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Cutline Playlist: Grammy’s Edition

Music fuels my life line -- I live and breathe it. We have a new column here on Cutline Speaks called “Cutline Playlist,” where we’ll reveal our new favorite songs and the latest podcasts we’ve listened to. Today we’re kicking it off with a special Grammy edition. The 58th Annual Grammy Awards is airing this Monday, February 15th, and I wanted to share some of my predictions and reviews of this year’s nominees. I had to narrow it down to four, because there are a whopping 83 categories! Check it out, and tweet us your picks as well!

Record of the Year

  • Really Love, D’Angelo And The Vanguard

    • Acoustic guitars have a special place in my heart, so the intro immediately grabbed my focus. Most current songs on the radio a composed with rhythm boxes and synthesizers, so to hear the full sounds of each real instrument in this track is very refreshing, along with the vocals sans autotune.

  • Thinking Out Loud, Ed Sheeran

    • I imagine Ed Sheeran’s incredible talent just flowing out of his fingertips when he was writing this song. These lyrics are brilliant. He’s a ginger genius!

  • Blank Space, Taylor Swift

    • This song definitely made a statement upon its release, down to the insane music video. Along with the rest of the album, Taylor stepped out of her comfort zone with this track. Although the sound is different, she remains true to her lyrical style.

  • Can’t Feel My Face, The Weeknd

    • I am truly amazed with The Weeknd’s consistency when it comes to performing this song. He’ll run all over the stage, jump up and down, yet sound exactly like the track is playing back. His act is always -- as shown in the music video -- on fire.

  • My Prediction: Uptown Funk, Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars

    • This song deserves a special Ellen Degeneres award for most plays on her show. Hands down, this has to be Record of the Year. I heard the song everywhere in 2015 -- multiple radio stations, television commercials, Michelle Obama -- yet I never got tired of it. Now, that’s what you call good music.

Album of the Year

  • Sound & Color, Alabama Shakes

    • This would be the perfect soundtrack to a “chillaxing” road trip. The funky vibration and mono-to-stereo transitions are fascinating.

  • To Pimp A Butterfly, Kendrick Lamar

    • I’ve always been fascinated by rappers’ ability to tell stories in just a few bars, and Kendrick has an interesting collection of messages in this album. “Alright” is nominated for song of the year, but I have an attraction to “King Kunta.” However, every track has the “Explicit” sticker and I’m not a fan of excessive profanity.

  • Traveller, Chris Stapleton

    • If you’re a country fan, this album needs to be stapled into your collection. (See what I did there?) “Fire Away” is a superb sunset song, and “Tennessee Whiskey” is going in my jukebox favorites.

  • 1989, Taylor Swift

    • As she adds more nominations to her endless list of awards, Taylor has undoubtedly crushed the music industry with her country-pop crossover. Out of her seven singles on the album, “Shake It Off” is the catchiest, flowing convertible-hair tune I’m addicted to. It’s a complete 180 of her debut album, which emphasizes how much her sound has changed over the years.

  • My Prediction: Beauty Behind The Madness, The Weeknd

    • If I could present this gramophone in person, I would arrive with fireworks. This album has dominated the charts since it’s release, and even earned an Oscar spot for “Earned It.” The Weeknd’s unique style sticks out like a dreadlock and definitely deserves the recognition.

Song of the Year

  • Alright

    • Kendrick Lamar is nominated for 11 awards this year, and he definitely deserves this nomination. From the Color Purple reference and Pharrell’s background vocals to the inspiring message about hope, this song is better than alright.

  • Blank Space

    • (See above.)

  • Girl Crush

    • What I love about this song is that it doesn’t fall into the typical country genre. The music doesn’t overpower the vocals, which emphasizes the intimacy and desire in the lyrics.

  • Thinking Out Loud

    • (See above.)

  • My Prediction: See You Again

    • This song was everywhere in 2015, and I don’t even believe it was because of the hype -- the emotional message is simply so relatable and touched billions. Charlie Puth’s vocals and Wiz Khalifa’s rhymes flow smoothly into a polished pop-rap ballad.

Best New Artist

  • Courtney Barnett

    • I sense some Joan Jett in her style, which is quite refreshing. I love the raw energy in “Pedestrian At Best” and “History Eraser.”

  • James Bay

    • There’s something mesmerizing about Indie-Rock. James’s soulful voice and melodic plucks on “When We Were On Fire” make time stand still.

  • Sam Hunt

    • It’s time for me to jump on the bandwagon of fans going crazy over this football star turned country singer. I’m loving the conversational tone in “House Party” and “Take Your Time,” almost like a country poetry slam.

  • Meghan Trainor

    • I find it incredible how Meghan Trainor blended different genres to create a new, yet familiar sound. From doo-wop to hip-hop, and pop to R&B -- she has grown so much, so quickly. At the mere age of 22, it excites me to see what’s in store in her near future.

  • My Prediction: Tori Kelly

    • I’m a strong believer in Tori Kelly being able to make any song sound beautiful. She truly saved the 2015 MTV VMAs. Her powerhouse trills are seriously unreal and her sweet, humble personality is so likeable and charismatic. I would give her an entire sack of gramophones if I could.