The nominees for Album Of The Year at the 2019 GRAMMY Awards are a diverse collection of artists, all known for intimate, personal work that connects at the very heart of their music. These 8 musicians have made their name on the sincerity in their sound. At a time where there is more music than ever, these few have cut through because of an authentic album that has captured the ear, mind, or the culture as a whole.
The GRAMMYs are tricky. Every time we think we've got it all figured out, a Beck beats a Beyoncé. With Adele not nominated, this year feels pretty wide open though.
Since the moment the nominees were announced, we've been debating who should walk away with the top prize on music's biggest night, but still can't come to a conclusion. We all have our favorites, but are too torn to make the call.
These are the 8 albums nominated for Album Of The Year. Let's take a look together, and maybe you can help us decide.
Cardi B - Invasion Of Privacy
It's tough to remember a time before Cardi B. After her star-making moments in 2017, the expectations were unreal for her debut album Invasion Of Privacy. The "I Like It" singer delivered with an album that balances bangers, pop gems, and still makes room for brutal, bare-knuckle Hip Hop. The album is a lot of things, but the charisma and charm of Cardi that has made her a phenomenon is at the center of all of it.
Brandi Carlile - By The Way, I Forgive You
The howl of Brandi Carlile has been a poorly-kept secret in certain circles for over a decade, but this small town singer-songwriter created a lot of noise in 2018. Soaked in Americana and standing on the shoulders of that soaring voice, By The Way, I Forgive You dives headfirst into tough topics with real writing on addiction, parenthood, relationships, and gender. It's a powerful album from a powerful woman.
Drake - Scorpion
Drake spent most of 2018, continually replacing himself in the top spot on the charts. From "God's Plan" to "Nice For What" to "In My Feelings" and beyond. Scorpion finds the singer focused, making room to display both his Hip Hop supremacy and his smoothed out R&B stylings. This is Drake distilled, finally harnessing all his best instincts into a massive double album.
H.E.R. - H.E.R.
H.E.R. is a collection from H.E.R., complying songs from her previous EPs and adding in another half-dozen woozy R&B gems. For those that didn't already know Gabi Wilson, the 21-year-old songstress got a proper introduction this year, thanks to a few collaborations and her vulnerable, confessional style.
Post Malone - Beerbongs & Bentleys
How do you top an album that beats Michael Jackson's longstanding chart record? Just drop a follow-up that features some of the most ubiquitous songs of the decade. Beerbongs & Bentleys is Post Malone's second album, but it has entered the singer into a completely different class of conversation. All of the face tattoos and Olive Gardens aside, the success of Beerbongs & Bentleys is a notice to take the young singer serious as one of the best writers and performers in pop music.
Janelle Monáe - Dirty Computer
It seems like Janelle Monáe took a break from music for a minute to be one of Hollywood's most exciting actresses, but she came back in 2018 in an important way. Dirty Computer is an infectious album that borrows some funk and pop sensibility from Prince, but more so makes a lane all it's own. Just as big and bold as the music is, so is the message. Dirty Computer speaks to a community, gives it voice, and gives the rest of the world warning.
Kacey Musgraves - Golden Hour
Kacey Musgraves has always been a little left of Nashville, but it seems everyone is finally all on-board with this poignant, important song writer. Golden Hour just won Album Of The Year at the CMA Awards, and continues to showcase her eclectic appreciation and how it can impact Country music in a positive way. Musgraves point of view gets crystallized on Golden Hour, growing into her own style, and opening the door for other influences to make a new, unique, special record.
Various Artists - Black Panther: The Album, Music From And Inspired By
The release of Black Panther was a moment of cultural importance, a reflective moment in media that has been years in the making. How do you soundtrack that moment? Easy. Just have the most important MC in the game, curate a collection of songs featuring the biggest names in Hip Hop and R&B. Have them sing about the story that unfolds in the film, and how it relates to this moment in time. It's a proposition that could have fallen apart in lesser hands, but Kendrick Lamar guides this album to a different level.
Does that clear anything up? Are you more conflicted now that you were before? Will this be your obsession for the next two months too?
Now that we know the nominees, make your voice heard and tell us who should win Album Of The Year. Vote below, share with you friends, help calm our nerves.
The GRAMMY Awards happen live on February 10th on CBS.