The Grammys are the least credible of all the major entertainment award shows, which makes them all the more fun to pick apart. Here's some analysis on a few of the categories, of which there are way too many (why do you have Best R&B Album and Best Urban Contemporary Album?).
Best Rap Performance
What Doesn't Belong: "HYFR"
What Should Win: "****** in Paris"
On first listen, "****** in Paris" didn't impress me, mostly because of its carnival funhouse beat and the use of the word "cray." But I, and seemingly everyone else in the country, grew to love it, since it's simply a fun song to scream in a bar without any
Best Pop Solo Performance
What Doesn't Belong: "Set Fire to the Rain (live)"
What Should Win: "Call Me Maybe"
Look, Adele, you had your day last year, all right? You won this category last year with a song off the same album as the studio version of "Set Fire to the Rain," along with your bajillion other wins that you accepted. Carly Rae Jepsen can't sing as well as you, but she made the most ubiquitous song of the year -- it was released out of nowhere and a week later everyone knew the entire song by heart. She
Album of the Year
What Doesn't Belong: Babel
What Should Win: channel ORANGE
Here's what it's like listening to Babel if you've never heard Mumford & Sons before: "Man, Mumford & Sons rock! ... This song's good too -- sounds a little like the last one ... wow, these guys go to the same well a lot ... OK, this is annoying." Frank Ocean's magnificent channel ORANGE offers the complete opposite experience, with each song being more surprising than the last. It's also a way more fun album to croon to in the shower, although that's probably a matter of personal preference.
Best New Artist
Who Doesn't Belong: Frank Ocean
Who Should Win: Alabama Shakes
Frank Ocean's not new. In 2011, he killed it on Kanye and Jay-Z's "No Church in the Wild," on Tyler, The Creator's "She" and his own "Novacane," which still ranks in his top 3 songs. Alabama Shakes had a more sudden rise, going from "Obscure Band That Released a Good 4-Song EP" to "That Janis Joplin-Led Zep Fusion Band That You Overpay On StubHub To See Live" in less than a year. Yep, those are official titles.
Record of the Year
What Doesn't Belong: "We Are Young"
What Should Win: "Somebody That I Used To Know"
"We Are Young" is boring. It's drawn out, it completely wastes Janelle Monáe and "Some Nights" is better. It's not fun. at all. While "Thinking Bout You" is a better song (and actually came out in 2012 -- I don't get these Grammy rules), "Somebody That I Used To Know" should win for its improbable impact, for its amazingly weird video and for ushering in the return of the mop-top.
Follow Pete McQuaid on Twitter @sweetestpete.