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Taylor Swift, Green Day and Kanye West will nab noms for best album, our Grammy seers say

August 24, 2009 |  9:27 am

Since the cut-off date for Grammy eligibility is approaching (Aug. 31), it's time for award nuts like us to start predicting the top races. Sure, nominations won't be revealed until December, but, hey, that just means we have more time to noodle, argue, harrumph and pontificate.

Of course, nobody's better at that than David "Guru" Schnelwar and Darrin "Double D" Dortch, moderators of our Grammy forums. Below, they offer their early forecast for the album of the year category. Curiously, they agree on three of five nominees: Green Day's "21st Century Breakdown," Taylor Swift's "Fearless" and Kanye West's "808s & Heartbreak."

While reading their expanded views, keep in mind the voting process used by the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences. All 16,000 members may cast ballots for the top four awards known as the general field — best record, song, album and new artist — but their input only has partial weight. They merely whittle down the list of contenders in each race to a top 20. Thereafter, music of those finalists is listened to by a secret committee of 25 music experts who gather in a Los Angeles hotel for a weekend and choose the final five in those four categories.

Taylor Swift Lada Gaga Kanye West

ALBUM OF THE YEAR: GURU'S PREDIX
(Front-runners)
"Together Through Life," Bob Dylan
"21st Century Breakdown," Green Day
"The Fame," Lady Gaga
"Fearless," Taylor Swift
"808s & Heartbreak," Kanye West
 
(Possible)
"Black Ice," AC/DC
"I Am . . . Sasha Fierce," Beyonce
"The E.N.D. (Energy Never Dies)," Black Eyed Peas
"Big Whiskey & The GrooGrux King," Dave Matthews Band
"Relapse," Eminem
"I Look to You," Whitney Houston
"BLACKsummers'night," Maxwell
"Lotus Flower," Prince
"Working on a Dream," Bruce Springsteen
"No Line on the Horizon," U2
"Wilco (The Album)," Wilco

GURU'S COMMENTARY: In the past two years, the album of the year race has had a single representative from each genre.

Example: In 2008 — Robert Plant & Alison Kraus (folk), Coldplay (rock), Lil Wayne (rap), Ne-Yo (R&B) and Radiohead (alternative).

Example: In 2007 — Herbie Hancock (jazz), Foo Fighters (rock), Vince Gill (country), Kanye West (rap), Amy Winehouse (pop)

This pattern is not set in stone, but I expect that this year will be no different.

Taylor Swift's "Fearless" is the biggest-selling album of 2009. Swift performed on the 2008 Grammy nomination special and telecast without any nominations. That is usually a good indicator. I expect Taylor Swift to represent the country field in the album of the year race.

Two-time album of the year winner U2 opened the 2008 Grammys with "Get on Your Boots" without any nominations. That is noteworthy and something to consider when predicting this year's nominations. The other serious rock field possibility is Green Day's "21st Century Breakdown." They were previously nominated in this category for 2004's "American Idiot."

The 1997 album of the year winner, Bob Dylan, has been nominated twice in the past 12 years for album of the year. Dylan exemplifies the folk field.

Kanye West is hoping for his fourth consecutive album of the year nomination for "808s & Heartbreak."  The big question is how will Kanye's album be categorized.  Other rap field hopefuls are two-time album of the year nominee Eminem and the Black Eyed Peas.

Lady Gaga's "The Fame" could be the first dance field album to be nominated in the general field. It will be interesting to see how the Grammys respond to her success.

If an R&B field album gets nominated for album of the year it will be either Beyonce's "I Am . . . Sasha Fierce,"  Maxwell's comeback album "BLACKsummers'night" or the anticipated return of Whitney Houston's "I Look to You."

Dave Matthews Band is overdue for some general field attention. "Big Whiskey & the GrooGrux King" is its first album since band member/saxophonist Leroi Moore's passing.

Critically acclaimed Wilco was expected to be nominated in 2000 for "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot."  They were overlooked for album of the year then and are hoping for better luck this year. Their album might be considered rock, alternative or folk: three fields they have previously been nominated in.

Other veterans to consider are Bruce Springsteen, Prince and AC/DC.


ALBUM OF THE YEAR: DOUBLE D'S PREDIX

(Front-runners)
"The E.N.D.," Black Eyed Peas
"21st Century Breakdown," Green Day
"BLACKsummers'night," Maxwell
"Fearless," Taylor Swift
"808s & Heartbreak," Kanye West
 
(Possible)
"Black Ice," AC/DC
"Big Wiskey & the Groogrux King," Dave Matthews Band
"Together Through Life," Bob Dylan
"Relapse," Eminem
"I Look to You," Whitney Houston
"The Fame," Lady Gaga
"Dark Horse," Nickelback
"Working on a Dream," Bruce Springsteen
"No Line on the Horizon," U2
 
DOUBLE D'S COMMENTARY: Swift is in unless voters show a bias against her age/genre of music. "Fearless" is one of the year's most successful albums critically and commercially. After that, this category is a toss-up. It's been a weak year for music, so Kanye will likely earn his fourth nomination in this category. Everyone loves a good comeback, and Maxwell's album has been well received by both critics and fans. The commercial success of the Black Eyed Peas will land them a nod here, and Green Day will round out the category unless Grammy voters decide to honor any of the veteran nominees/winners -- U2, Springsteen, Dylan, Eminem, Whitney Houston, etc.

Photos: Big Machine Records, Interscope Records, Reprise Records, Rock-A-Fella Records

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Comments

"Why count The Jonas Brothers out? Their new album "Lines,Vines,and Trying Times" is great."

Really? Let's vote, instead, on Disney stars OR A&R executives in the GRAMMY(tm) board of directors first, lol.

"Kenny Chesney more pop than she is,"

Wow, Sam. And there we were all thinking that Taylor Swift if breaking the envelop in calling her music "country"... pot calling the kettle white?

Haha Taylor isn't Country??? What you don't like country but like taylor so you say she isn't country??? Kenny Chesney more pop than she is, shows how much you know about country in 2009-10. Get over the she ain't country part. She is one of the best country artists. No different musical style than the others.

GRAMMYS 2010 PREDICTIONS:

Record of the year:

• ‘The Fear’ – Lily Allen
• ‘Boom Boom Pow’ – The Black Eyed Peas
• ‘Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)’ – Beyoncé
• ‘Champion’ – Ace Hood Feat. Rick Ross & Jazmine Sullivan
• ‘Love Story’ – Taylor Swift

Song of the year:

• ‘If I Were A Boy’ – Beyoncé
• ‘Lions, Tigers And Bears’ – Jazmine Sullivan
• ‘You Found Me’ – The Fray
• ‘Melody’ – Kate Earl
• ‘Pretty Wings’ – Maxwell

Album of the year:

• ‘I Am... Sasha Fierce’ – Beyoncé
• ‘No Line On The Horizon’ – U2
• ‘Fearless’ – Taylor Swift
• ‘The E.N.D. (Energy Never Dies)’ – The Black Eyed Peas
• ’21st Century Breakdown’ – Green Day

Best new artist:

• Cobra Starship
• Gabriella Cilmi
• Kate Earl
• Keri Hilson
• Drake

Best pop female vocal performance:

• ‘Halo’ – Beyoncé
• ‘The Fear’ – Lily Allen
• ‘My Life Would Suck Without You’ – Kelly Clarkson
• ‘You Belong With Me’ – Taylor Swift
• ‘Poker Face’ – Lady Gaga
• ‘Melody’ – Kate Earl

Best female R&B vocal performance:

• ‘Ego’ – Beyoncé
• ‘Energy’ – Keri Hilson
• ‘Oops (Oh My)’ – Tweet
• ‘Trust’ – Keyshia Cole Feat. Monica
• ‘Long Distance’ – Brandy

Best male R&B vocal performance:

• ‘Blame It’ – Jaime Foxx
• ‘Birthday Sex’ – Jeremih
• ‘Pretty Wings’ – Maxwell
• ‘Gibberish’– Ryan Leslie
• ‘Together’ – Trey Songz Feat. Christina Milian

Best R&B song:

• ‘Pretty Wings’ – Maxwell
• ‘Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)’ – Beyoncé
• ‘Blame It’ – Jamie Foxx
• ‘Birthday Sex’ – Jeremih
• ‘Together’ – Trey Songz Feat. Christina Millian

Why count The Jonas Brothers out? Their new album "Lines,Vines,and Trying Times" is great.

Album of the year:

• ‘I Am... Sasha Fierce’ – Beyoncé
• ‘No Line On The Horizon’ – U2
• ‘Fearless’ – Taylor Swift
• ‘The E.N.D. (Energy Never Dies)’ – The Black Eyed Peas
• ’21st Century Breakdown’ – Green Day

I do not think Taylor Swift merits an Album of the year nomination so early in her career. She will not get the vote from traditional country voters as her album is too pop, and she remixes her songs to pop, which will not go over very well with them. Also, her singing voice is not good. She destroyed that Brenda Lee song last year at the nominations ceremony. Anyway, I am hoping for Lady Gaga to sweep this year.

I do not agree with you on Taylor Swift getting an album nomination. It is too soon in her career for that, and her singing voice is not on par with anyone else in country music. She is a talented young songwriter with much potential for the future, but right now, she writes bubble gum songs about teen love. Nothing special there.
I am rooting for Kanye or Dave Matthews Band. I would love to see Lady Gaga get some love too. She has had a big year!

You can't be serious about Taylor swift for album of the year? That is like nominating the Hanna Montana of country music. But she is not really "country" anyway, as she remixes all her songs to pop. I just don't see that her album is worthy as it is mostly bubble gum pop. Her singing voice is not good either.

Go Dave Matthews Band for Album of the year! Prove them all wrong Baby! Your album rocks!

What about Dave Matthews and Eminem? Eminem could take Kanye's slot in my opinion. I liked Kanye's album, but Eminem's is better. Also, I do not think Taylor Swift deserves an album of the year nomination for her largely pop album. It is not very country, and the traditional country voters are not going to reward her for that. Plus her live singing voice is well below par. Just keeping it real.

I am rooting for Dave Matthews Band for Album of the year. This was their best lalbum in years, and they have been overlooked in recent years by the Grammy voters. This will be a big year for them. I also do not agree with the Taylor Swift love here. She is not a very strong vocalist. Not trying to be mean, but I am an honest person. She is better off as a songwriter then a vocalist. However, her album is not on par with Album of the year. Maybe in a few years when she writes more mature material and not teen pop songs. The traditional country voters will not support her for Country Album with this pop album. Trust me. You will see that I am right about this.

I don't understand the Taylor Swift love either. Have you actually heard her sing live before? You must have, at the Grammy nominations ceremony when she butchered that Brenda Lee song. Everyone was slamming that performance as horrid. Then the grammy performance was pitchy as well. She is not a good enough vocalist to be considered seriously for a Grammy, in my opinion. She is a decent songwriter, but it is mostly about teen love and bubble gum cheesey songs. I think Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood are vastly superior to Taylor, though their albums are not eligible this year.

I disagree about Taylor Swift. Her album to me is bubble gum pop without alot of soul or depth. Sure, the tweens love it, but I am in my 30's and to me it is Hanna Montana countrified. Plus, it is not really "country" anyway as she is mostly a pop singer, who remixes all her songs to pop. I don't respect that. She had great sales, but her vocals are horrendous, especially live. While vocal ability is not necessarily a huge factor for an album nod, I think it is considered, and should be. Also, traditional country voters will not take too kindly to her pop remixing as they snubbed Shania Twain for the same reason. It is cheating, and shows you are not a true country artist, but manipulate your songs to make a quick buck. My money is on Dave Matthews Band for Album of the year.


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