Here's a roundup of Grammy forecasts from diverse sources, including L.A. Times music journos, The Envelope's Buzzmeter contributors and our forum moderators plus Yahoo music guru Paul Grein. Upshot: little harmony over who'll win two of the top four races: best record and song. There's a bit of consensus, however, over the other two categories: album and new artist of the year.
First, let's check in with Times scribe Ann Powers, who riffs on the best-album race HERE, picking Kanye West's "Graduation," as most pundits do. She also contributes to our Buzzmeter, where you can find her predix for best record (Beyonce's "Irreplaceable") and song ("Umbrella"). By the way, a side note: the difference between those two similarly sounding awards is that one goes to the recording artist (record), the other to the songwriter (song).
To see the full Buzzmeter breakdown, CLICK HERE to check out our aggregate views, then click on any link for "Individual Panelist's Rankings" to see predix per pundit in various races. Extended Play blogger Todd Martens and I agree that Kanye's got the album trophy and that Rihanna's "Umbrella" will take record and song and Amy Winehouse gets best new artist as a consolation prize after losing the other three top slots.
Veteran kudos seer Paul Grein usually has a trusty Grammy crystal ball, but I think he's going out on shaky limbs for Beyonce's "Irreplaceable" in the record race and Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats" for best song while he pens Yahoo's predix. CLICK HERE. However, many times I've questioned his calls in the past only to proven wrong, so I won't brazenly say that those limbs will crack.
Now to our forum moderators, who do an ace job predicting most categories with accompanying text explaining their (dueling) views.
Darrin "DoubleD" Dortch seems to be drunk on Winehouse. He's picking her for best album because, he says, " I think the critical hosannas, commercial success, buzz and general heat will put (her) over the top." He says "Rehab" will take record, too, because "voters favor good old-fashioned traditional songs with live instruments" and song because she's "the sole credited songwriter on the track." Read his full predix report — CLICK HERE.
David "Guru" Schnelwar offers his take HERE. He picks Kanye for best disc because it's his "third consecutive album of the year nomination in this category," adding, "It reminds me of the Academy Awards with the 'Lord of the Rings.' How their third consecutive nomination for best picture finally gave them the win."
He picks "Umbrella" for record because it's "the song that will be remembered from 2007. Unlike other previous Urban/Top 40 record of the year nominees like OutKast' s 'Hey Ya,' Beyonce's 'Crazy In Love,' Usher's 'Yeah' and even Gnarls Barkley's 'Crazy,' 'Umbrella' is also nominated for song of the year."
Even though the tune that wins best record frequently claims the song kudo, too, Guru opts for "Like a Star" in the song race because "lyrics with stories and meanings have been winning in this category. Examples: 'Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own,' 'Daughters,' 'Dance With My Father.' "
While most other gurus are going for Winehouse in the new artist slot, our forums Guru notes, "A non-U.S. artist has not won best new artist since 1989. That was Milli Vanilli. If you don't count their win as legitimate, then since 1985 with Sade." Instead, he picks Taylor Swift because, "she is a singer/songwriter. Her music crossed over to AC, AC Top 40 & Pop Radio during the voting period. Her album and two singles are doing well on the Billboard charts."