As Sunday evening’s festivities loom, our thoughts turn to a Grammy category that recognizes not an isolated song or collaboration, but the artists’ entire cohesive work: their album. Regardless of how well-crafted this year’s nominated LPs are, the contenders behind them all have big shoes to fill.
At last year’s Grammy ceremony, take-the-world-by-storm Adele took home the trophy not just for Album of the Year, but for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and then some. Who will be rightfully handed-off the Album torch now? Should it be The Black Keys’ El Camino, fun.’s Some Nights, Mumford & Sons’ Babel, Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange, or Jack White’s Blunderbuss?
El Camino, The Black Keys
If you’ve ever seen their live show, you know the two-man magic that occurs between Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney on stage is thrilling to watch. Distilling that energy down to a group of recordings and sprinkling in some Danger Mouse production, and you’ve got some album greatness that found its way not just into your headphones, but onto dozens of inescapable ad placements and commercial bumpers this year.
Some Nights, Fun.
Crowned by sing-along tracks like “We Are Young,” fun.’s second full-length album, Some Nights, is the band’s sledgehammer introduction to the world. Pairing lead singer Nate Ruess’s vocals with soundbeds provided by Alicia Keys, Kanye West and Beyonce-producer Jeff Bhasker, the group was catapulted into the spotlight, and are a fan-favorite at this year’s Grammys.
Babel, Mumford & Sons
This dashing four-piece was nominated for six Grammys last year, but the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences sent the boys back to the UK empty-handed. The follow up to Sigh No More, however, is Babel, and after some experience under their belts and increased popularity, we’re rooting for the You Oughta Know all-stars to finally be rewarded for their collection of heart-warming folk anthems.
Channel Orange, Frank Ocean
Whether or not it lived up to the hype after his mixtape, there’s no question that Channel Orange was one of the most anticipated albums in recent memory. Boasting beautiful, vulnerable lyrics and an unconventional first single, we hope that Frankie —also nominated for Best New Artist— won’t put the pen down any time soon. Add to that features from André 3000 and John Mayer, and it’s possible that Def Jam might be able to revel in a win Sunday night- one that could come from an artist that —gasp!— was initially left on the shelf.
Blunderbuss, Jack White
Jack White has been a man of many bands over the years, but after blazing his own trail last April with his solo debut album, he snagged a #1 album spot on the Billboard chart from his supportive fan base. A literal one-man show, the singer/songwriter not only vocally performed the cuts on Blunderbuss, but he wrote, produced and recorded them as well- all the while receiving album reviews that were well above average. And who could forget that “Love Interruption” reveal around Valentine’s Day last year? Oh, just me?
Opinions are like a$%&@!#s, and everybody’s got one, so we want y’all to weigh in! Will Album of the Year go to the former-indie American rock gods, the new school pop band with soaring vocals, the flannel-rocking Brits, the poetic savior of R&B, or the music-nerd revered multi-instrumentalist? Vote below, and let us unite in saying “we respect your decision either way, but take that Academy!”