Guessing the 2012 Grammys

Predictions on who will be honored on “music’s biggest night”, based on a mixture of rumors, critical acclaim, and the academy’s voters.

Last week, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences announced the nominees for the upcoming 2012 Grammy Awards on both a lavish concert special (that was slightly better than last year’s event) and their official website. Many of this year’s nominees are new artists, and some of the categories have been changed, but one thing hasn’t changed: people are already making predictions. Here’s a look at some early guesses on who will win in the biggest categories on February 12th, 2012.

Album of the Year

Adele’s 21 vs. Bruno Mars’ Doo-Wops And Hooligans, Foo Fighters’ Wasting Light, Lady Gaga’s Born This Way, and Rihanna’s Loud

Adele is one of those rare artists that both critics and music fans adore. You don’t have to be psychic to foresee her leaving the ceremony with an armful of trophies, which will include this nod to the most-lauded album of the year.


Record of the Year

Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” vs. Bon Iver’s “Holocene”, Mumford & Sons’ “The Cave”, Katy Perry’s “Firework”, and Bruno Mars’ “Grenade”

“Rolling in the Deep” was THE song of 2011. You heard it in commercials, on multiple radio stations every five minutes, and repeatedly covered on TV talent shows.


Song of the Year

Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” vs. Mumford & Sons’ “The Cave”, Bon Iver’s “Holocene”, Kanye West feat. Rihanna, Kid Cudi, and Fergie’s “All of the Lights”, and Bruno Mars’ “Grenade”

Being that this is a songwriter’s award, the voters love to see it go to a song performed by its main songwriter. Not to mention, it would be a shame to see it not go to Adele’s modern classic.


Best Pop Solo Performance

Lady Gaga’s “You and I” vs. Adele’s “Someone Like You”, Katy Perry’s “Firework”, Pink’s “F***in’ Perfect”, and Bruno Mars’ “Grenade”

A combination of the former “Best Male Pop Vocal” and “Best Female Pop Vocal” categories, look for the best track off of Gaga’s latest album to take the prize. (Especially after this performance aired on the 2011 Grammy Nominations Concert special.)


New Artist

Niki Minaj vs. the Band Perry, Bon Iver, Skrillex, and J. Cole

This year’s Grammy’s will be another “ladies’ night”, with Minaj being another big winner. Then again, I wouldn’t be surprised if the voters chose the up-and-coming country group instead.


Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

Tony Bennett & Amy Winehouse’s “Body & Soul” vs. Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks”, Maroon 5 & Christina Aguilera’s “Moves Like Jagger”, the Black Keys’ “Dearest”, and Coldplay’s “Paradise”

A few years ago, Amy Winehouse brought a lot of excitement to the awards, which helped introduce her talent to a nationwide audience. Though her promising career was put to an end by her tragic death, voters still have the chance to honor her one more time, with this duet with a Grammy favorite.


Best R&B Album

Kelly Price’s Kelly vs. Ledisi’s Pieces of Me, R Kelly’s Love Letter, Chris Brown’s F.A.M.E, and El DeBarge’s Second Chance

The academy’s new rules made controversial changes in the R&B categories, merging “traditional” R&B with the more well-known acts. So look for one of those lesser-known, critically acclaimed artists to be honored instead.


Best Rap Album

Niki Minaj’s Pink Friday vs. Jay-Z and Kanye West’s Watch the Throne, Kanye West’s My Beautiful, Dark, Twisted Fantasy, Lil’ Wayne’s Tha Carter IV, and Lupe Fiasco’s Lasers

Niki Minaj was one of last year’s biggest success stories. Voters love to see a woman take charge in a typically male-dominated field, and given that this album was the introduction to her career, they will easily choose to honor it.


Best Country Album

Lady Antebellum’s Own the Night vs. Taylor Swift’s Speak Now, George Strait’s Here for a Good Time, Blake Shelton’s Red River Blue, Eric Church’s Chief, and Jason Aldean’s My Kinda Party

Lady Antebellum are the country darlings of the awards, and since they haven’t had a “Need You Now”-sized hit recently, this is their category.


Best Country Song

Taylor Swift’s “Mean” vs. Thompson Square’s “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not”, Vince Gill’s “Threaten Me With Heaven”, Dave Barnes’ “God Gave Me You”, Kenny Chesney & Grace Potter’s “You and Tequila”, and Trace Adkins’ “Just Fishin’”

Due to lack of other nominations, the Academy seems to be feeling a little Swift fatigue, but chances are that they will like this self-written ode to critics.


Best Rock Album

Foo Fighters’ Wasting Light vs. Red Hot Chili Peppers’ I’m With You, Kings of Leon’s Come Around Sundown, Wilco’s The Whole Love, and Jeff Beck’s Rock N Roll Party Honoring Les Paul

The Foos are Grammy favorites, but haven’t had the chance to be honored in several years. Look for their first #1 album to also please the voters.


Best Rock Performance

Mumford & Sons’ “The Cave” vs. Foo Fighters’ “Walk”, Radiohead’s “Lotus Flower”, the Decemberists “Down by the Water”, and Coldplay’s “Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall

Mumford & Sons are obviously loved by the academy, as proved with their many nominations this year. While they won’t take home any of the big categories, they will certainly pick something up.


Best Alternative Music Album

Bon Iver’s Bon Iver vs. Foster the People’s Torches, Radiohead’s The King of Limbs, Death Cab for Cutie’s Codes and Keys, and My Morning Jacket’s Circuital

A favorite of many “best of the year” lists, this award clearly belongs to Bon Iver’s sophomore breakthrough.


Best Dance Recording

Duck Sauce’s “Barbra Streisand” vs. Robyn’s “Call Your Girlfriend”, Skrillex’s “Scary Monsters and Nice Spirits”, Deadmau5 & Greta Svabo Bech’s “Raise Your Weapon”, Swedish House Mafia’s “Save the World”, and David Guetta & Avicii’s “Sunshine”

Call me crazy, but isn’t it likely that the vast majority of the Academy’s older voters will vote for “Barbra Streisand” based on its name (and lyrics) alone?




Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Coronavirus and the Culture Wars

Infodemics, conspiracies -- fault lines beneath the Fractured States of America tremble in this time of global pandemic, amplify splinters, fractures, and fissures past and present.


'Switched-On Seeker' Is an Imaginative Electronic Reimagining of Mikal Cronin's Latest LP

Listeners who prefer dense rock/pop timbres will no doubt prefer Mikal Cronin's 'Seeker'. However, 'Switched-On Seeker' will surely delight fans of smaller-scale electronic filters.


IYEARA Heighten the Tension on Remix of Mark Lanegan's "Playing Nero" (premiere)

Britsh trio IYEARA offer the first taste of a forthcoming reworking of Mark Lanegan's Somebody's Knocking with a remix of "Playing Nero".


Pottery Take Us Deep Into the Funky and Absurd on 'Welcome to Bobby's Motel'

With Welcome to Bobby's Motel, Pottery have crafted songs to cleanse your musical pallet and keep you firmly on the tips of your toes.


Counterbalance 23: Bob Dylan - 'Blood on the Tracks'

Bob Dylan makes his third appearance on the Acclaimed Music list with his 1975 album, Blood on the Tracks. Counterbalance’s Eric Klinger and Jason Mendelsohn are planting their stories in the press.


Luke Cissell Creates Dreamy, Electronic Soundscapes on the Eclectic 'Nightside'

Nightside, the new album from composer and multi-instrumentalist Luke Cissell, is largely synthetic and electronic but contains a great deal of warmth and melody.


Bibio Discusses 'Sleep on the Wing' and Why His Dreams Are of the Countryside

"I think even if I lived in the heart of Tokyo, I'd still make music that reminds people of the countryside because it's where my dreams often take me," says Bibio (aka Stephen Wilkinson) of his music and his new rustic EP.

Reading Pandemics

Pandemic, Hope, Defiance, and Protest in 'Romeo and Juliet'

Shakespeare's well known romantic tale Romeo and Juliet, written during a pandemic, has a surprisingly hopeful message about defiance and protest.


A Family Visit Turns to Guerrilla Warfare in 'The Truth'

Catherine Deneuve plays an imperious but fading actress who can't stop being cruel to the people around her in Hirokazu Koreeda's secrets- and betrayal-packed melodrama, The Truth.


The Top 20 Punk Protest Songs for July 4th

As punk music history verifies, American citizenry are not all shiny, happy people. These 20 songs reflect the other side of patriotism -- free speech brandished by the brave and uncouth.


90 Years on 'Olivia' Remains a Classic of Lesbian Literature

It's good that we have our happy LGBTQ stories today, but it's also important to appreciate and understand the daunting depths of feeling that a love repressed can produce. In Dorothy Strachey's case, it produced the masterful Olivia.


Indie Rocker Alpha Cat Presents 'Live at Vox Pop' (album stream)

A raw live set from Brooklyn in the summer of 2005 found Alpha Cat returning to the stage after personal tumult. Sales benefit organizations seeking to end discrimination toward those seeking help with mental health issues.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.