Staff Picks: 58th GRAMMYs

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Erica Nitschke, Editor in Chief

I want to emphasize that these are picks, not predictions. I’m no music critic — just an eager consumer.

You can probably tell I’m a little bit of a Kendrick fan. I’m happy to see he’s been nominated for 11 Grammys, and this year there’s no Macklemore to steal it away.

Hopefully, the Academy takes this chance to redeem itself. Though based on its choice for Best Rap Album in the last few years, I’m not exactly hopeful.

Of the categories we’re picking, I think Best R&B Album is the strongest. The real competition is between Leon Bridges and D’Angelo and The Vanguard, but that doesn’t mean nominees Andra Day, Jazmine Sullivan and lifetime achievement award winner Charlie Wilson’s albums don’t have something to offer.

The race between “Caracal” and “In Colour” for Best Dance/Electronic Album was also tough to pick. But as much as I like Jamie XX, “I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)” ruins that album for me.

Sorry Young Thug, but “she gon’ squish it like squish”? That’s just bad writing.

Benjamin Norman, Head Copy Editor

Not to hyperbolize, but my following picks are the greatest picks of all time. Trust me, I’m a DJ at the college radio station.

Working at KNDS 96.3 FM has opened my ears to worlds of new music. Before college, I listened to country music at home and the oldies’ station on the bus to school. That’s it.

Times have changed. I found and adore Alabama Shakes. Forget only winning Best Alternative Music Album; I have the fab five from Athens, Alabama, also winning Album of the Year. Lead singer Brittany Howard is my spirit animal. That woman can shred on the guitar, and her voice is gorgeously gritty.

On the other end of the smooth spectrum, you’ll find the buttery sounds of Leon Bridges. While I have enjoyed listening to D’Angelo and wish him all the best, I hope the Academy appreciates the soulful throwback that Bridges sings and awards him with best R&B Album.

Lastly, if you haven’t listened to Courtney Barnett, listen to Courtney Barnett. The Aussie’s lyrics are witty and reminiscent of Bob Dylan in his heyday. These lines from “Avant Gardener” will be the reason why Barnett wins Best New Artist:

“The paramedic thinks I’m clever ‘cause I play guitar / I think she’s clever ‘cause she stops people dying. / Anaphylactic and super hypocondriactic / Should’ve stayed in bed today / I much prefer the mundane.”

 

RECORD OF THE YEAR

Uptown Funk, Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

EN: To Pimp A Butterfly, Kendrick Lamar

BN: Sound & Color, Alabama Shakes

SONG OF THE YEAR

EN: Alright, Kendrick Lamar

BN: Blank Space, Taylor Swift

BEST NEW ARTIST

EN: James Bay

BN: Courtney Barnett

BEST POP VOCAL ALBUM

EN: How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, Florence + The Machine

BN: Uptown Special, Mark Ronson

BEST DANCE/ELECTRONIC ALBUM

EN: Caracal, Disclosure

BN: In Colour, Jamie xx

BEST ROCK ALBUM

EN: Kintsugi, Death Cab For Cutie

BN: Chaos and the Calm, James Bay

BEST ALTERNATIVE MUSIC ALBUM

Sound & Color, Alabama Shakes

BEST R&B ALBUM

EN: Black Messiah, D’Angelo and The Vanguard

BN: Coming Home, Leon Bridges

BEST RAP ALBUM

To Pimp a Butterfly, Kendrick Lamar

BEST COUNTRY ALBUM

EN: Traveller, Chris Stapleton

BN: Pageant Material, Kacey Musgraves

 

WATCH INFO:

Network: CBS

Time: 7 p.m. Monday

Watch online @ cbs.com

Find a full list of nominees @ grammy.com/nominees

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