If you thought Record of the Year was just a repeat award to get last year’s Song of the Year winner Adele on stage to say “Fank you” one more time, you’re wrong, but we can clear it up for you. Basically, the Song title is given to whoever composed the lyrics and music on a track (hey, Taylor Swift!), while the geniuses in the booth who sang, produced, engineered or mixed it all together get the Record trophy (what up, Taylor Swift + team!).
So, which nominated single had the best recording of 2012? We broke down why three of Sunday’s six nominees have infectious enough sounds to collect the gramophone. Take our poll below to tell us if you think The Black Keys‘ “Lonely Boy,” Kelly Clarkson‘s “Stronger,” Fun.‘s “We Are Young,” Gotye‘s “Somebody That I Used To Know,” Frank Ocean‘s “Thinkin Bout You,” or Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever…” will ultimately take home the Grammy.
“Lonely Boy” – The Black Keys
When a song can turn a dancing, part-time security guard extra into the one-shot focus of an entire music video, you know it’s good. Dan Auerbach’s now ubiquitous guitar riff intro is enough to hook you before the beat and that infectious organ-like even keyboard slide in. It’s enough to make you get up and do the Carlton. Unsurprisingly, 2011 Grammy Producer of the Year winner, Danger Mouse, assisted on the tune’s catchy production. “And the winner is…” Yup, sounds about right.
“Somebody That I Used To Know” – Gotye Featuring Kimbra
This You Oughta Know alum that was the only Billboard 100 chart-topper to utilize a xylophone as an entry point for an ear-wormy track. And before it spawned a million covers, it was produced in a barn by its Aussie musician Gotye. That’s right, Mr. Wally de Backer also produced and mixed the track he already wrote, sang and played various instruments on. Give him all of the Grammys.
“We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” – Taylor Swift
Against a concert-clapping beat, T. Swizzle ditches her country twang for some classic, pop-vocal talk-singing. Lest we think pop savants Max Martin and Shellback were solely behind this shift in Swift, it should be noted she got a nod as co-producer on the track. Missing the softer country lilt of Taylor pre-Gyllenhaal? Well if she gets the Grammy for this one —if its easily gained Billboard chart-topping status is any indication of how engrossing the tune is to people, she might— her and country music might never ever be getting back together. Like ever.