Making any kind of Grammy prediction means getting in the heads of the 10,000 or so Grammy voters. In no category is that more difficult than for album of the year since all voters can cast their ballots. Also, a voter never ages out, so that means a member who wonders why he can”t find parts for his beloved 8-track player has just as much say as a producer who helmed four projects this year.
While Grammy voters have gotten considerably hipper over the years, it”s probably still a bit too much to hope that the likes of Grizzly Bear”s “Veckatimest” would get a nod, but it”s completely realistic to think that the Decemberists” “The Hazards of Love” might. And no, you crazy “Twilight” fans, the soundtrack will not be the first to win album of the year since “Brother, Where Art Thou” in 2002.
There are few sure things this year: we”d predict that Taylor Swift”s “Fearless” and Beyonce”s “I Am…Sasha Fierce” are both very likely finalists. Otherwise, it”s anybody”s guess. There”s no apparent heir to last year”s winner, Alison Krauss & Robert Plant”s “Raising Sand” or even the more populist nominee, Coldplay”s “Viva La Vida.”
The nominees for album of the year and several other categories will be announced during a prime time special on CBS Dec. 2. The Grammys will air Jan. 31, 2010, a few weeks earlier than usual in order not to collide with the Winter Olympics. What that means is that NARAS, the Grammys organizing body, shaved a month off the eligibility period. Only albums released between Oct. 1, 2008-Aug. 31, 2009 are eligible.
Here are our leading contenders for the final five.
Let the debate begin. Whom do you think we left off?
Look for additional breakdowns in the weeks to come before the nominees are announced.