Musicians in the world are nervously waiting for February 8th Grammy Awards and Sam Smith dominates the big categories. Lee Phelps is looking at the betting and taking on the odds with his free picks.
The 57th Grammys are just around the corner and we have four categories to bet on ahead of the ceremony on February 8th. I’ve looked at the Grammy odds and stats on Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Album of the Year and Best New Artist.
Record of the Year
The Grammy for Record of the Year is awarded to the performer and the production team of a single song. This is what differentiates it from Song of the Year, which is awarded to the writer/composer of the winning song.
Sam Smith ‘Stay With Me’, Iggy Azalea ‘Fancy’, Sia ‘Chandelier’, Taylor Swift ‘Shake it Off’ and Meghan Trainor ‘All About That Bass’ are the nominees here. I’m looking over the two Australians, despite no Aussie ever losing in this category (they have had two nominations before) and in Azalea’s case no hip-hop track has ever won the award. All About That Bass sounds a little too commercial for a Grammy, so that leaves us with Taylor Swift and Sam Smith.
Despite her seven previous awards, Swift is yet to win Record of the Year. If she lands it this time, it will be third time lucky.
What a 2014 for Sam Smith! His single ‘Stay With Me’ has been nominated for both Record of the Year and Song of the Year and has been recognised in all four of the major awards meaning his total of six nominations puts him level with Beyonce and Pharrell Williams for the most this year.
It’s got the same kind of feel to ballads that have won before and there’s some ‘course and distance’ for the team behind the song, with three former Grammy winners: Tom Coyne and Steve Price who worked on Adele’s 21 and Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins who won the Best R&B Song back in 2000 for Destiny’s Child’s “Say My Name”
Free Grammy Pick: Sam Smith 2.00 (Evens)
Song of the Year
It’s hard to oppose Sam Smith here, but ballads haven’t done as well in this category as in the Record of the Year, so rather than backing him at 1.91 (10/11) I’m looking elsewhere. Hozier’s ‘Take Me To The Church’ is a little obscure, despite my daughters loving Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake It Off’ I’m not sure the writing is that fantastic, All About That Bass is a bit close to a novelty tune, so that leaves Sia and ‘Chandelier’.
At 5.0 (4/1) I think that’s great value for an excellent songwriter who has worked with Madonna, Rihanna and Britney Spears. I’m banking on it being her time to shine as a solo artist here. She has plenty of Grammy credits in recent years, she contributed to the success of many other artists, writing hit songs for Ne-Yo ("Let Me Love You"), Rihanna ("Diamonds"), and David Guetta ("Titanium"). Her songs have also been recorded by Katy Perry, Celine Dion, Eminem, and Christina Aguilera. On top of all that, she co-wrote "Pretty Hurts," which is featured on Beyonce's self-titled album, nominated for Album of the Year.
Free Grammy Pick: Sia ‘Chandelier’ 5.0 (4/1)
Album of the Year
I love a value bet and I like the Grammy pick in this category, but maybe it is my student grunge days ruling my head. As reported on the Gramophone Reporter blog: “Beyoncé’s self-titled album was the best-selling record during the eligibility period, its innovative ‘visual’ concept, the notoriety of its release, universal acclaim, and well we are talking about 17-time winner Queen Bey.”
There are, however, some negatives. She’s been completely ignored from the Record and Song of the Year categories, and there has been some debate about the “over production” on the album.
I’m going for Beck here with his album ‘Morning Phase’. It has elements that usually go down very well with voters, like orchestral arrangements and live instrumentals. He’s a three-time Grammy winner and engineer Bob Ludwig has seven Grammy Awards at home already.
There is also a thought that the similarity of the other nominees may leave a path for Beck to reprise those glory years in the late 1990s.
Free Grammy Pick: Beck ‘Morning Phase’ 9.0 (8/1) (Blue Moon)
Best New Artist
As much as I want to oppose Sam Smith here, I simply can’t. He is 1.2 (1/5) to be named the best newcomer and with his six nominations, including the three we have discussed here in the big categories, it’s nailed on. If you like 1/5 shots, get involved.
Free Grammy Pick: Sam Smith 1.2 (1/5)