Saturday, April 20, 2024

Grammy Deadline Is Here: Some Albums of the Year for 2014


Tonight as the government shuts down, so does arrive the Grammy deadline. Albums are eligible for the 2014 Grammy Awards if they were released between October 1, 2012 and today. The pickings are slim but still pretty decent all the same. It’s always interesting to see who pushed hard to make the date and who didn’t.

Those who released albums last fall after the deadline for 2013 included Alicia Keys with “Girl on Fire” and Van Morrison with “Born to Sing: No Plan B.” Will the Grammy committees remember them or will they fall into an abyss? The Van Morrison album is one of the best of his long, illustrious career.

So what will the committee have to choose from? First of all, there’s Justin Timberlake‘s Complete 20/20 Project, JT released part 2 today to make the deadline (albums are usually released on Tuesdays). He’s in, no matter what, and at this point will probably win Album of the Year from the sheer momentum.

What else?

There will be a big push for Bruno Mars‘s “Unorthodox Jukebox,” released in December 2012. It was unorthodox because the lead single was a rip off of The Police. Even now, a year later, it’s an embarrassment frankly.

Also from last year: Macklemore and Ryan Lewis‘s “The Heist.” It was released on October 9, 2012, although many of its pieces had already come out. They are no England Dan and John Ford Coley, that’s all I can say on the subject.

Another given is Robin Thicke‘s “Blurred Lines” album. The song remains ubiquitous. We’ll see what happens. Same for Daft Punk and “Get Lucky,” although the single really belongs in the Dance Music category.

Best album? Elton John‘s “The Diving Board” could be a surprise in a lot of categories. T Bone Burnett produced, with great songs by Elton and Bernie Taupin. Elton John has never won a Grammy for Best Album despite a catalog of beloved collections from “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” to “Madman Across the Water” and about a dozen more. “The Diving Board” seems like a natural. It’s just magnificent.

Jay Z‘s “Magna Carta Holy Grail” if for nothing but the main title sung by Justin Timberlake. The Grammys will very JT and JZ on January 26th. Trust me.

What about “Yeezus”? It’s hard to imagine, but maybe just to appease Kanye. It’s not his best work.

David Bowie’s “The Next Day” was a total triumph, with lots of memorable songs and beautiful production. A total return to form and a sales success as well.  Rod Stewart‘s “Time” album was also excellent and got no promotion or marketing.

Elvis Costello‘s “Wise Up Ghost” with the Roots– a moody, beautiful collection with Elvis at his lyrical best.

There’s also Sting‘s “The Last Ship” which will go into traditional pop and should win handily.

What about women? Taylor Swift‘s “Red” will come back to bite us– it was released in October 2012. You know she’s looking at Album of the Year. Emeli Sande‘s wonderful “Our Version of Events” album was officially released in February 2012. There was a re-release in October 2012, but I don’t think that will work. Katy Perry had just a single, “Roar,” which will get Best Record and maybe Best Song. Lady Gaga has the “Applause” single. Sara Barielles had “Brave.” But other than those and Alicia Keys it was a light year of the ladies.

What were your favorites during the Grammy eligibility year?

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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