We’ve flown through our picks for who will win Best New Artist, Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year, and all of the Pop awards. And now we’ve reached the ultimate Grammy category: Album Of The Year. In this year’s race, we’ve got two pop queens with a fondness for bizarre outfits, a reformed rap superstar, a group of country breakouts, and an indie rock sensation. It’s going to be a close call, for sure. But only one can win. Jump below for best guess why we think Eminem, of all people, will really give a damn about a Grammy this year.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR NOMINEES
The Suburbs – Arcade Fire
Recovery – Eminem
Need You Now – Lady Antebellum
The Fame Monster – Lady Gaga
Teenage Dream – Katy Perry
THOUGHTS ON THE NOMINEES: Arcade Fire are having a killer year – the Montreal band released a universally adored, chart-topping album, The Suburbs, said to be perhaps their best yet. Plus, the band was recently announced as a headlining act at Coachella. They also happened to make us weep with their nostalgia-seeking music videos for “We Used To Wait” and “The Suburbs”.
Katy Perry is probably just tickled pink she was nominated. Sure, we enjoyed Teenage Dream without even having to call it a guilty pleasure, but it was more about the singles than the album as a whole. And Lady Antebellum made music lovers across all genres take a listen with their giant hit “Need You Now”, from their album of the same name, but not many non-country fans seem to be caring much for their other songs. And the odds of another country album winning the top prize two years in a row? Unlikely.
The other Lady in this bunch, Ms. Gaga, certainly had no problem scoring her second Album Of The Year nom in a row with her The Fame follow-up, The Fame Monster. The album – which happened to be the best-selling album in the world in 2010 – delivered three singles (“Bad Romance”, “Telephone”, “Alejandro”) that went directly into Top 10 on the Hot 100, and all three came packaged with “event” music videos. Even a non-single, “Dance In The Dark”, was nominated for a Grammy for Best Dance Recording. It may be a small album with only eight tracks, but those were eight pretty awesome tracks.
As for Slim Shady, it certainly helps that Eminem put out the year’s best-selling album – in the U.S., and the second best-selling worldwide – and recovered not only from addiction and his inner demons, but from 2009′s poorly received Relapse (which won a Grammy for Best Rap Album last year despite even Em admitting it wasn’t very good). It’s his race to lose, which is why…
WHO WILL WIN: Eminem will win. He’s got a fantastic smash album and an inspirational story behind it. If there’s any upset, it will be Arcade Fire, whose musical loss of innocence landed in the Top 10 of just about every year-end list.
WHO SHOULD WIN: Hard to say. Out of all of these albums, we enjoyed The Fame Monster the most. But as delicious and successful as Gaga’s LP is, it was little more than an EP. Compare that to Eminem’s deep, soulful comeback album — Recovery is just as successful and critically-acclaimed as The Fame Monster, but with twice the amount of music on it — and good, quality tunes, too. At the end of the day, Em probably deserves to snag Album Of The Year for putting his all into it, and for being “Not Afraid” to head in a new, mature direction.
So who’s taking home the big prize? Vote below!
Come back to Idolator on Sunday at 8 p.m. EST / 5 p.m. PST to catch our live-blog of the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards!