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As the Feb. 10 55th annual Grammy Awards edge closer, we’re analyzing a category a day. Today, we look at one of the big four general awards: the coveted Song of the Year.
Song of the Year nominees:
"The A Team" Ed Sheeran, songwriter (Ed Sheeran)
"Adorn" Miguel Pimentel, songwriter (Miguel)
"Call Me Maybe" Tavish Crowe, Carly Rae Jepsen & Josh Ramsay, songwriters (Carly Rae Jepsen)
"Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" Jörgen Elofsson, David Gamson, Greg Kurstin & Ali Tamposi, songwriters (Kelly Clarkson)
"We Are Young" Jack Antonoff, Jeff Bhasker, Andrew Dost & Nate Ruess, songwriters (Fun featuring Janelle Monáe)
WHO’S MISSING: Mumford & Sons’ “I Will Wait” is an obvious omission here, as are record of the year nominees Frank Ocean’s “Thinkin’ ‘Bout You” and Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know.”
THE PLAYERS: Song of the year goes to the songwriter, so it’s helpful to think of the tunes in demo form, stripped of nothing but a voice and maybe a guitar or piano. Quite frankly, this isn’t that strong a slate. While “Call Me Maybe” certainly captured a pop culture moment, so did “Gangnam Style”: That doesn’t make something a great song. Miguel’s “Adorn” has dominated the R&B charts, staying at No. 1 for 20 weeks, but that won’t necessarily sway the vote since this category is open to the entire 12,000-voting panel. People really like Kelly Clarkson, but more for her voice than for the song “Stronger.” Ed Sheeran is developing into a really great songwriter, but his material with Taylor Swift and One Direction is more interesting than “The A Team.”
THE ODDS: This is a race between “Call Me Maybe,” for its iconic status, and “We Are Young,” which is the far more interesting song.
THE WINNER: “We Are Young,” Jack Antonoff, Jeff Bhasker, Andrew Dost & Nate Ruess, songwriters (Fun featuring Janelle Monáe)