Grammys: Ridiculous or relevant?
Weve been spoiled in recent years in Colorado, as we watched a number of local musicians earn Grammy nominations for major awards.This year, its a near shutout. No Fray. No DeVotchKa. No Dianne Reeves. Not even former Ward resident Kitaro, who always seems to be nominated.True, former Denverite India.Arie is up for best R&B performance by a duo, but she moved to Atlanta years ago. Josh Lopez, a Chatfield High School graduate, is a co-writer on Estelles American Boy, which is nominated for song of the year, and former Coloradans OneRepublic are in for Apologize.But overall its a quiet year for Colorado at the Grammys. Maybe thats a good thing, as the head-to-head competitions are at times ridiculous. In some categories, its not apples-and-oranges, its apples-and-hubcaps.Best male pop performance has James Taylors cover of the ancient hit Wichita Lineman up against Kid Rocks All Summer Long, composed of riffs taken from ancient hits such as Sweet Home Alabama and Werewolves of London. Paul McCartney is up for a live version of his own I Saw Her Standing There.Rules were changed in the 90s to make matchups make more sense, but the rulebook was thrown out this year. AC/DC versus The Eagles, Kings of Leon and Radiohead. Madonna versus Robert Plant.Then again, its been an odd year watching the recording industry crumble; maybe the Grammys are just following suit. So with that unpredictability in mind, here are my picks in some of the major categories:Record of the yearAdele: Chasing PavementsColdplay: Viva La VidaLeona Lewis: Bleeding LoveM.I.A.: Paper PlanesRobert Plant & Alison Krauss: Please Read the LetterWhat should win: A truly hard choice. Chasing Pavements is the kind of well-constructed, well-produced song Grammy loves, but Plant and Krauss have an artistic triumph.What will win: Nearly impossible to call. The cannibalizing of votes will cancel out Lewis and Adeles ballads, and M.I.A.s gunshots are a little too street for voters. The Grammys love of Plant and Krauss (and producer T Bone Burnett) will likely outweigh the Coldplay obsession. Please Read the Letter by a nose.Album of the yearColdplay: Viva La Vida or Death and All His FriendsLil Wayne: Tha Carter IIINe-Yo: Year of the GentlemanRobert Plant & Alison Krauss: Raising SandRadiohead: In RainbowsWho should win: Another tough one, as Lil Wayne, Plant/Krauss and Radiohead absolutely deserve it. Lil Wayne, however, has been all over the place. Radiohead is commendable for its forward-thinking style, but it wasnt a big splash.Who will win: Vote-splitting between Wayne and Ne-Yo and between Coldplay and Plant/Krauss actually leaves Radiohead looking good. Im still betting on Lil Wayne. Its time.Song of the yearEstelle: American BoyAdele: Chasing PavementsJason Mraz: Im YoursSara Bareilles: Love SongColdplay: Viva La VidaWho should win: Coldplay is under a cloud of suspicion after Joe Satriani filed a well-deserved plagiarism complaint (www.youtube.com/ watch?v=eb49QuPLuHg) about their song. You cant find a pulse in Im Yours with the best team of medical experts. Bareilles Love Song”? Fun but just a mildly tougher version of Feist. Estelle? Nobody would have cared if Kanye West hadnt been there. Adele deserves this one, hands down.Who will win: Coldplays Viva La Vida. Because the world is that messed up right now.New artistAdeleDuffyJonas BrothersLady AntebellumJazmine SullivanWho should win: Duffys a one-hit, video-friendly karaoke singer. Adele is the real deal.Who will win: Adele cancels Duffy who cancels Jazmine. Lady Antebellum is a better marketing concept than a musical group. Forgive them, for they know not what they do: The Jonas Brothers win.Rock albumColdplay, Viva La Vida or Death and All His FriendsKid Rock: Rock N Roll JesusKings of Leon: Only By the NightMetallica: Death MagneticThe Raconteurs: Consolers of the LonelyWho should win: Coldplay nominated for best ROCK album? Really? By all rights, Kings of Leon should take this home.Who will win: Metallica has a return to hard-rock form and a comeback story. No contest.Country albumJamey Johnson: That Lonesome SongPatty Loveless: Sleepless NightsGeorge Strait: TroubadourRandy Travis: Around the BendTrisha Yearwood: Heaven, Heartache and the Power of LoveWho should win: Doesnt matter. George Strait is up. Game over for everyone else.Who will win: Didnt you hear me the first time?Rap albumJay-Z: American GangsterLil Wayne: Tha Carter IIILupe Fiasco: The CoolNas: NasT.I.: Paper TrailWho should win: By far the most competitive field with strong showings and Nas making the album of his career. But if Lil Wayne doesnt take this, the Grammys go back to Milli Vanilli-era credibility.Who will win: Lil Wayne, easily.