Ok, so the final countdown to the Grammys is here, and this week I’ll be looking at a few of the remaining categories, starting with best new artist.
This is a tough one to call. There is no Rock act, and two Urban artists, (J.Cole and Nicki Minaj).
The other nominees are family Country act, The Band Perry; Indie-folksters, Bon Iver; and out-there Electronic artist, Skrillex.
I’m going with Bon Iver. With their atmospheric and moody sound, and singer Justin Vernon’s fragile falsetto, they offer just enough to be new and interesting without being confrontational.
Nicki Minaj could be up there too with her quirky (and explicit) rap, but may be just a tad too in yer face to get the nod.
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance has an interesting collection of artists this year, although only Maroon 5 (Moves like Jagger) could really be called pop.
Neither Black Keys, Foster the People, nor Coldplay truly fit into this genre, and as for Tony Bennett and Amy Winehouse’s rendition of ‘Body and Soul’…well its jazz.
However, with Amy’s passing and Tony Bennett being an American institution, I’m going for this duo to win, and deservedly so. It’s classy and understated with great vocal performances.
As irritating as I find Coldplay sometimes, I think they may take the Best Rock Song or Performance this year for their uplifting ‘Every Teardrop is a Waterfall’.
The competition is stiff mind you (all 5 songs are the same in both categories), with both Mumford and Sons and The Decembrists offering up pleasing slices of folkiness,along with the upfront rock of the Foo Fighters’ ‘Walk’ and the perhaps too obscure to win ‘Lotus Flower’ from Radiohead.
By way of a quick round up, I’m picking Thompson Square’s ‘Are you Gonna Kiss me or What’, to win either Best Country Song or Group Performance, ‘I need a Doctor’ (Dre/Eminem) for Best Rap Song, and Kanye will almost certainly pick up an award somewhere along the line, possibly for Best Rap Album and/or Best Rap collaboration.
Finally, one of my ones to watch for 2012, The Civil Wars, are up for Best Folk album for ‘Barton Hollow’, although the eponymous song from that record is up for Best Country Group Performance…go figure!?
Anyway, good luck to them…and to all the others of course!
Next week I’ll talk about the results and see how my predictions faired.
The Grammys are this Sunday the 12th at 8pm (PST) on CBS.