[8 February 2009]
Star Tribune (Minneapolis) (MCT)
Just when you thought you had the Grammy Awards figured out, Herbie Hancock came out of nowhere to win album of the year last February.
Tonight’s 51st annual Grammys will probably be a sweep. Right? For sure.
Will it be rapper-as-rock star Lil Wayne, who has the most nominations (eight) and the bestselling album of 2008? Will it be perennial awards hog Kanye West? How ‘bout all-powerful Jay-Z, who, like Kanye, received six nominations? Could it be big-voiced British pop newcomer Adele, who is a finalist in three of the top four categories?
No, it most likely will be Coldplay, the British rock band with the romantic lead singer married to Gwyneth Paltrow. Chris Martin and crew are vying in seven categories, including album, record and song of the year. He could be living La Vida Grammy by 11:30 EST tonight - unless there’s another upset.
To help weigh who will win - and who should - this longtime Grammy gazer enlisted the opinions of Adele, the opinionated, mouthy British star, and Minneapolis DJ Brian Oake.
Record of the year
Nominees: “Chasing Pavements,” Adele; “Viva la Vida,” Coldplay; “Bleeding Love,” Leona Lewis; “Paper Planes,” M.I.A.; “Please Read the Letter,” Robert Plant & Alison Krauss.
With an all-Brit category, we’ll give Adele the first word:“I think ‘Bleeding Love’ should win because it’s one of the best pop songs of the last 10 years.” As for the actual winner, she predicts that either it or “Paper Planes” will triumph.
Oake would pick “Planes” because it was “ubiquitous and has an awesome Clash sample.” But he predicts “Viva” will rule.
I agree and think this peppy, uplifting pop/rock piece deserves the trophy.
Album of the year
Nominees: “Viva La Vida,” Coldplay; “Tha Carter III,” Lil Wayne; “Year of the Gentleman,” Ne-Yo; “Raising Sand,” Robert Plant & Alison Krauss; “In Rainbows,” Radiohead.
All agree: “Raising Sand” is the album we’d vote for.
But Oake thinks Coldplay will be victorious because these Brits are huge international stars who receive constant radio airplay and they’re the kind of band the Grammys tend to recognize. Plus, Coldplay put on “the best show I saw last year,” he said.
Adele can’t say enough about her favorite album of 2008: “I love Alison Krauss. I’m one of her biggest fans. Robert Plant I love, as well. I think their voices work amazing together. I love the production, I love the songs. I can’t think of a duets album that I love like that one.”
Coldplay seems to be the betting favorite and a worthy winner, but I’m forecasting an upset. The widely respected Krauss has won more Grammys than any other woman and the widely revered Plant never won one with Led Zeppelin but snared one with Krauss last year and another with Zep mate Jimmy Page 10 years ago.
Song of the year
Nominees: “American Boy” (sung by Estelle); “Chasing Pavements” (Adele); “I’m Yours” (Jason Mraz); “Love Song” (Sara Bareilles); “Viva La Vida” (Coldplay).
Oake prefers the super-catchy “American Boy” but thinks Adele or Coldplay will emerge. Adele favors Coldplay. I pick Adele.
Best new artist
Nominees: Adele; Duffy; Jonas Brothers; Lady Antebellum; Jazmine Sullivan.
“The Jonas Brothers - no way,” Oake roars. He admires Sullivan’s voice but figures she didn’t “cross over enough (from R&B). I’d like to see Duffy win. She is charming. I love her voice. I love her style. I really like that record. But Adele takes this one. She has more critical appeal.”
As far as I’m concerned, Adele has manifested the most all-around talent. And she had a perfectly timed showcase in October, appearing with Gov. Sarah Palin on the most-watched “Saturday Night Live” in 14 years.
What does Adele herself think? “The Jonas Brothers. Ha-ha-ha. I think what they’re doing is amazing. But Duffy will win.”
Oake offered a warning: “If the Jonas Brothers win, it might be time to stop paying attention to the Grammys.”