There’s no such thing as a lock when it comes to The Grammys. Never forget that Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d. city failed to win Best Rap Album the year it came out, or that Herbie Hancock won Album of the Year with a Joni Mitchell covers album over Kanye’s Graduation and Amy Winehouse’s Back To Black respectively. But if you’re a betting man, then Beyonce’s Lemonade snagging Album of the Year at the awards ceremony this year is as close to a sure thing as you can get.
The reasons for Lemonade being the odds-on favorite are numerous. Bey mined both personal and political turmoil for twelve excellently-crafted pop songs, making an album that was simultaneously intimate, intriguing and culturally important. It’s her second-straight album that caused a worldwide freeze the moment it was released, with people scrambling to understand it, talk about it and hear it again. Despite her many, many awards, she has never won the Grammy for Album Of The Year, and this feels like a record that was crafted specifically to garner that honor.
On top of that, none of her competitors in the category show as much range. This album finds Beyonce flitting effortlessly between Betty Davis-style hellfire kiss-offs, straight-up country songs and early Vampire Weekend B-sides before landing on the minimalist manifesto of “Formation.” No one album encompassed as many of the sounds of the last year as Lemonade.