The 55th annual Grammy Awards is shaping up to be a blockbuster night, especially for fans of Frank Ocean and the Black Keys who both received six Grammy nominations. Other notable numbers include R&B breakout star Miguel with five nominations, guitar hero Jack White with three nominations and three nominations for Jay-Z and Kanye West for “N***as in Paris.”
The most interesting category is certainly Album of the Year, which pits the Black Keys El Camino up against Ocean’s Channel Orange and White’s Blunderbuss. Another interesting category involves Alternative Album of the Year, which has Fiona Apple up against Tom Waits, Bjork, M83 and Gotye.
The Best New Artist category could also get interesting, with Fun., Alabama Shakes, Ocean and the Lumineers all facing off, but unless someone “pulls a Bon Iver,” Ocean should be a shoe-in for this statue.
Least surprising is the Best Rap Album category, with Drake, Lupe Fiasco, Rick Ross, the Roots, 2 Chainz and Nas holding court. Next year, we’re assuming Kendrick Lamar will be nominated for all six spots.
Adele, who went six-for-six at last year’s awards, is up again for Best Pop Solo Performance with her live version of “Set Fire to the Rain,” though Carley Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” just might steal her thunder. Speaking of upsets, we’re thinking the Chemical Brother’s criminally overlooked album, Don’t Think, could pull the rug out from under Skrillex’s Bangarang in the Best Dance/Electronica album category.
Here’s a few of the lesser-known nods we’re excited for:
The Lumineers’ “The Lumineers” for Best Americana Album: The Lumineers versus the Avett Brothers versus Mumford & Sons reads like a showdown at the renaissance faire, but we’re rooting for the Denver folk trio, whose debut had the most heart of all.
“Man or Muppet” for Best Song Written for Visual Media: Thank you, Bret McKenzie for penning the pivotal “Muppets” ballad, where Jason Segel sings in the rain, dons a white tux and tickles the ivories in a white palace. It was poignant and irreverent, and it warmed our cold, cold hearts. It would also prove that the Muppets are more powerful than the Arcade Fire, who are also nominated in the same category for “Abraham’s Daughter,” the song they contributed to The Hunger Games.
Swing Low Magellan for Best Recording Package: What we would give to swap out Kelly Clarkson for the Dirty Projectors in the Record of the Year category. But at least bandleader Dave Longstreth and his menagerie of quirky love ballads got their rightful due here.
Woody at 100: The Woody Guthrie Centennial Collection: Before you even form an opinion on the Americana category, give a listen to the folk master first. “This Land Is Your Land (Alternate Version)” is what President Obama should have played at this year’s election.
“Midnight City” (Eric Prydz Private Remix) for Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical: We’ll admit we prefer M83′s original, but Prydz’s sped-up, giddy version suits our dance floors just fine.
Check out the full list of Grammy nominations at MTV News and watch exlusive performances from some this year’s nominees below:
Watch the Black Keys’ perform “Gold on the Ceiling” for Live in NYC:
Watch the Alabama Shakes perform “Boys & Girls” for Hive’s In My Room:
Watch Frank Ocean perform “Thinkin’ ‘Bout You” at the 2012 MTV VMA Show: