Who will take home the top honors at the 2024 Grammys, and who deserves them?

Who will take home the top honors at the 2024 Grammys, and who deserves them?

Record of the year

Jon Batiste – Worship

This person, Boygenius, is not powerful enough.
Miley Cyrus – Flowers

Reworded: What was my purpose? – Billie Eilish
Victoria Monét – On My Mama
Olivia Rodrigo – Vampire
Taylor Swift – Anti-Hero
SZA – Kill Bill

According to the UK government’s women and equalities committee, the music industry continues to be unequal. However, women are increasingly being recognized at awards ceremonies. Over half of the nominations at this year’s Brit awards are for women, and the top categories at the Grammys have even more female representation. Only one male artist, Jon Batiste, has been nominated for the top prize of record of the year, although the majority of producers and engineers in this category are male. Batiste’s song “Worship” is considered the weakest among the nominees. The other songs all have their own merits, but Olivia Rodrigo’s “Vampire” stands out due to its transition from a soft piano ballad to an energetic showstopper in just three and a half minutes. However, Taylor Swift is currently the dominant figure in popular culture and is likely to sweep the awards this year.

The winner of the competition will be Taylor Swift, who is known for her anti-hero persona.

“Vampire Weekend should win over Olivia Rodrigo.”

“Best Album of the Year”

Jon Batiste – World Music Radio
Boygenius – The Record
Miley Cyrus – Endless Summer Vacation

“Did you know that there is an underwater tunnel located beneath Ocean Boulevard? This surprising fact is related to the artist Lana Del Rey.”
Janelle Monaé – The Age of Pleasure
Olivia Rodrigo – Guts
Taylor Swift – Midnights

Last year’s Beyoncé vs Adele vs Harry vs Kendrick vs Bad Bunny face-off may have been more high-profile, but this year’s album nominations offer a deeper and more challenging selection. The majority of the nominees for record of the year are repeated here. However, artists like Miley Cyrus, Batiste, and Janelle Monáe are unlikely to win due to their lack of impact beyond a single hit or their recent win in 2022. A more deserving contender is Lana Del Rey’s Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd, which showcases grandeur that will appeal to the Academy. Taylor Swift’s Midnights may not be as groundbreaking as her previous winning albums, and she may lose votes to strong contenders like Olivia Rodrigo and Boygenius. This could open the door for SZA’s SOS, one of the best mainstream American albums of this century. SZA’s music captures the complexities of human emotion and her storytelling and stylistic journey are captivating. If Swift manages to win, she will be the first artist to win this category four times, but her engineer Serban Ghenea would hold the record with five wins if she does.

Will win SZA
Should win SZA

Miley Cyrus, nominated six times at this year’s Grammys.

Display the image in full screen mode.

The top song of the year.

Lana Del Rey – A&W
Taylor Swift – Anti-Hero
Jon Batiste – Butterfly

Rephrase: “Let’s Dance All Night with Dua Lipa”
Miley Cyrus – Flowers
SZA – Kill Bill
Olivia Rodrigo – Vampire
Billie Eilish – What Was I Made For?

Another very similar lineup, though given this category’s celebration of lyrics and melody, it’s odd that Dance the Night is included, even if you (tenuously) argue that its lyrics are meant to be inane as part of Barbie’s satirical universe. That film’s What Was I Made For? is much more deserving, turning literal-minded plot references into a genuinely moving (and exquisitely produced) existential inquiry, and could maybe pip this. Swift’s “it’s me, hi, I’m the problem, it’s me” became a much-memed mantra for the knowingly self-involved, and while some lines have her tendency towards debate-team cleverness – “Did you hear my covert narcissism I disguise as altruism / Like some kind of congressman?” – she self-searches with enjoyably forensic accuracy. The Academy can be quite conservative and some voters might find the sprawling, provocative A&W downright weird, Vampire too sweary or balk at the violence in SZA’s ex-slaughtering Kill Bill – but the latter is a huge hit with brilliant storytelling and the most persuasive chorus melody here. Flowers will also be admired for its sturdy, classic craft but don’t discount Butterfly – sentimental, hackneyed and much less streamed than the rest it may be, my lip duly wobbled after hearing that it’s about Batiste’s cancer-beating wife, and Batiste is already well-liked by the Academy.

Will win Taylor Swift – Anti-Hero

Olivia Rodrigo’s “Vampire” should be the winner.

Victoria Monét performing in October 2023 – the R&B star is up for seven awards.

Display the picture in full screen mode.

Best new artist

Gracie Abrams
Fred Again
Ice Spice
Jelly Roll
Coco Jones
Noah Kahan
Victoria Monét
The War and Treaty

Having a major success can greatly benefit you in this group. Exuding a star-like quality even when she is standing still, let alone with her rapid-fire New York drill flow, Ice Spice would be a highly deserving winner with her hit songs “Boy’s a Liar” and “In Ha Mood” – but the Academy tends to overlook rap and favor more traditional artists. Fred Again may not be a mainstream favorite yet, but he is well-known among voters for his extensive experience behind the scenes. Noah Kahan’s popular and melodic album “Stick Season” has achieved global success, but he surprisingly did not receive nominations in other categories, including his genre. Two other strong country/Americana artists, Jelly Roll and The War and Treaty, could potentially take votes away from him. Young women have historically performed well in this category – recent surprise winners include Alessia Cara and Samara Joy – and the trendy and emotive Gracie Abrams faces little competition in her genre. However, it is likely that Victoria Monét will win – the Academy will be captivated by the story of this songwriter (for artists like Ariana Grande) stepping into the spotlight, and this is the perfect opportunity to reward her without the strong competition she faces from SZA in the R&B categories. And of course, Monét’s music itself is a major factor – her richly sensuous production may overpower lesser artists, but her skillful songwriting always shines through with clever lyrics and unexpected chord changes.

Victoria Monét will be the winner.
Should win Ice Spice

Top solo performance in the pop genre

Miley Cyrus – Flowers

Reworded: Doja Cat presents “Paint the Town Red”.

“What Was I Made For?” by Billie Eilish.
Olivia Rodrigo – Vampire
Taylor Swift – Anti-Hero

The most intense competition of the evening, with each song being extremely popular. The talented Doja Cat has the ability to defeat any opponent with a single look from a far distance, but she seemed to be in her element while performing “Paint the Town Red.” However, this may not be enough to win against the other contenders. In terms of numbers, “Flowers” has been the most successful and it’s possible that Miley Cyrus will receive votes from Academy members who want to show their support in these closely contested categories. This is especially true since Cyrus has never won a Grammy before. However, it is likely that Taylor Swift will once again come out on top, as a recognition from the music industry for her incredibly successful “Eras” tour.

Taylor Swift will be the victor – Anti-Hero.
Should win Olivia Rodrigo – Vampire

Best rap performance

Baby Keem and Kendrick Lamar – The Hillbillies
Black Thought – Love Letter
Drake and 21 Savage – Rick Flex
Killer Mike – Scientists and Engineers (ft André 3000, Future & Eryn Allen Kane)
Coi Leray – Players

Some of the submissions here are frustrating. Despite the talent of 21 Savage, Drake, and other notable MCs featured on Rich Flex and Scientists & Engineers, there seems to be a lack of cohesiveness and direction. It’s like driving through an unfamiliar one-way street on each track. Coi Leray’s Players is decent, but it’s also unremarkable, overly nostalgic, and lacking in creative lyrics and performance. Black Thought’s Love Letter, on the other hand, is a standout track that is sure to catch the attention of the Grammys. It’s an a cappella freestyle paying tribute to the entire history of hip-hop, and Black Thought’s delivery and flow are impressive. However, it may not be as widely heard as it deserves to be. This could mean that the likely winner, despite Kendrick Lamar winning last year and being part of this duo in 2022, will be The Hillbillies. This track has quirky, Russian doll-inspired production, with a sample of Brit-jazz artist Alabaster DePlume’s Visit Croatia, which was also sampled by Bon Iver on a separate track. The duo of cousins, Lamar and Baby Keem, add to the appeal by playfully wooing their partners and exchanging dating advice, creating a comedic masterpiece. As Baby Keem jokingly says, “Shorty say she celibate, imma keep hoping,” while Kendrick responds, “She’s not!”

Baby Keem and Kendrick Lamar are predicted to be the winners of “The Hillbillies.”

The Hillbillies should be awarded to Baby Keem and Kendrick Lamar.

Best rock performance

The Arctic Monkeys’ “Sculptures of Anything Goes”

The band Black Pumas’ song “More Than a Love Song”

Boygenius is not sufficiently powerful.
Foo Fighters – Rescued
Metallica – Lux Æterna

Phoebe Bridgers, with her unapologetic display of emotions through her clothing and accessories, is a highly influential figure in the world of rock music. Her supergroup, Boygenius, is a strong contender for this award due to their emotionally charged songs. One of their songs, Not Strong Enough, stands out with its blend of alternative coolness and mainstream pop-rock, leading to a powerful climax. While there are other notable contenders like Foo Fighters and Metallica with their straightforward and catchy songs, they lack the current cultural relevance. The inclusion of Black Pumas and their soulful track More Than a Love Song, which is highly overrated, seems like a mismatch. On the other hand, Arctic Monkeys’ Sculptures of Anything Goes is a strangely captivating ballad that could be the theme song for a James Bond movie directed by Andrei Tarkovsky. It stands out as one of the top three songs by the Monkeys and redefines the boundaries of rock ballads. If we consider the best performance as the criteria, Alex Turner’s vocals alone are deserving of recognition, with carefully chosen words and precise delivery.

The winner of Boygenius will be determined by their strength, and it is currently not sufficient.

Arctic Monkeys should be the winner for their rendition of “Anything Goes” in the “Sculptures of Anything Goes” category.

Chris Stapleton performing at Super Bowl LVII in February 2023 – he is aiming at a fourth win for best country solo performance.

Display the image in full screen mode.

Top solo performance in a country setting

Tyler Childers – In Your Love
Brandy Clark – Buried

Reworded: “Fast Car” by Luke Combs.
Dolly Parton – The Last Thing on My Mind
Chris Stapleton – White Horse

This year, the quality in this particular category has been consistently high, covering a wide range of genres and avoiding any controversial politics that may have overshadowed it in the past. Dolly Parton, who has previously been successful in this category, may have a strong chance with her impressive performance of “The Last Thing on My Mind”, conveying both tenderness and regret towards a departing lover while also showing determination. Tyler Childers and Brandy Clark both express their enduring love in powerful songs, with Childers incorporating synth and pedal steel in a unique way and Clark delivering a heartbreakingly simple pop-bluegrass arrangement. Luke Combs had a major hit with his cover of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car”, leading to some criticism about Chapman’s struggles as a Black, queer woman in the country music scene compared to Combs’ success. However, Chapman herself spoke positively about the cover, praising how Combs stayed true to the original while adding subtle country elements. Meanwhile, three-time winner Chris Stapleton’s song “White Horse” stands out as one of the best in any category this year. It exudes a bold country-rock sound often associated with commercials for gas-guzzling pickup trucks, but Stapleton’s powerful vocals add a ruggedness and vulnerability to the lyrics, challenging traditional male country stereotypes.

The winner of Luke Combs’ “Fast Car” will be announced.
Should win Chris Stapleton – White Horse

Source: theguardian.com