Grammy Awards 2013: Handicapping Record of the Year
As the Feb. 10 55th annual Grammy Awards edge closer, we’re analyzing a category a day. Today, we look at one of the top four awards, Record of the Year.
Record of the Year nominees:
“Lonely Boy,” The Black Keys (The Black Keys & Danger Mouse, producers)
“Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You,” Kelly Clarkson (Greg Kurstin, producer)
“We Are Young,” fun. featuring Janelle Monae (Jeff Bhasker, producer)
“Somebody That I Used to Know,” Gotye featuring Kimbra (Wally de Backer, producer)
“Thinkin’ ‘Bout You,” Frank Ocean (Frank Ocean, producer)
“We Are Never, Ever Getting Back Together,” Taylor Swift (Max Martin, Shellback, Taylor Swift, producers)
WHO’S MISSING: Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” is a much better record than song (see the explanation below) and it would have fared better in this category than in Song of the Year. Mumford & Sons’ “I Will Wait” continued what “Little Lion Man” and “The Cave” started, which is strong acoustic guitar and banjo playing brought to the forefront in the mix, which isn’t something you hear every day on pop radio.
THE PLAYERS: Unlike Song of the Year, which goes to the songwriter, Record of the Year is an award for the artist and the other people involved in the sound of the record, including the producer and engineer. All of the selections here offer interesting productions, but “We Are Young” and “Somebody That I Used To Know” were especially noteworthy for their non-traditional, innovative productions. Clever arrangements made both songs stand out like beacons in the cluttered radio landscape. They sounded like nothing else coming out of the speakers and they both helped usher in a new era of pop music that is smart as it is accessible.
THE ODDS: Fun. has more nominations than Gotye overall and that can sometimes sway voters. Both “We Are Young” and “Somebody That I Used to Know” were massive hits. In fact, four of the six songs nominated here were Billboard Hot 100 chart toppers.
THE WINNER: “Somebody That I Used To Know,” Gotye (by a nose)
2014 | Thriller | RSummary: Strangely compelling story of an unusual woman, played with ethereal detachment by Scarlett Johansson, who seductively guides lost men to their doom.Director: Jonathan Glazer
Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy McWilliams, Lynsey Taylor Mackay
2015 | Adventure | GSummary: Fun and talented animal fairy Fawn believes you can't judge a book by its cover, or an animal by its fangs, so she befriends a huge and mysterious creature known as the NeverBeast. While Tinkerbell and her friends aren't so sure about this scary addition to Pixie Hollow, the elite Scout Fairies s...Director: Steve Loter
Cast: Mae Whitman, Ginnifer Goodwin, Lucy Liu, Raven-Symoné
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: In one of the most perceptive "nerd movies" ever made, a socially incompetent role playing game master finds himself consumed by jealousy when a charismatic cool kid invades his friend group.Director: Katie Graham, Andrew Matthews
Cast: Sam Eidson, Brock England, Garrett Graham
2013 | Drama | NRSummary: Marion Cotillard is impeccable as a Polish immigrant coerced into working for a charismatic villain even as she is pulled towards life with a mysterious magician.Director: James Gray
Cast: Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix, Jeremy Renner
1988 | Comedy | RSummary: Prince Akeem, heir to the throne of Zamunda, leaves the tropical paradise kingdom in search of his queen. What better place than Queens, New York to find his bride? Joined by his loyal servant and friend, Semmi, Akeem attempts to blend in as an ordinary American and begin his search.Director: John Landis
Cast: Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones, John Amos
2014 | Thriller | RSummary: This twisted and evilly funny thriller tears apart both marriage and the media as a man (Ben Affleck) becomes a prime suspect in the disappearance of his wife, played to perfection by Rosamund Pike.Director: David Fincher
Cast: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Kim Dickens
2011 | Drama | NRSummary: An amnesiac young woman (Sybil Temtchine) wakes up, face down on the footprints of Graumans Chinese Theatre, and spends one day, from sunrise to sunset, entirely on Hollywood Boulevard, piecing together her identity through her interaction with a host of disparate characters and famous locales.Director: Steven Peros
Cast: Sybil Temchen, H.M. Wynant, Pippa Scott, John Brickner
2014 | Drama | TV-14Summary: In the Ramapo Mountains, a sheriff must keep order in both a small town and the Ramapo Lenape Nation community nearby.Director: Aaron Guzikowski
Cast: Martin Henderson, Jason Momoa, Julianne Nicholson
2005 | Adventure | PGSummary: A family in financial crisis is forced to sell Lassie, their beloved dog. Hundreds of miles away from her true family, Lassie escapes and sets out on a journey home.Director: Charles Sturridge
Cast: Peter O'Toole, Samantha Morton, John Lynch, Peter Dinklage
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