Each year the act of predicting which artists will take home a Grammy becomes one of pop music’s great guessing games. Someone picks a category, and everyone becomes a pundit. That includes us. We want your comments, too. Do you think our choices are right? Watch the show with us this Sunday night, and join our LIVE BLOG commentary right here at 8 pm.
RECORD OF THE YEAR
This screed about how the value of self-important men begins with a set of instructions: “To the left, to the left/ Everything you own in a box to the left.” Wonder how Jay-Z took that line?
Foo Fighters: “The Pretender”
Moderate rock, Dave Grohl-style: loud, passionate, dynamic, classic, and prog. Don’t forget the mildly rousing refrain of “Who are you?” But, sorry, it’s still boring.
Barbados’ answer to Madonna returned with a Jerry Bruckheimer-sized blockbuster of a disc, and this song, which stuck in our heads for the entire summer, was the centerpiece.
Justin Timberlake: “What Goes Around . . . Comes Around”
When coupled with Timbaland’s production, Justin’s soft-pop R&B added up to a great big rock opera.
Amy Winehouse: “Rehab”
They tried to make her go to rehab; she said no, no, no. Then she said yes, got some help in London, was denied a U.S. entry visa, and can’t perform at the Grammys. Too bad, since the song so thoroughly sums up the problems of 2007.
SHOULD WIN: “Rehab”
WILL WIN: “Umbrella”
BEST HIP-HOP ALBUM
Common: Finding Forever
Half hard, half hippie. Working the poetic tip, he keeps his political and philosophical ideas up front. Kanye’s production, even when it’s florid, does a great job of selling ‘em.
Nas: Hip-Hop Is Dead
Big indictment from the Queens MC, but Nas is nothing if not a provocateur. Though it’s not a home run, it’s gripping. And that flow of his can still make your jaw drop.
Jay-Z: Kingdom Come
Jigga bounced back, and there were lots of sharp moments, but it also felt like the true glory days of this mic fiend are gone. The American Gangster soundtrack is way stronger.
TI: T.I. vs T.I.P.
Yep, Mr. Split Personality may have been at war with himself, but that tension provided for revealing glimpse into the king of Dirty South’s psyche.
Kanye West: Graduation
Haughty is as haughty does. Hip-hop’s most reliable MC hasn’t given up on positioning himself as hip-hop’s most successful MC. But his bluster has oodles of creativity behind it, no question.
SHOULD WIN: Graduation
WILL WIN: Graduation
“Best New Artist” category after the jump.