When I think of Album of the Year, I picture it being the biggest honor any musician can have bestowed upon them. (I mean, besides the Lifetime Achievement Award…which I will get into with my regular column later this month!) It means that everything about the artist and their musical masterpiece was perfect. From the songs, to the production team, even down to the delivery of the album to the public. It’s probably one of my all-time favorite categories to watch, especially since I really love a strong album over a hit single any day; and the nominees are certainly winners!
Foo Fighters brought rock back into the forefront with Wasting Light; their first single “Walk” makes me reminisce about how I felt when the band first emerged on the scene. They have come so far in their career and still manage to keep making rock a staple in our music collections.
Rihanna surprisingly has come into her own this year with Loud. Before her separation from Chris Brown, I had no interest in her music or who she was. But after growing and evolving from her relationship through her songs, particularly with Loud, I can’t help but want to want to hug her in ”Love the Way You Lie” or assert a darker, more decadent side with her in “S&M.”
Lady Gaga is always in a category of her own, especially with Born This Way. Gaga’s music always pushes the envelope and encourages us to be who we are and accept it. Granted, I can’t always get into her music the way many others have, but the message from her title track makes for a great campaign to stop the bullying and have some self-acceptance.
Adele has been on fire with several Grammy nominations (as you have read in previous columns!) Her sophomore album 21 really embodies the spirit of a woman who struggles and pushes through her life with dignity and just a little humility. Instead of making love all about flowers and rainbows, her broken heart bleeds into her lyrics.
Finally, we have Bruno Mars, who shines through with Doo-Wops & Hooligans. Just about every single that has been released from this album has been magical. Mars knows how to keep the balance between the smooth R&B, yet reinvent the modern-day crooner.
So who wins? Who takes home the coveted award? While Arcade Fire may have secured that win last year, I don’t think it will go in the same direction this year.
Jenn’s Pick: Adele. This has really been her year. She’s been through so much with her music and her health that she has earned it all.
Who will most likely win: Lady Gaga. She’s been pushing the envelope with her music, I wouldn’t be surprised in the least to see her win this for her avant-garde style.
The Wild-card: Foo Fighters. While they’re not my favorite rock band (or one I’d go to as a staple in my collection), their 2011 release deserves recognition. They have had a previous Grammy nod with their 2007 album Echoes, Silence Patience & Grace; but this year it’s their time to shine and bring rock back into the fold.
***Tune into CBS on Sunday, February 12th night at 8/7c for the 54th Annual Grammy Awards!***