Tuesday, January 07, 2003

time to break down the grammys... starting with the big four (predicted winners in bold).

album of the year
home, dixie chicks
the eminem show, eminem
come away with me, norah jones
nellyville, nelly
the rising, bruce springsteen
+besides wondering how the fuck nelly slipped into this category (even if you love nelly, you have to admit he's a singles artist, not an album artist), this is the most clearcut of nearly all of 'em. if anyone besides bruce were to win this trophy, it'd be an upset of massive proportions. let's look at his dossier: he's a much-loved legend, he's never won this prize, and his album was widely considered a fine response to 9/11 (props to simon at xrrf for pointing out that steve earle's jerusalem was summarily ignored, tossed a best contempo folk album nod). short of declaring himself a freedom fighter for bin laden, there's no way bruce can fuck this one up.

record of the year
"a thousand miles," vanessa carlton
"without me," eminem
"don't know why," norah jones
"dilemma," nelly featuring kelly rowland
"how you remind me," nickelback
+this is the award for a single, and this is a tougher one. vanessa's too new (and the absence of a new artist nod doesn't bode well for the teen pianist), nelly's too, ultimately, inconsequential (remember, "u can't touch this" got a nod in this category too), nickelback's too stupid. which leaves em and norah, and odd couple if ever there was one. norah's got the hot-young-talented-pretty-thing going for her, and she does have chops. eminem has the knowledge by much of the voters that he should've won album of the year two years ago (instead of steely dan), and a single that most went bananas over. I'm saying slim shady, but ms. blue note could sneak in here easily.

song of the year
"complicated," avril lavigne & the matrix (lavigne)
"don't know why," jesse harris (norah jones)
"the rising," bruce springsteen (springsteen)
"a thousand miles," vanessa carlton (carlton)
"where were you (when the world stopped turning)," alan jackson (jackson)
+this is the songwriting award, and where it gets (potentially) interesting. I think the sweet young things cancel each other out here, leaving the two titans of 9/11 to duke it out, and my prediction of alan jackson isn't the upset you might think it to be. (most) everyone loves bruce's album, the "achievement" of it. but a lot of people also loved alan jackson's "where were you," which preceded the boss by over six months, became a part of the national pop mosaic (love it or hate it), and honestly moved a helluva lot of people. plus, never underestimate the power of the nashville voting bloc; they played a large role in the upset win by o brother, where art thou over u2 last year, and I think they'll flex their muscle in a similar way this year for their beloved son (did you see the cma awards, folks?). the reason they won't do the same and lead the chicks to an upset in album? the chicks don't have wholehearted support in the country capital (e.g. toby keith), and even some of the country crowd appreciate bruce's "meaningful" longplayer. but they'll do everything they can to sway this prize alan's way, and I predict they'll pull it off.

best new artist
michelle branch
norah jones
avril lavigne
john mayer
+almost as easy as album. ashanti's a hook singer (and seen as such by some), michelle and avril are too loud for much of the voting constituency, and john mayer's too "who the hell is he?" in spite of his two hit singles. norah jones might just be the new sade, gets great press, and is just mellow enough that it's hard to argue with her artistry, no matter how old you are. fun fact: solo females have won this award for the last eight years.

on to selected genre awards shortly...

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