NEW YORK – Adele dominated last year’s Grammy Awards, but this year there isn’t a clear winner in sight.
We here at The Associated Press let you know who to put money on when the awards show airs live Sunday from the Staples Center in Los Angeles at 8 p.m. on CBS. Now if only we could agree.
Album of the year
Nominees: El Camino, The Black Keys; Some Nights, fun.; Babel, Mumford & Sons; channel ORANGE, Frank Ocean; Blunderbuss, Jack White
Fekadu: I want to say that because there are four rock-based acts nominated here, they’ll split the vote, leaving R&B singer Frank Ocean with album of the year. His album should win, but he won’t take the prize. This is The Black Keys’ year, and they’re deserving.
Talbott: The Keys are going to win a major Grammy, just not this one. These Grammys will belong to either Ocean or fun., and to the victor goes this category. Fun. pulled off an amazing feat earning nominations in each of the four major categories, but Ocean’s album has become part of the cultural discussion.
Record of the year
Nominees: Lonely Boy, The Black Keys; Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You), Kelly Clarkson; We Are Young, fun. featuring Janelle Monae; Somebody That I Used to Know, Gotye featuring Kimbra; Thinkin Bout You, Frank Ocean; We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, Taylor Swift
Talbott: If Thinkin Bout You wins here, there will be no doubt these are Ocean’s Grammys. But I’m going with something of an upset as The Black Keys horn in on Ocean’s fun.
Fekadu: The Black Keys are strong contenders, but this award has to go to Gotye, whose oddball pop song was last year’s biggest hit.
Song of the year
Nominees (award goes to songwriters): The A Team, Ed Sheeran; Adorn, Miguel Pimentel; Call Me Maybe, Carly Rae Jepsen, Tavish Crowe and Josh Ramsay; Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You), Jorgen Elofsson, David Gamson, Greg Kurstin and Ali Tamposi; We Are Young, Jack Antonoff, Jeff Bhasker, Andrew Dost and Nate Ruess
Fekadu: Fun. – whose anthemic song, We Are Young, has a great balance of edge and mainstream appeal – will be named song of the year.
Talbott: The real test for a song-of-the-year winner is how it sounds 10 or 20 years from now. In We Are Young, Nate Ruess and bandmates have crafted one of those songs that frames an era perfectly, and voters clearly recognized that while mulling nominations.
Nominees: Alabama Shakes; fun.; Hunter Hayes; The Lumineers; Frank Ocean
Talbott: The category has been full of pleasant upsets over the last few years, but there will be nothing surprising about this year’s winner because these are turning out to be the Frank Ocean Grammys.
Fekadu: Does anyone seriously think an R&B singer who revealed that his first love was a man – who also produces for top hip-hop acts and who is a talented singer-songwriter with one of last year’s best albums – wouldn’t win this?