Category: Album of the Year a.k.a. The Big One
Arcade Fire - "The Suburbs"
Eminem - "Recovery"
Lady Antebellum - "Need You Now"
Lady Gaga - "The Fame Monster"
Katy Perry - "Teenage Dream"
Who Will Win: Eminem - "Recovery"
Who Should Win: Eminem - "Recovery"
Why: "Teenage Dream" won't win because we refuse to believe we live in a world where Katy Perry can win an Album of the Year Grammy. If Perry does win, concern yourself with the impending apocalypse and not the Grammys. The indie kids might be rooting hard for "The Suburbs," but the Arcade Fire's latest LP is neither "OK Computer" nor "Elephant," two vastly superior albums that were shut out in the big category. Country-tinged albums have won the past two Album of the Year Grammys -- Taylor Swift's "Fearless" and Robert Plant & Alison Krauss' "Raising Sand" -- so we doubt voters would go three straight years for the genre.
It will come down to Eminem and Lady Gaga. The main problem for Gaga is that she's up for "The Fame Monster," a bonus EP that tagged along with the re-release of "The Fame," the album that should've been nominated last year. "The Fame Monster" boasts the more sophisticated bunch of Gaga's hits ("Bad Romance," "Telephone," "Alejandro"), but it's an eight-song companion to "The Fame" -- it's technically an EP. We don't see Grammy voters going in on a mini-album, but it was certainly a strong release and nothing would cement Gaga's megastar status like an Album of the Year win.
Over on Sportsbook, Eminem is the huge favorite -- you'd have to bet $400 to win $100 on "Recovery," while betting $100 on "The Fame Monster" gets you $400 if Gaga wins -- and really, anyone who bets against Eminem really has distaste for their hard-earned money. This is the Year of the Slim Shady. "Recovery" is the year's biggest album and "Love the Way You Lie" is the year's biggest song, and no one at the Staples Center should be surprised if Eminem walks away with the night's two biggest awards.
Back in 2001, Eminem received the first of his Album of the Year nods for "The Marshall Mathers LP"... and promptly lost to Steely Dan's forgettable "Two Against Nature." Two years later, "The Eminem Show" was defeated by Norah Jones' "Come Away With Me." We're putting it in writing now that third time's a charm for Eminem. OutKast's "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below" is the only rap album to ever win Album of the Year; "Recovery" will mark the second.
Who Won Last Year: Taylor Swift's "Fearless"
Who Won Five, 10, 20 Years Ago: U2 ("How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb"); Steely Dan ("Two Against Nature"); Quincy Jones ("Back on the Block")
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- Katy Perry