The student news site of Potomac Falls High School

The Roar

The student news site of Potomac Falls High School

The Roar

The student news site of Potomac Falls High School

The Roar

The Roar’s Pick for the Grammys’ Album of the Year

Grammy Awards trophies are displayed backstage during the pre-telecast on 28 Jan 2018, in New York US [Carlo Allegri/File Photo/Reuters]

Grammy nominations were announced Nov. 10, with SZA leading the pack at nine nominations, along with artists such as Taylor Swift, Olivia Rodrigo, and Jon Batiste all receiving multiple nominations. The Roar weighs in with coverage of all eight Album-of-the-Year nominees, along with their own opinions for who the winner should be. 

Will Probably Win:

“Midnights” by Taylor Swift: 

Without question, Taylor Swift has dominated the music industry this year. Re-recordings and the Eras Tour aside, “Midnights,” though released a full year ago, has remained on the charts. She shows her skill at vulnerable, honest lyricism, the highlight of all of her work, and with every new album, she continues to break her own records. There’s no denying Swift’s impact on 2023 or her proficiency as an artist. 

“SOS” by SZA:

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SZA’s sophomore album, released Dec. 9 of 2022, quickly raked in dozens of positive reviews from critics. The album has collaborations with artists such as Travis Scott and Phoebe Bridgers, and SZA is praised for her exploration of multiple genres that, while different, still come together cohesively. Songs such as “Kill Bill” topped the Billboard Top 100 and became popular with fans and new listeners alike. Her ambition with “SOS” is admirable, and it’s a likely contender for the AOTY award. 

Could Win, Maybe:

“Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd” by Lana Del Rey:

This is Del Rey’s first time being nominated for a Grammy, a somewhat controversial topic with her fans. And “Ocean Blvd” (for brevity) is a good album. She combines her unique storytelling and stunning vocals with masterful production from Jack Antonoff. Is it her best album? Not by any standards. While it deserves the nomination, “Ocean Blvd” is really at the middle of the pack. 

“Guts” by Olivia Rodrigo

Rodrigo beat the sophomore slump allegations easily with “Guts.” For such a young artist, her lyrics and sound are well-developed and confident, and it’s clear that she has a bright future in the music industry. A win at her age would be impressive (the only two artists to do it younger are Billie Eilish and Taylor Swift) and certainly not impossible, however, some of the other albums on this list would be hard to beat out. 

The Underdog Pick: 

“The Record” by Boygenius:
The Grammys certainly do love an underdog. Some examples of previous, unconventional AOTYs include Jon Batiste’s “We Are” in 2022, Beck’s “Morning Phase” in 2015, and Mumford and Sons’ “Babel” in 2013. If they end up picking something more ‘indie,’ “The Record” might be the front-runner. The mega-group Boygenius, composed of singer-songwriters Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus, and Julien Baker, released their debut album in March of this year. The three of them together are a lyrical and musical powerhouse. 

Probably Won’t Win: 

“World Music Radio” by Jon Batiste:

With 20 nominations (this year and last) and 5 wins (last year), The Recording Academy has established themselves as a Jon Batiste fan. Whether or not “World Music Radio” lives up to the expectation set by “We Are” is up to the listener. However, the quality of the album isn’t what puts Batiste on this list, it’s the fact he won Album of the Year last year. Two artists have won two AOTYs consecutively – Frank Sinatra and Stevie Wonder. Whether or not he joins these two remains to be seen, but the chances are slim. 

“Endless Summer Vacation” by Miley Cyrus:

We all heard “Flowers.” It’s also probably the only song most have heard from this album. It’s respectable how Cyrus keeps on doing her own thing, but when it comes down to it, she doesn’t have the reach of most other artists on this list, and “Endless Summer Vacation” had less than half the impact of other albums. 

“The Age of Pleasure” by Janelle Monae:

The same goes for Monae, except without the crutch of a lead single like “Flowers.” Though most reviews are positive, if this is the first time you’re hearing about this album, you aren’t alone. It’s not unheard of for the Grammys to make unconventional picks. Compared to the powerhouses that are the rest of the nominees, it’s unlikely that Monae will win. 

The Roar’s Pick: After polling a class of 28, “Guts” received one point, “Ocean Blvd” received six points, “Midnights” received seven points, and “SOS” received fourteen points.