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The 2023 GRAMMY nominations are in

By Anthony Cesario


It’s that time of the year again: nominations for the GRAMMY awards have been announced and I find myself in heated discussions about them, despite my firm belief that the GRAMMYS are nothing more than a glorified, deeply flawed, popularity contest. But it’s still the most recognized award show in the world of music, so let’s talk about the nominees for the four big categories this year.


  1. Record of the Year


Nominees:

  • “Don’t Shut Me Down” - ABBA

  • “Easy on Me” - Adele

  • “BREAK MY SOUL” - Beyoncé

  • “Good Morning Gorgeous” - Mary J. Blige

  • “You and Me on the Rock” - Brandi Carlile

  • “Woman” - Doja Cat

  • “Bad Habit” - Steve Lacy

  • “The Heart Part 5” - Kendrick Lamar

  • “About Damn Time” - Lizzo

  • “As It Was” - Harry Styles


Never thought you’d see ABBA and Kendrick Lamar in the same category, did you? Anyway, this isn’t a bad collection of songs at all – in fact, I actually like most of them – but there’s nothing really mind-blowing on here either. As always, it feels more like a selection of songs that were popular (or tailored to the GRAMMYs voting committee) rather than ones that are actually deserving of a production-based award. A lot of the artists here have better deep cuts that could’ve fit the category better (e.g. Kendrick Lamar, Beyoncé, Adele), and the artist here I’d most like to see take home the award (ABBA) will probably be overshadowed by someone more predictable. I would’ve liked to see some Spanish songs on the ROTY nominee list, because in terms of production, I feel they stole the show this year easily.


My vote: “Don’t Shut Me Down” or “BREAK MY SOUL”

My predicted winner: “About Damn Time,” “BREAK MY SOUL,” or “As It Was”

Snubs: “Después de la Playa” - Bad Bunny, “SAOKO” - ROSALÍA



  1. Album of the Year


Nominees:

  • Voyage – ABBA

  • 30 – Adele

  • Un Verano Sin Ti – Bad Bunny

  • RENAISSANCE – Beyoncé

  • Good Morning Gorgeous – Mary J. Blige

  • In These Silent Days – Brandi Carlile

  • Music of the Spheres – Coldplay

  • Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers – Kendrick Lamar

  • Special – Lizzo

  • Harry’s House – Harry Styles


This past year had some incredible new albums, but you wouldn’t really know by the list of AOTY nominees. I wish Avril Lavigne (Love Sux) and Lana Del Rey (Blue Banisters) had gotten nods as they’re my two favorite albums to have been released during the eligibility period, but I’m not surprised to see them absent from here as they’re not really GRAMMYs fodder. I also believe ROSALÍA (MOTOMAMI) should’ve definitely gotten nominated instead of Coldplay’s album, whose presence is frankly an insult to the legitimacy of the whole thing. There’s only two albums here that should even be in contention to win – RENAISSANCE and Un Verano Sin Ti – with Un Verano Sin Ti being the logical choice considering it dominated the entire year. I love 30, but I really hope it doesn’t win over Beyoncé’s album again…


My vote: Un Verano Sin Ti; I will also be happy if RENAISSANCE wins

My predicted winner: Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers or 30

Snubs: MOTOMAMI (ROSALÍA), Blue Banisters (Lana Del Rey), Love Sux (Avril Lavigne)



  1. Song of the Year


Nominees:

  • “abcdefu” – GAYLE

  • “About Damn Time” – Lizzo

  • “All Too Well (10 Minute Version)” – Taylor Swift

  • “As It Was” – Harry Styles

  • “Bad Habit” – Steve Lacy

  • “BREAK MY SOUL” – Beyoncé

  • “Easy on Me” – Adele

  • “God Did” – DJ Khaled

  • “The Heart Part 5” – Kendrick Lamar

  • “Just Like That” – Bonnie Raitt


Another middling selection of songs here, with one of them being the obvious choice for an award dedicated to songwriting (“All Too Well”). Though I would actually love to see “abcdefu” win, not because it deserves to (I don’t hate the song like most people do, but it definitely should not have been nominated in a lyricism-based category), but because the sheer chaos and vitriol that would ensue if that happened would be a sight worth seeing.


My vote: “All Too Well (10-Minute Version)”

My predicted winner: “All Too Well (10-Minute Version)”

Snubs: Too many count; at least half of these songs are nowhere near SOTY material


  1. Best New Artist


Nominees:

  • Anitta

  • Omar Apollo

  • DOMi & JD Beck

  • Muni Long

  • Samara Joy

  • Latto

  • MÅNESKIN

  • Tobe Nwigwe

  • Molly Tuttle

  • Wet Leg


Another year, another request that the GRAMMYs please retitle “Best New Artist” to “Breakthrough Artist of the Year,” because so many of these artists are not new. I’m going to be honest, I’m not too familiar with a lot of these artists so I don’t have any strong opinions. However, I’m super stoked to see Omar Apollo on the list, as he definitely deserves the recognition. I only really hope Wet Leg doesn’t win because I can’t stand their music.


My vote: Omar Apollo, though I wouldn’t be mad if Anitta, Latto, or MÅNESKIN won

My predicted winner: Anitta or Wet Leg

Snubs: I’m not a huge fan of hers, but I am surprised not to see GAYLE on this list



The 65th GRAMMY Awards will take place on Feb. 5.


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