Best Comedy Album
Lisa Lampanelli, Back to the Drawing Board
Wyatt Cenac, Brooklyn
Jay Mohr, Happy. A Lot.
Craig Ferguson, Just Being Honest
Louis C.K., Live at Madison Square Garden
Usually comedy is a no surprises affair, and I think that Louis C.K. is the clear favorite and is probably going to take it. The Wyatt Cenac record is my personal favorite of these, though.
PREDICTION: Louis C.K., Live at Madison Square Garden
Best Spoken Word Album
Patti Smith, Blood on Snow
Dick Cavett, Brief Encounters
Jimmy Carter, A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety
Janis Ian and Jean Smart, Patience and Sarah
Amy Poehler, Yes Please
This one’s up in the air as it covers a bunch of different performers that the Grammys love to give this award to: legendary musicians (Ian, Smith), humor albums of the non-stand up variety (Cavett, Poehler) and audio-of-the-book from former Presidents (Carter). However, if Patti Smith wins this it will be her first every Grammy! How nuts is that?! I’m gonna have to give her the edge in that regard: The Grammys love to make nice with legends they’d previously snubbed.
PREDICTION: Patti Smith, Blood on Snow
Best Musical Theater Album
An American in Paris
The King and I
When I made my predictions for the Big Four awards on Facebook, I actually had Hamilton predicted for Album of the Year. That didn’t happen, but it’s going easily take this one. Consider this another one of the night’s sure things.
Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media
Empire: Season 1
Fifty Shades of Grey
Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me
Pitch Perfect 2
I think this one goes to the compiler of the soundtrack? In that case, this thing might go to Pitch Perfect 2. Not really super-sure about this one.
PREDICTION: Pitch Perfect 2
Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media
Antonio Sanchez, Birdman
Alexandre Desplat, The Imitation Game
Hans Zimmer, Interstellar
Johann Johannsson, The Theory of Everything
Justin Hurwitz, Whiplash
The score was one of the most striking things about Birdman, and I think the film’s Best Picture win will give it a leg up here.
PREDICTION: Antonio Sanchez, Birdman
Best Song Written for Visual Media
The Weeknd, “Earned It (Fifty Shades of Grey)” (from Fifty Shades of Grey)
Common & John Legend, “Glory” (from Selma)
Ellie Goulding, “Love Me Like You Do” (from Fifty Shades of Grey)
Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth, “See You Again” (from Furious 7)
Lady Gaga, “Til It Happens to You” (from The Hunting Ground)
Gee, I hope all these nominations for the two Fifty Shades songs and “See You Again” doesn’t mean that they’re Oscar Song of the Year contenders (of course that probably means they are: I love Ellie Goulding, but “Love Me Like You Do” isn’t her at her best; Neither is “Earned It” something that best showcases The Weeknd). This is easily Common and John Legend’s category again, with a strong showing from Lady Gaga and Diane Warren providing strong competition
PREDICTION: Common & John Legend, “Glory” (from Selma)
Producer of the Year, Non Classical
This is been a big year for Diplo, and he’s nominated here for cuts from his groups Jack U and Major Lazer, as well as cuts from Madonna and Travie McCoy. He should easily best Bhasker, his closest competition, here.
Best Music Video
ASAP Rocky, “LSD” (director: Dexter Navy)
The Dead Weather, “I Feel Love (Every Million Miles)” (director: Cooper Roberts & Ian Schwartz)
Kendrick Lamar, “Alright” (director: The Little Homies & Colin Tilley)
Taylor Swift feat. Kendrick Lamar, “Bad Blood” (director: Joseph Kahn)
Pharrell Williams, “Freedom” (director: Paul Hunter)
This is basically between two videos: Kendrick’s visually striking and symbolic “Alright” and Taylor’s star-studded, big budget, Joseph Kahn directed epic. “Bad Blood” struck me as VMA bait (it, natch, won Video of the Year there) and its concept is muddled. Unlike the VMAs, however, the Grammys tend to like artier videos, and I’m going to guess that will tip this in “Alright”‘s favor. However, it could also easily go to “Bad Blood”. I’m going to err on the side of caution and pick “Alright” as my prediction, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if “Bad Blood” took this one.
PREDICTION: Kendrick Lamar, “Alright” (director: The Little Homies & Colin Tilley)
Best Music Film
Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown (director: Alex Gibney)
Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways (director: Dave Grohl)
What Happened, Miss Simone? (director: Liz Garbus)
Roger Waters: The Wall (directors: Roger Waters and Sean Evans)
Amy (director: Asif Kapadia)
This award – formerly called “Best Long Form Music Video” (which often wasn’t the case) – usually goes to documentaries or concert film (or in rare cases, actual long form music videos). This is a pretty solid list of nominees. While the Grammys would give this award to Dave Grohl’s Foo Fighters thing in any other year, it’s up against two strong music docs in the form of What Happened Miss Simone? and Amy. While Amy may be an Oscar favorite for Best Documentary, I’m going to guess that the Grammys will edge this towards the Nina Simone doc, but this is another one that could go one of two ways.
PREDICTION: What Happened, Miss Simone? (director: Liz Garbus)
Those are all the awards I’m comfortable predicting. I’m not brushed up well enough on classical, tropical, regional folk, engineering or album notes to make solid guesses in those categories. While I am familiar with the genres, I don’t know enough of the nominees in the Latin, jazz, spoken word and world categories to make solid predictions there. You can check out the other categories I didn’t go through here.
Of note, David Bowie’s greatest-hits album offering “Sue (or In A Season of Crime)” is the only familiar rock name up for award I’ve barely heard of called Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals. Also, Kamasi Washington’s highly acclaimed The Epic was shut out of all the jazz categories (that’s why I didn’t make any predictions there; It would have been the clear winner otherwise).
What are your predictions for the Grammys? Let us know in the comments!