About a week or two ago, the nominees for the 2018 Grammy Awards were revealed to the public. In recent years, I have been pretty disappointed with both the nominees for the Grammy’s and the results. The Recording Academy seemed to pander too much to what was popular and commercial rather than what was actually good quality music. Upon seeing the nominations for some of the major categories this year, I was pretty pleased. For the first time in a while, I thought the Grammy’s got it right. I’m not sure if I should attribute this fact to them actually making good choices or the quality of music just being all around better in 2017. I thought I would share my thoughts on the nominees and say who I think should take home the award in each category. Let’s start with Record of the Year.
Record of the Year
“Redbone” — Childish Gambino
“Despacito (Remix)” — Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee feat. Justin Bieber
“The Story of O.J.” — JAY-Z
“HUMBLE.” — Kendrick Lamar
“24K Magic” — Bruno Mars
Overall, I think this is a pretty good group of tracks for Record of the Year. The only track that I’m unfamiliar with is Jay Z’s “The Story of O.J.,” but other than that, I know the other nominees pretty well. Record of the Year is based off of a song’s sound and production quality. “Redbone” is a groovy track that anyone could vibe too. “24k Magic” is another groovy tune with funky throwback sounds. “HUMBLE” is a west coast hip-hop banger. Although I think other tracks should have taken “Despacito’s” place among the other nominees, the track has clear, crisp guitars with a signature Latin flare. If I had to pick a winner for this category, I’d have to give it to “Redbone.” The bass line and the funky guitar riff weaved throughout the track are so infectious, the production is pristine, and as I said earlier, anyone could vibe to it.
Album of the Year
“Awaken, My Love!” — Childish Gambino
4:44 — JAY-Z
DAMN. — Kendrick Lamar
Melodrama — Lorde
24K Magic — Bruno Mars
I can’t say too much about this category because I have only listened to Melodrama and DAMN. all the way through. DAMN. is brilliant plain and simple. It is Kendrick’s Lamar’s most listenable/radio-friendly album, but it is still socially conscious. “HUMBLE,” “DNA,” “ELEMENT,” “LOYALTY,” and “LOVE” are all standout tracks. Kendrick Lamar is the real deal. Melodrama is also an amazing album from its lyrics to the production. I’m a huge Lorde fan. Her debut Pure Heroine is one of my favorite albums of all time. While I did not like Melodrama as much as its predecessor, it was still enjoyable. “Homemade Dynamite,” “Supercut,” “Hard Feelings/Loveless,” and “Perfect Places” are gems. Out of all of the albums nominated, I could relate to Melodrama the most. I’ve heard a lot of the singles from 24k Magic, and while I don’t think the tracks are bad, I’m not a huge fan of throwback music. It’s not that it sounds bad, I just think it sounds unoriginal. I heard that 4:44 and “Awaken, My Love!” were amazing, but I don’t have an opinion on them since I haven’t listened to them yet. This was a really tough category for me to pick a winner for because Melodrama and DAMN. are both so great, but I think I’d have to give it to DAMN. because it’s more impactful. Not many people can make conscious music that also sounds good, and Kendrick mastered that.
Song of the Year
“Despacito”-Luis Fonsi ft. Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber
“4:44” -Jay Z
“Issues” -Julia Michaels
“1-800-273-8255” Logic ft. Khalid and Alessia Cara
“That’s What I Like”-Bruno Mars
Song of the Year is all about a track’s lyrical content, and I must say these are weak nominees. There were so many tracks with better lyricism than what we have here. I love the Spanish language, but if “Despacito” is translated into English, it isn’t saying much. It is just another pop song. I haven’t heard “4:44,” so I can’t really comment. “Issues” is an annoying song in terms of sound, but lyrically it doesn’t do much for me either. “1-800-273-8255” is a socially conscious song that sounds good, so I’m a fan. “That’s What I Like” isn’t really saying anything at all, so I don’t know why it was nominated for this category. The final verdict? “1-800” should take home the award.
Best New Artist
Lil Uzi Vert
I think this is a good group of nominess for Best New Artist. Lil Uzi Vert is changing the hip hop culture, and I love “XO TOURLIFE.” When I saw Coldplay a year ago, Alessia Cara opened for them, and I thought she was very talented. I do think some of her songs are generic, but she has beautiful voice and I hope she sticks around. I’m not a fan of Julia Michaels. SZA is a generational talent. “Love Galore” and “Supermodel” are textbook R&B tracks. Khalid is something special. The youth really identify with him, he’s unique, and he’s versatile. I love “Young Dumb and Broke,” “Location,” and all of the other songs he’s featured on. To me, Khalid is the most promising artist, and in some cases the most memorable out of this group. I think he should win.
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
“Something Just Like This”- The Chainsmokers & Coldplay
“Despacito”– Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee Featuring Justin Bieber
“Thunder”- Imagine Dragons
“Feel It Still”-Portugal. The Man
” Stay”- Zedd & Alessia Cara
I’m a total Coldplay homer, but I wasn’t the biggest fan of their collaboration with The Chainsmokers. I will give “Despacito” its props for being such a musical juggernaut, but it’s not the best song-it’s just generic. I actually liked “Thunder” even though there is not much to the track at all. “Feel It Still” is a jazzy little song that I enjoyed on many a car ride. “Stay” is a nice upbeat track, but it doesn’t break new ground, and it got a bit annoying. I’d give the Grammy to “Feel It Still.”
Best R&B Performance
“Get You”- Daniel Caesar Featuring Kali Uchis
” That’s What I Like”- Bruno Mars
“The Weekend”- SZA
“That’s What I Like” is more of a pop song to me, so I don’t really know why it’s here. The other tracks I either haven’t heard or I’m indifferent towards. I think SZA should win. She has the most soul and the most personality.
Best Rap Performance
“Bounce Back” -Big Sean
” Bodak Yellow”-Cardi B
” HUMBLE.”-Kendrick Lamar
“Bad And Boujee”– Migos Featuring Lil Uzi Vert
I like “Bounce Back,” even though it’s not saying much. The track is one of Big Sean’s best. “Bodak Yellow” is trash. I haven’t heard “4:44.” “Bad and Boujee” was great for memes and the internet, and it is catchy, but it’s not a high quality rap song. I’m sorry. That leaves “HUMBLE.” as the clear winner of this category. It’s a banger that says something. This category overall is pretty weak. There were way better rap tracks that could’ve been here.
Best Pop Solo Performance
“Love So Soft”-Kelly Clarkson
“Million Reasons”- Lady Gaga
“What About Us”- P!nk
“Shape Of You”- Ed Sheeran
I find “Shape of You” to be almost insufferable, which is crazy considering I initially enjoyed it. It is one of the most generic songs that Sheeran has put out. I think “Love So Soft” is a solid effort by Kelly Clarkson. It’s definitely soulful. “Praying” was a slowburner for me, but now I love it. I love that Kesha’s growth and maturity is on display, and it culminated in a very soulful and emotive performance. “Million Reasons” is a great track by Lady Gaga,while P!nk’s “What About Us” is kind of blah to me. I mean does it not sound like everything else she has put out before? I’d give this one to Kesha. She has come quite a long way since her “Tick Tock” days.
Well, those are my thoughts on some of the 2018 Grammy nominees. Overall, I think the collection of artists nominated is pretty strong. It will be interesting to see who takes home the awards next month.
Thanks for reading,
Couturely Sound ❤