The Grammy’s , music’s biggest night is here to celebrate music and musicians and Album of the year is probably its most coveted award. Last year we saw Taylor Swift bag this one even though I still feel Kendrick was a more deserving candidate for “To Pimp a Butterfly” but past is past and this year we have a new mix of artist nominated for it. Let’s take a look at them one by one.
1.) Beyonce – Lemonade
Well this album was in the list of my favorite albums of 2016 and those who have read that already know that I truly love this album. It is a very solid record and Beyonce is a big favorite to take home the award and moreover the Academy voters seem to like her a lot given she has won 20 grammys in her career already and I believe she is the strongest candidate for this category as well as others. The album was huge received well universally both by fans and critics so expect her to walk away with this.
2.) Justin Bieber – Purpose
Purpose wasn’t an album I was going to listen to. Not hating on Justin but it’s just that I don’t really see him as an artist I would like to listen a complete album from. Prior to the announcement of the nods I had heard the singles and wasn’t really disappointed with them. “Sorry” was cool, “What do you mean?” was fine, “Love Yourself” written by Ed Sheeran sounds like a Sheeran song which Justin got his hands on because he even seems emulate Ed on this but is a good song, so is “Where are U now?”. So, I did hear the complete album after seeing this nomination and I did see growth not that much of an artistic growth but more of a personal growth by that I mean in age. He couldn’t have made the music he made 5 years ago and he didn’t. This is a very modern sounding album with nice moods and good production almost all over it but the vocals do leave a lot to be desired, even more from an album which up for this award. Overall this is a mediocre album and I don’t expect the Academy to award mediocrity so not expecting Justin to win this.
3.) Adele – 25
Queen Adele has been up on that famous Grammy stage to receive this award and many more and this year she is in the race again with an album that went on to break probably all the sales records and sold more copies in the first week than what 99.99% of the albums manage to sell in their lifetime. I liked the album and given that it is a quality project and has more universal appeal than any of its competitors, it is a very strong candidate to win the award. The vocal performance from Adele is astounding on the whole record, lyrics are good but the production does feels a bit lacking at places throughout the album. Personally, I would prefer “Lemonade” over “25” but if Adele wins it I’ll be very okay with it.
4.) Drake – Views
Drake is one of biggest active male music artist and Views further helped him cement his position. It’s his biggest album commercially and also has some of the biggest songs of his career in “Hotline Bling” and “One Dance”.I liked the album a lot upon first listen but with passage of time the album started to feel a bit too long most probably due to the monotonous tones, vocals that continue throughout the album. There are a lot of catchy beats in the record and songs like “Hotline Bling” are a really good example of a chill song. I also like what Rihanna does on “Too Good”. “Fire and Desire”, “Views” and “Weston road flows” are some really good tracks. But I feel the album would have been much better if it was about 75% of its length. I don’t expect or back Drake to win the award Views.
5.) Sturgill Simpson – A Sailor’s Guide to Earth
This is another album I might not have heard if it wasn’t nominated for The Grammys. It might be among the compulsory Country/Folk nomination that we have every year but just like every album we have had from this genre or category in recent year this is very solid album. It’s not your regular major label country record, it comes with its own individuality, we even see the cover of a Nirvana song (In Bloom) on this which is handled really well. The album doesn’t stretch at all and is very compact with just 9 songs in it. Each and every song here contributes to the flow of the album. It is a good record but if it wins it’ll only be a surprise victory. I don’t expect it to win the accolade though a victory won’t be completely undeserving.
So, these are the nominees. Well I wouldn’t say that these 5 are the best album from the eligibility period for this year’s award certainly there were better albums released during that period but the academy has chosen them and I hope the best among them i.e. Lemonade wins it.