The 55th annual awards show from The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences is set to air on February 10th and will be hosted by LL Cool J. Set to perform are The Black Keys, Fun., Mumford & Sons, Rihanna, and Taylor Swift. As a music fanatic with a fairly large collection of vinyl, this is a night that I look forward to every year, and some of the nominees this year have me just as excited as ever! There are a ton of categories that the The Recording Academy recognizes, so I wanted to focus on just four of them to highlight the nominees, and maybe even offer my opinion of who I’d like to see win.
One of my favorite categories every year is Best New Artist, and this year is no different. The nominees this year include Alabama Shakes, Fun., Hunter Hayes, The Lumineers, and Frank Ocean. Fun. has been dominating the airwaves with their infectious singles “We Are Young” and “Some Nights,” while Hunter Hayes has quickly become a country singing sensation over the last year or so. Frank Ocean released his album Channel Orange in 2012 as a bit of a departure from his more well-known hip hop background, which contained the popular song, “Thinkin Bout You.” My two favorites in this category are Alabama Shakes and The Lumineers. Alabama Shakes’ rootsy sound on songs like “Hold On” just never gets old, and I can’t help but stomp and clap along with The Lumineers’ song, “Ho Hey.”
For Song of the Year, I want to first distinguish the difference between the Song of the Year category and the Record of the Year category. This is something that I know a lot of people get confused about, and I certainly was for a long time. Song of the Year refers to the lyrics and songwriting, which is why the recipient of this award goes to the songwriter. Record of the Year refers to the actual recording of the song, which includes the artists themselves, producers, mixers, and engineers. That being said, this year’s nominees are “The A Team” by Ed Sheeran, “Adorn” by Miguel, “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen, “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” by Kelly Clarkson, and “We Are Young” by Fun. featuring Janelle Monae. I’m hoping for a win for Fun. in this category.
For Record of the Year, we see some of the same Song of the Year nominations getting nods here also. The full list includes “Lonely Boy” by The Black Keys, “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” by Kelly Clarkson, “We Are Young” by Fun. featuring Janelle Monae, “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye featuring Kimbra, “Thinkin Bout You” by Frank Ocean, and “We Are Never Getting Back Together” by Taylor Swift. My top choice for this category is The Black Keys, but I’d also be happy with a win by Frank Ocean.
The Album of the Year category is a really tough one this year, and I’m torn as to who I would like to see win. The nominees are:
I'd be pretty happy with any of these albums winning Album of the Year, but my top two choices would be Jack White or The Black Keys.
Also be sure to check out the compilation CD from this year's awards containing many of the great songs being recognized this year. This CD will be available on 1/22/13, and can currently be preordered through BestBuy.com.
What are some of the performances, artists, or songs that you're most excited about this year? Who would you like to see take home an award?