Left Bank Grammy Predictions
A Few Predictions on Major Categories for Everyone’s Favorite Music Industry Popularity Contest
By: Michaela D. Jordan
The Grammy’s have been pushed to April this year but the nominations are out and the hype is strong. The music industry has always had some strong opinions on “music’s biggest night”. So, here I am Left Bank’s resident music industry professional giving my predictions (and opinions) on this years biggest categories.
Record of the Year: Montero (Call Me By Your Name) – Lil’ Nas X
This category is TIGHT this year, We have some heavy contenders and academy favorites. It will undoubtedly come down to Leave The Door Open, drivers license and, Montero (Call Me By Your Name). Happier Than Ever and Right On Time are two of my personal favorites but they didn’t have the impact that the top three of my choices had. ABBA’s new tune is also in this category and my heart wants them to have this win, it is a hell of a comeback, but I think they will be edged out by the more “relevant” (read: younger) artists. Brandi Carlile will definitely sweep in the songwriting and minor categories as she is a music industry darling and absolutely incredible.
Olivia Rodrigo is the “it” girl this year and drivers license was one the most impactful and emotionally poignant songs to be released (though I have my suspicions about her being an industry plant, but I digress) however it lacks the polish of Leave The Door Open. The song that has both as well as an artist that has viral appeal and the popularity that the Grammy’s salivate over is Montero (Call Me By Your Name) so I predict that Lil Nas X will take home his next golden gramophone in this category.
Album of The Year: Evermore – Taylor Swift
It loathes me to write this. Unpopular opinion incoming: I do not like Evermore. I think it is a lazy attempt to capitalize on the “indie girl” phase that is popular right now. The lyrics sound like a group of executives played Mad Libs by pulling Instagram captions from the “cottagecore” and “fade” hashtags and threw together a record. They paid Bon Iver and other indie heavy hitters ungodly amounts of money to rebrand TSwift as an “independent artist” after her recent masters fiasco. However, due to an impeccable PR team, the Grammy’s desperately needing to pander this year and Swift being Swift; this mediocre album will definitely edge out the more worthy competition and win album of the year. Ugh.
Song of The Year: Right On Time – Brandi Carlile
There are some solid nominees in this category. Brandi Carlile, Alicia Keys and Linda Perry all collaborated on a song in this category. I’m surprised the tune didn’t break the internet but I guess folks aren’t as much of a songwriting geek as me. I’m gonna give this one to one of my personal favorites: Brandi Carlile and her song Right On Time. Carlile has been bursting onto the mainstream in the past few years after her album By The Way I Forgive You swept the grammys in 2019. There has been some tension in the Americana and Roots scenes because she has transitioned to submitting her music to the pop category which may or may not hurt her chances of winning in these other slots. However, I firmly believe she has the songwriting categories on lock. She has what the other contenders don’t have; she has a small consistent group of writers, her, the Hanseroth twins, who she has been working with for 23 years, and the absolute legend that is Dave Cobb. Above all else, she is more seasoned and skillful of a writer than a lot of the other nominees. This is also less of a popularity contest category and more focused on musical ability so I feel that the perception of the voters on this one was shifted from marketability to actual musical prowess.
Best New Artist: Olivia Rodrigo
Look, I want this prediction to be Japanese Breakfast or Arlo Parks. I also understand, but don’t like, that FINNEAS is in this category. He has been a powerhouse of the industry for years and I definitely would not consider him a “new artist”. But, it’s gonna be Olivia Rodrigo. It is no contest. She absolutely exploded onto the scene with drivers license and her follow up Misery Business- sorry I mean Good 4 U. My emo kid shade aside, she is a powerhouse with the force of Disney behind her. She is a shoe in.
Best Pop Solo Performance: Happier Than Ever – Billie Eilish
This Pop Solo Performance Grammy will go to Billie. As much as I love Ariana Grande, this is a performance award and Eilish’s performance on Happier Than Ever was breathtaking. Her growth as an artist and performer over the past few years has been exponential. The performance on Happier Than Ever is no exception. She has clearly worked on vocal technique and the performance is dripping with emotion. She put her heart and soul into this record and, though it wasn’t as commercially successful as When We All Fall Asleep it showcases her growing musical ability.
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: Butter – BTS
No explanation needed. It’s BTS. Doja and SZA can maybe come for them in this category but it is a long shot. BTS is a hit making machine.
Best Rock Performance: Chris Cornell – Nothing Compares 2 U
We are all still missing Chris Cornell and Prince so much. The combination of the two will be too much for the collective music industry to deny. Foo Fighters also have a good chance here with Making a Fire but I definitely feel that they will be edged out by Cornell. Beyond the nostalgia factor, Cornell’s performance on this just soars. He consistently put everything he had into his work and this is no exception. His vocal technique was impeccable as always and will win out over the competition.
Best Rock Album: Paul McCartney – McCartney III
To me, when there is a Beatle in the category there is no competition. However, Paul is going up against fellow rock legends AC/DC and Foo Fighters so there may be something surprising here. At the end of the day, the Grammy voters were all more than likely voting for McCartney III just because of who it is. But, the album itself is a powerhouse and reminds us all why Paul McCartney is one of the greatest musicians to have ever lived.
Best Alternative Music Album: If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power – Halsey
This one will be tight between Halsey and St. Vincent’s Daddy’s Home. Both albums are dripping in feminine power and driving energy. We see Japanese Breakfast here too, no doubt they have been making waves but I think their time as major winners is yet to come (but it is coming). Halsey has Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross behind her on this album which catapults the quality and musical technicality into the stratosphere. Couple this with the mainstream appeal of it and pure artistry it is the clear winner.
Best R&B Performance: Leave The Door Open – Silk Sonic
This will be a tight one and I am personally on the fence between Leave The Door Open and Damage by H.E.R. Musically they are neck and neck and both great performances. However, I think this will come down to the great foil of the Grammys: popularity. At the end of the day, Silk Sonic is the more popular group and Leave The Door Open is the more popular song. I want it to not be this way, I want the Grammys to be all about the purity of the art and the quality of the music but, unfortunately, it isn’t. So, my prediction is that this will go to Silk Sonic.
Best Rap Performance: Thot S*** – Megan Thee Stallion
This will be another tight one. It could very well go to Cardi B for Up but I think Stallion will edge her out. Thot S*** was an absolute smash and Megan Thee Stallion’s energy in her performances can not be denied. She absolutely dominates any song she is featured on and her solo work is a punch in the gut. Don’t get me wrong Up is an absolute banger but Thot S*** had a commercial success that just dominated.
So there you go! Those are the official predictions of select Grammy winners. Agree? Disagree? Head over to my Insta at @michaelad567
and comment on the post all of your burning opinions.
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