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The Pomegranate

The Student News Site of Granada High School

The Pomegranate

Grabbing Life by the Horns

The Pomegranate’s Picks For the 66th Grammys

The nominations for the 2024 Grammys are out and they will celebrate an incredible year of music. Not only are some of the most popular artists nominated this year, but the biggest categories are dominated by women. This is a tough set of nominees to judge and every category has several nominees who could easily win. But, the Recording Academy has a reputation of placing popularity and biases over actual musical talent so there is a definite difference between who should win and who actually wins. These are the Pomegranate’s picks for who deserves to win some of the biggest categories and some insight on who is likely to win.

Album of the Year

One of the biggest (and most controversial) categories of the Grammys is Album of the Year. This Grammy is awarded to the creators of an album that shows off true musical talent and integrity. This year, seven out of the eight nominees are women; a rarity for an awards show that favors male artists. This year’s nominees are:

The Record by Boygenius

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The Age of Pleasure by Janelle Monae

World Music Radio by Jon Batiste

Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd by Lana Del Rey

Endless Summer Vacation by Miley Cyrus

GUTS by Olivia Rodrigo

SOS by SZA

Midnights by Taylor Swift

My pick for Album of the Year is SOS by SZA. SOS is a cohesive, well-made album that exemplifies SZA’s best qualities; her career has culminated in this fantastic album. There is masterful production, instrumentation, and lyrics throughout every track and SZA sounds great on every song. SOS is fun and catchy while still being meaningful and very personal. Stand out tracks include “Kill Bill,” “Shirt,” and “Snooze.” SOS is the album of the year.

Everybody is sure to pay attention to this year’s Grammys, so the Recording Academy will want to avoid the controversies of the 2023 Grammys (did anybody predict Harry’s House?) which means SOS is the likely winner. Big categories often go to white male artists, with the occasional white female artist, and this has caused plenty of outrage. After the upset that Harry’s House winning over RENAISSANCE caused, SOS seems to be the lead contender. SZA is truly talented while also very popular and giving her the win will make the Recording Academy look better. Hopefully we will see Album of the Year go to SZA.

Record of the Year

Record of the Year is awarded for a single song that has flawless production, engineering, instrumentation, and vocals. This category considers every element of a song and is awarded to the creators of the track. This year’s nominees are:

“What Was I Made For?” by Billie Eilish

“Not Strong Enough” by Boygenius

“Worship” by Jon Batiste

“Flowers” by Miley Cyrus

“Vampire” by Olivia Rodrigo

“Kill Bill” by SZA

“Anti-Hero” by Taylor Swift

“On My Mama” by Victoria Monet

My pick for Record of the Year is “Anti-Hero” by Taylor Swift. “Anti-Hero” highlights all of the best qualities of a Taylor Swift song: fun instrumentation, interesting lyrics, and great production and mixing. It’s not just good for Taylor Swift standards; “Anti-Hero” is a well-made song that demonstrates creativity and mastery in music. It’s an excellent song that’s catchy and popular but still executes its concept perfectly.

This is a tough category to judge, and this year is even tougher with so many amazing nominated songs. The award is most likely to go to “Anti-Hero,” “Vampire,” or “Kill Bill.” These songs stand out for their fantastic production and instrumentation and for the artists who created these songs. Taylor Swift will be a popular choice as “Anti-Hero” is truly one of the stand out songs from the last year. “Vampire” is artfully made and shows off Olivia Rodrigo’s great voice. “Kill Bill” is also going to be a popular choice as not only is it a fantastic song but SZA was one of the most notable artists of the year. It will be exciting to see who takes home this award.

Song of the Year

Unlike Record of the Year, Song of the Year is awarded solely for the lyrical content of a song. It considers the writing and composition of a song without thought to the production or other elements of the song. This year’s nominees are:

“What Was I Made For?” by Billie Eilish

“Dance the Night” by Dua Lipa

“Butterfly” by Jon Batiste

“A&W” by Lana Del Rey

“Flowers” by Miley Cyrus

“Vampire” by Olivia Rodrigo

“Kill Bill” by SZA

“Anti-Hero” by Taylor Swift

My pick for Song of the Year is “A&W” by Lana Del Rey. The storytelling in this song is immaculate and shows off Del Rey’s talents as a songwriter and singer. Del Rey has a lot of good songs, but “A&W” is exceptional for its outstanding lyrics and exploration of a difficult subject matter. “A&W” is the Song of the Year and it’s time that Del Rey receives the accolades she deserves.

“Anti-Hero” is the most likely winner as the Recording Academy will want to give Taylor Swift recognition. Recognition for not only the fantastic year she’s had but because she is an exceptional songwriter and “Anti-Hero” is a good example of that. Considering that Swift has never won this category despite being praised for her songwriting, I expect that the Recording Academy will give her the award.

Best New Artist

Best New Artist is awarded every year to somebody who gained great recognition in the past year. It’s an honor for any artist who is at the start or the peak of their music career. This year’s nominees are:

Coco Jones

Gracie Abrams

Fred Again..

Ice Spice

Jelly Roll

Noah Kahan

Victoria Monet

The War and Treaty

My pick for Best New Artist is Victoria Monet. Monet truly stood out this year and is bringing a fresh, fun sound to R&B. In a genre that is normally dominated by men, Monet stands out for her meaningful but still fun songs, good production and rhythm, and for instilling confidence in all of her songs. Victoria Monet had a great year and there is no doubt she is the best new artist.

Victoria Monet is the likely winner as she is the only nominee to also be nominated in one of the “big three” categories. The winner could possibly be Ice Spice because of her popularity but her hype might not work on the Recording Academy. It’s sure to be awarded to a woman as most Best New Artist winners are women. If it doesn’t go to Victoria Monet or Ice Spice, Gracie Abrams or Noah Kahan are equally likely to win as they have gained popularity in the last year.

Best Music Video

Best Music Video is one of a few awards at the Grammys that is not awarded for a song or performance but for the visual, an artist creates for their music. Music videos allow artists to express themes and ideas they couldn’t fully convey in the song and is always a fun category. This year’s nominees are:

“I’m Only Sleeping” by The Beatles

“In Your Love” by Tyler Childers

“What Was I Made For?” by Billie Eilish (Favored)

“Count Me Out” by Kendrick Lamar

“Rush” by Troye Sivan

My pick for Best Music Video is “What Was I Made For?” by Billie Eilish. “What Was I Made For?” was a highlight of the Barbie movie and the music video was a perfect visual for the song. I listened to the song before watching the video and I knew it was a good song but it wasn’t until I watched the music video did I truly understand the idea of the song and the message of the lyrics. A good music video instills new meaning into a song and explores all the best elements of it. The video for “What Was I Made For?” did all of this and deserves Best Music Video.

I see this award coming down to Billie Eilish and Kendrick Lamar as the Recording Academy likes both of them. Due to the great year Eilish has had, she is the favored winner and the Academy will be excited to give her another Grammy.

Best Rap Performance

Best Rap Performance is awarded for an excellent performance in the rap genre. The category does not consider the lyrics but their presentation and the skill of the rapper. This year’s nominees are:

“The Hillbillies” by Baby Keem featuring Kendrick Lamar

“Love Letter” by Black Thought

“Rich Flex” by Drake and 21 Savage

“Scientists & Engineers” by Killer Mike featuring Andre 3000, Future, and Eryn Allen Kane

“Players” by Coi Leray

My pick for Best Rap Performance is “The Hillbillies” by Baby Keem and Kendrick Lamar. Baby Keem has already proved his skills as a rapper and proves that even further on “The Hillbillies”. Kendrick Lamar sounds as good as ever and the two rappers together hold a good rhythm and flow. They are perfect performers for this song and they definitely delivered the best rap performance.

It is unlikely to go to Drake as he has openly insulted the Recording Academy in past years and they would be unlikely to give him any more Grammys. Baby Keem has already won once for another collaboration with Kendrick Lamar so they are the most likely winners. The only chance they would lose would be if the Academy wanted to give the award to the only woman nominated in the category, but that is still not likely. “The Hillbillies” is the most obvious winner.

Best Rap Album

Best Rap Album is awarded to the creators of an album that demonstrates all the best qualities of the rap genre, instilling both good production and creativity. This year’s nominees are:

Her Loss by Drake and 21 Savage

Michael by Killer Mike

Heroes & Villains by Metro Boomin

King’s Disease III by Nas

Utopia by Travis Scott

My pick for Best Rap Album is Heroes & Villains by Metro Boomin. Metro Boomin was one of the stand-out rappers of the year and he did that with his album Heroes & Villains. Every track on Heroes includes quality production, fun instrumentation, and well-written lyrics that are delivered flawlessly by Metro Boomin or one of the features. Stand-out tracks include “On Time”, “Superhero” and “Too Many Nights”.

Again, Drake is not likely to win this category after his continuous feud with the Grammys. If the Recording Academy still wants to avoid controversy it is also unlikely to go to Travis Scott. Nas and Metro Boomin are both amazing rappers so they are the most likely to win the category. While Metro Boomin is my definite choice, the award could easily go to Nas.

Best Rock Performance

Similar to Best Rap Performance, Best Rock Performance is awarded to the artists of a song who gave a fantastic rock performance by taking into consideration the presentation of the idea and lyrics of the song. This year’s nominees are:

“Sculptures of Anything Goes” by Arctic Monkeys

“More Than a Love Song” by Black Pumas

“Not Strong Enough” by Boygenius

“Rescued” by Foo Fighters

“Lux Æterna” by Metallica

My pick for Best Rock Performance is “Rescued” by Foo Fighters. “Rescued” is filled with so much emotion and the song gives you a true appreciation for the talent of the Foo Fighters. Dave Grohl sounds great and he, along with the rest of the band, gives a flawless performance on “Rescued”.

This category is sure to come down to Boygenius and Foo Fighters. The Foo Fighters are highly celebrated and their most recent album stands out in their discography, but Boygenius has been nominated in the bigger categories which might show the Academy’s bias tipping towards Boygenius. They are the stand-outs in the category, but Foo Fighters might be able to edge out the competition and come on top due to their prominence in and mastery of rock music.

Best Rock Album

Best Rock Album is awarded to the creators of an album in the rock genre that presents all the best elements of rock and roll while also bringing new concepts to the table. This year’s nominees are:

But Here We Are by Foo Fighters

Starcatcher by Greta Van Fleet

72 Seasons by Metallica

This Is Why by Paramore

In Times New Roman… by Queens of the Stone Age

My pick for Best Rock Album is But Here We Are by Foo Fighters. The Foo Fighters convey so many different feelings throughout the entire album and show the full spectrum of grief. Inspired by the death of their drummer, Taylor Hawkins, But Here We Are is a deeply personal record that explores the sadness and complexity of death while demonstrating why Foo Fighters are one of the best rock bands of our time.

The Foo Fighters are sure to win this category as But Here We Are stands out above all of the other nominated albums. There’s no tough competition in this category and we can expect the Foo Fighters to take home at least one more Grammy.

Best Pop Solo Performance

“Pop” is such a far-reaching genre that there are two awards presented for pop performances. Best Pop Solo Performance is awarded to a single artist who gives a fantastic solo performance. This year’s nominees are:

“Flowers” by Miley Cyrus

“Paint the Town Red” by Doja Cat

“What Was I Made For?” by Billie Eilish

“Vampire” by Olivia Rodrigo

“Anti-Hero” by Taylor Swift

My pick for Best Pop Solo Performance is “Vampire” by Olivia Rodrigo. Rodrigo simply sounds amazing on “Vampire” as she delivers every line with passion and emotion. “Vampire” is a great song and would not be the same without Rodrigo. “Vampire” was one of the best pop songs of the year and Olivia Rodrigo gave the best pop solo performance.

This will most likely come down to Taylor Swift and Olivia Rodrigo and either artist could easily win the category. It’s difficult to say who is more favored to win, but awards shows love Taylor Swift and she has the advantage of being an experienced artist with whom the Recording Academy is familiar. Due to her longevity and current heightened popularity, Swift is the more likely winner.

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

The second pop performance award, Best Pop Duo/Group Performance is awarded to two or more artists who gave an exceptional performance in the pop category/ This year’s nominees are:

“Thousand Miles” by Miley Cyrus featuring Brandi Carlile

“Candy Necklace” by Lana Del Rey featuring Jon Batiste

“Never Felt So Alone” by Labrinth featuring Billie Eilish

“Karma” by Taylor Swift featuring Ice Spice

“Ghost in the Machine” by SZA featuring Phoebe Bridgers

My pick for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance is “Candy Necklace” by Lana Del Rey featuring Jon Batiste. Del Rey and Batiste are a good duo and their styles pair together nicely on this song. “Candy Necklace” is a stand-out track from Del Rey’s most recent album and showcases her great songwriting skills as well as contains interesting instrumentation. Batiste only added to the song and made it flawless.

If the Recording Academy is still in the Taylor-mood, I see “Karma” as the likely winner. Both Swift and Ice Spice are very popular right now and each has been nominated for several Grammys so I can see them winning the category. If the Grammys want to go with one of the less popular songs, SZA and Lana Del Rey seem the most likely.

Best Pop Vocal Album

Best Pop Vocal Album is awarded to the creators of a pop album that displays true musical talent. This year’s nominees are:

Chemistry by Kelly Clarkson

Endless Summer Vacation by Miley Cyrus

GUTS by Olivia Rodrigo

– (Subtract) by Ed Sheeran

Midnights by Taylor Swift

My pick for Best Pop Vocal Album is Midnights by Taylor Swift. Midnights is a strong pop album, and, while not one of her most inventive albums, is one of Taylor Swift’s most well-made albums. The production on every track is fantastic and Swift shows off her prowess as a good singer and a great songwriter. Stand-out tracks include “Lavender Haze”, “Anti-Hero”, and “Bejeweled”.

Taylor Swift is the most likely winner with her biggest competition coming from Olivia Rodrigo. But, Swift outdoes all the other nominees as Midnights was one of the biggest albums of the year as well as being well-made. The category is sure to go to Swift or Rodrigo.

The 66th Grammys will air on February 4, 2024, at 5:00 PM PST. The ceremony will take place at the Crypto.com Arena and will be broadcast on CBS. Hosts and performers will be announced soon.

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About the Contributor
Tyler Hayley, Reporter and Editor
Tyler Hayley is part of the Granada High School class of 2025 and has been writing for The Pomegranate since 2021. He is a member of Model United Nations and the Workers' Rights Club at Granada. He enjoys writing short stories and reading in his spare time.

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