Lorde of the Grammys: Arts staff predicts big night for ‘Royals’ songstress

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By Arts Staff

The 56th Annual Grammy Awards airs this Sunday at 8 p.m. on CBS. Ryan Asselin ‘15, Sam Bertschmann ‘14 and Elana Katz ‘14 share their picks for winners in the major categories.

RECORD OF THE YEAR

Ryan’s pick: “Royals,” Lorde

“Royals” is simple and extremely catchy.

Sam’s pick: “Royals,” Lorde

I think it will be close between “Royals” and “Get Lucky,” but Lorde’s debut single is so impressive both lyrically and musically that I predict she will clean up on Sunday. She’s 17 years old, critically adored and at the top of the charts; what have you done lately?

Elana’s pick: “Get Lucky,” Daft Punk ft. Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers

Daft Punk got Grammy buzz right after they dropped this song. It was the song of the summer and no one could turn it off. The only thing that might be better than the original is Jimmy Fallon and Rashida Jones’ parody: “We’re Up All Night to Get Turkey.” They wrote it for Thanksgiving and obviously got snubbed at the Grammys.

SONG OF THE YEAR

Ryan’s pick: “Royals,” Lorde

Young singer and songwriter Lorde demonstrates a true talent in music.

Sam’s pick: “Royals,” Lorde

I could see Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Same Love” taking the prize for its heartwarming message, but Lorde’s vocals and songwriting abilities are truly unparalleled in contemporary pop music. While I grew weary of every other song in this category quickly, I still get excited when I hear the opening notes of “Royals.”

Elana’s pick: “Royals,” Lorde

While I think Katy Perry’s “Roar” has a solid chance as well, Lorde made a big impact as the underdog female singer from New Zealand. “Royals” is catchy and has an important message. I think her work deserves some recognition.

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Ryan’s pick: Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, Kendrick Lamar

A true, matured album that tells the story of Kendrick Lamar’s life, Good Kid, M.A.A.D City speaks to many of its listeners.

Sam’s pick: The Heist, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

This album spawned hit after hit and I can’t imagine that this particular competition will be a close one. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are surely in for a good night. Aaaand none for Taylor Swift.

Elana’s pick: The Heist, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Macklemore has been on the music scene for a while now but finally got recognition with this enormously well-received album. With songs like “Can’t Hold Us,” “Thrift Shop” and “Same Love,” this album definitely made 2013.

BEST NEW ARTIST

Ryan’s pick: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Exploding onto the scene last year, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis released The Heist, one of the greatest collections of deep, well-written and well-performed songs of our time. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis were more than just musicians in 2013, they were absolute pinnacles of success.

Sam’s pick: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

I don’t know that this duo quite qualifies as “new” since these two have been collaborating since 2000, but there is no doubt that Macklemore & Ryan Lewis dominated the charts in 2013.

BEST ALTERNATIVE MUSIC ALBUM

Elana’s pick: Trouble Will Find Me, The National

I will stand by this album being the best out there for alternative music in 2013. Aside from being The Mindy Project’s Danny Castellano’s favorite band, The National has consistently produced beautiful music. I saw them twice on their tour promoting this particular album, and each time they blew me away. Trouble Will Find Me has so much depth and is surely worthy of the Grammy with hits such as “Don’t Swallow the Cap,” “I Should Live in Salt” and “Graceless.”

BEST RAP PERFORMANCE

Ryan’s pick: “Swimming Pools (Drank),” Kendrick Lamar

Catchy and unique, Lamar unleashes a few different vocal deliveries throughout the ballad about his first real experience with alcohol.

BEST RAP SONG

Ryan’s pick: “Fuckin’ Problem,” A$AP Rocky ft. Drake, 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar

On “Fuckin’ Problem,” each artist kills his verses, making this song deserve the award.

Sam’s pick: “Holy Grail,” Jay-Z ft. Justin Timberlake

If Jay-Z and JT take home the Grammy in this category, so does Nirvana; in the bridge, Timberlake sings: “And we all just entertainers/And we’re stupid, and contagious/Now we all just entertainers,” sampling lyrics from “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” What a lovely way to honor this legendary band on the 20th anniversary of frontman Kurt Cobain’s death.

BEST RAP ALBUM

Ryan’s pick: Yeezus, Kanye West

On Yeezus, Kanye West once again showed his genius. Complex and contradictory, Yeezus is the musical embodiment of Kanye West.

BEST ROCK SONG

Sam’s pick: “Cut Me Some Slack,” Dave Grohl, Paul McCartney, Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear

Paul McCartney joined forces with the remaining members of Nirvana — dubbed “Sirvana” by the press — to record this track in the legendary Sound City Studios in Los Angeles (Nevermind is just one of many classic albums recorded there). The song is powerful, as is the documentary Grohl directed about the studio’s history, simply titled Sound City.

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