Photo: Gabriel Bouys
The 2017 Grammy Awards goes down this Sunday so get your spritzers and charcuterie plates ready. Whether you’re a genuine music fan or it’s payback for your better half putting up with last Sunday’s Super Bowl, you will be watching so you might as well pretend to know what’s going on.
The Recording Academy will hand out close to 100 awards to music artists you love, hate or some of whom you may not know because you’re too old, too young or just hate Country or New Age. And, that’s okay because we’ve got you covered.
Our 2017 Grammy Awards Predictions are a handy cheat sheet that breakdown the sometimes oddball categories to keep an eye on with my predictions in BOLD.
Album of the Year
Purpose, Justin Bieber
A Sailor’s Guide to Earth, Sturgill Simpson
Breakdown: The men will be sitting out the night’s grand prize which comes down to a superstar showdown between Beyonce versus Adele. While the English songstress is always a solid contender she’s no match for the epic, game-changing album that was Lemonade.
Record of the Year
“7 Years,” Lukas Graham
“Work,” Rihanna feat. Drake
“Stressed Out,” Twenty One Pilots
Breakdown: Rhianna was robbed for Anti not being nominated for Album of the Year so giving “Work” the nod here would be the right thing to do, but “Formation” is not only a flawless composition, but an inspiring message for women and “others” to fight for their right to be fab and fierce.
Best New Artist
Chance the Rapper
Breakdown: This is probably the most contested prize of the night. Chance the Rapper should win. Anderson Paak could win. Both elevated their craft, proving that a post-modern hip-hop sound could find its place if not replace the auto-tuned, studio-driven nonsense that has overtaken the genre. Unfortunately, both will cancel each other, leaving an opening for the ever opportunistic Chainsmokers, the EDM duo whom everyone over 25 love to hate, but whom the kids love.
Best Rap Album
Coloring Book, Chance the Rapper
And the Anonymous Nobody, De La Soul
Major Key, DJ Khaled
Blank Face LP, Schoolboy Q
The Life of Pablo, Kanye West
Breakdown: The Recording Academy favors big names, but not necessarily big mouths so President Trump has a better shot at winning a Grammy than Kanye. That Drake leaves probably taking home the gold, but don’t be surprised if Chance the Rapper has the upset win for his forward-thinking, stream-only album.
Best Rap Performance
“No Problem” — Chance The Rapper Featuring Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz
“Pop Style” — Drake Featuring The Throne
“All The Way Up” — Fat Joe & Remy Ma Featuring French Montana & Infared
“That Part” — ScHoolboy Q Featuring Kanye West
Breakdown: “Panda” was the catchphrase song of the year, but is that enough to earn a Grammy? Chances are no, so I got to go with “No Problem”, especially if Chance the Rapper loses out on Rap Album of the Year.
Best Alternative Music Album
22, A Million, Bon Iver
Blackstar, David Bowie
The Hope Six Demolition Project, PJ Harvey
Post Pop Depression, Iggy Pop
A Moon Shaped Pool, Radiohead
Breakdown: You can’t really go wrong with any of these albums. Still, someone has to win and I’m sure even his fellow nominees would bow down to the late, still great David Bowie. The Recording Academy can make up for decades of wrongs by awarding a post-humous Grammy to Bowie, whose only music Grammy so far has been the Lifetime Achievement Award back in 2006. But, make no mistake the award will be much-deserved as Bowie’s Blackstar is one of the best albums of the year bar none.
Best Dance/Electronic Album
Electronica 1: The Time Machine, Jean-Michel Jarre
Barbara Barbara, We Face a Shining Future, Underworld
Louie Vega Starring … XXVIII, Louie Vega
Breakdown: While my heart says Tycho’s Epoch, my mind says Flume’s Skin, which isn’t that bad of a choice.
Best Dance Recording
“Tearing Me Up” — Bob Moses
“Don’t Let Me Down” — The Chainsmokers Featuring Daya
“Never Be Like You” — Flume Featuring Kai
“Rinse & Repeat” — Riton Featuring Kah-Lo
“Drinkee” — Sofi Tukker
Breakdown: Although there are two Crave favorites (Sofi Tukker and Bob Moses) in this category who deserve to win, this is The Grammy’s who have given this award to Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and Lady Gaga in the past. It’s essentially a two horse race which I see The Chainsmokers edging out Flume by a douche hair(cut).
Best Rock Album
Tell Me I’m Pretty, Cage the Elephant
Death of a Bachelor, Panic! at the Disco
Breakdown: This category proves that rock isn’t dead… just flaccid. Magma’s Gojira? WTF. It sound like character in the next Godzilla. I honestly didn’t even know Weezer and Blink-182 were still making new music. I guess that leaves Cage the Elephant who are one of the best live acts around.
Best Rock Song
“Blackstar” — David Bowie, songwriter (David Bowie)
“Burn the Witch” —Radiohead, songwriters (Radiohead)
“Hardwired” — James Hetfield & Lars Ulrich, songwriters (Metallica)
“Heathens” — Tyler Joseph, songwriter (Twenty One Pilots)
“My Name Is Human” — Rich Meyer, Ryan Meyer & Johnny Stevens, songwriters (Highly Suspect)
Breakdown: Okay, here’s a prime example of the Recording Academy at its most nonsensical, pitting Bowie and Radiohead (who were both nominated for Alternative album of the year), against Twenty One Pilots and Metallica. Again, I got to go with Bowie for the win.
The 57th Grammy Awards will be shown live on Sunday, Feb. 12 at 8pm ET, 5pm PT.