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
Time: 7 p.m. Monday
Watch online @ cbs.com
Find a full list of nominees @ grammy.com/nominees