Six early Grammy album of the year contenders
We hear you, we know it’s only been a little more than two weeks since the Grammy Awards aired, but we’re looking ahead to potential album of the year nominees for the 2014 ceremony.
The eligibility period runs Oct. 1, 2013-Sept. 30, 2014, so we’re a little more than 1/3 of the way through that time frame and we already have a surprisingly strong list of contenders.
The nominees won’t be announced until December, but here are six potential albums we wouldn’t be surprised to hear their names called when the time comes.
We listed them alphabetically by artist’s name.
Arcade Fire, “Reflektor”: After Arcade Fire stunned almost everyone by winning album of the year in 2011 for “The Suburbs,”their new album, “Reflektor” garnered some of the best reviews of the Canadian collective’s careers, especially for its integration of new rhythms. Plus, leader Win Butler added to the band’s cache when he earned an Oscar best score nod (along with Owen Pallett) for “Her.”
Beyonce, “Beyonce”: Bey surprised everyone when she dropped the 14-song set with no warning on Dec. 13. Sexy, potent, and powerful, the album reflects the breadth of her talent and why she is the Queen B of pop and R&B. If they gave Grammys for confidence, she’s win by a mile.
Broken Bells, “After the Disco”: Mournful, melancholy and just plain beautiful at times, Danger Mouse and The Shins’ James Mercer’s second go-round is a meditative, often difficult to listen to, exploration of love and why it almost always seems to go wrong. Their ability to create a mood, armed with their synthesizers and a handful of mostly acoustic instruments is unparalleled.
Rosanne Cash, “The River & The Thread”: Johnny’s daughter does him proud with a reflective geographical and spiritual travelogue inspired by trips she and husband/producer/co-writer John Leventhal took through the deep south as they worked with Arkansas State on the university’s purchase of her father’s childhood home.
Eminem, “The Marshall Mathers LP 2": Eminem and Rick Rubin made an album that is not so much a sequel to his 2000 classic (and album of the year nominee), “The Marshall Mathers LP,” as it is a “revisitation,” as Eminem calls it. The set recalls his unselfconscious stream of consciousness from an era when he was less concerned with spouting a mood and message as he was with taking you on a wild and, often, very darkly entertaining ride.
Katy Perry, “Prism": If “Teenage Dream” declared her delight with love, inspired by her then-pending marriage to Russell Brand, then “Prism” is the flip side: the album looks at what happens when the fairytale crashes to the ground. It ends with Perry in love again, so this may be a cycle we go through every album, but from fun, empowerment hit single, “Roar” to weirdly compelling “Dark Horse,” “Prism” shows that Perry isn’t afraid to reflect on her dark side.