents of the style, but even bigger has been the tag team of Doja Cat and Megan Thee Stallion. . The former’s ease with earworms has made her a TikTok favorite and her gorgeous debut album is still generating viral hits; But the latter, with her proud sexuality, propulsion, and infectious female empowerment, is sure to embrace it.
Will win: Stallion Megan Thee
Should win: Stallion Megan Thee

Best Solo Pop Performance

Justin Bieber – Delicious
Doja Cat – Tell me
Billie Eilish – Everything I Wanted
Dua Lipa – Don’t start now
Harry Styles – Watermelon Sugar
Taylor Swift – Cardigan

The fact that the Weeknd is not nominated here, or indeed for the record of the year, smells fishier than a post-Brexit port. It goes beyond critical subjectivity: Blinding lights, the biggest pop song of the year, is better by any metric than Justin Bieber’s Yummy or Black Pumas’ Colors, and the fact that those songs ended up on the ballot seems, to put it in the kindest frame, evidence of lobbying. strenuous. However, apart from Bieber, the rest of this category is excellent and has possibilities. I find Swift to be a pedestrian compared to Eilish, Styles, Doja or Lipa, who express pop in a more strident and progressive way, but by deepening and broadening the genre with their pessimistic interpretation and offering deep comfort in the middle of a song. pandemic, Swift could combine this in her wool.
Will win: Taylor Swift
Should win: Dua Lipa

Best Rock Performance

Fiona Apple – Shameika
Great thief – Do not
Phoebe Bridgers – Kyoto
Haim – The Steps
Brittany howard – stay high
Grace Potter – Daylight

It’s the first time this category has been run by women, and while fans of the gray-bearded genre may splutter into their beer at this, it’s no relief to some waking imaginary – the quality is staggeringly high. Those narrow-minded picky eaters might argue that Brittany Howard and Haim’s carefree numbers don’t convey “rawk” enough, but while they don’t have the typical signifier of great guitar chords, Fiona Apple undoubtedly channels her mythical spirit through Shameika’s piano. . The Bridgers will certainly rack up votes, but Apple’s song, taken from Fetch the Bolt Cutters, which was many critics’ favorite album of 2020, will likely prevail. My personal preference is for The great thief no, a spin of negative energy that turns slowly and fills your consciousness.
Will win: Fiona apple
Should win: Great thief

Best Rap Performance

Big Sean – Bow (feat Nipsey hussle)
DaBaby – Bop
Jack Harlow – What is Poppin?
Lil baby – The largest photograph
Megan Thee Stallion – Savage (with Beyoncé)
Pop Smoke – Dior

A poignant category, overshadowed by the heartbreaking youth deaths of Nipsey Hussle and Pop Smoke. The latter’s homophobic mockery at Dior never fails, but it’s the only misstep in one of the most exciting entries in the fitness canon yet, and that fact combined with his huge posthumous popularity could seal a victory. Also without other nominations despite his huge success, Lil Baby can be recognized here for his anguished lament over racist surveillance and social immobility, delivered in a relentless triplet time. In comparison, Megan and Beyoncé are not as thematically deep or technically brilliant and yet, as a performance, Wild is unforgettable in its simplicity, and the Academy may well reward Beyoncé for exploring another side of her dodecahedron art. Similarly, DaBaby could clean up the rap categories even if it doesn’t make the record for the year, leaving another category hard to call out.
Will win: Megan Thee Stallion and Beyoncé
Should win: Lil baby

Best Country Solo Performance

Eric Church – Stick That in Your Country Song
Brandy Clark – Who You Thought I Was
Vince Gill – When My Amy Prays
Mickey Guyton – Black Like Me
Miranda Lambert – Bluebird

In another quality lineup, this is actually a clear two-horse race between artists questioning the very nature of the genre – an interrogation that, in the wake of Morgan Wallen’s long run at the top of the US album charts. After yelling a racial slur, it is needed more than ever. Mickey Guyton is the first black woman to be nominated for a solo country, and she would be a valuable, if possibly illusory, marker of progress if she wins. Black like me, a stark assessment of ongoing racial inequality, is a song you deserve, its emphatic chord resolutions hammering the strength of your feelings, and the mid-eight shifts evoke a bit of the dissonance of being black in America. Yet as her song poignantly attests, she is still an outsider, and voters can be swayed by the Eric Church show, once a top of the US charts. Stick That in Your Country Song (Stick That in Your Country Song).
Will win: Eric Church
Should win: Mickey guyton

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