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Grammy Picks

Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday February 20, 2003
Adam Pugh

Vanessa Carlton ¸ "A Thousand Miles"

Man ¸ women and their pianos are the popular choice this year. Not to go along with trends or anything, but Vanessa Carlton has got the talent where it counts, and she writes her own music and rocks the ivories like no one else has in a long while. Let's all sit back and listen to a record that is a beautiful and stunning debut.

Norah Jones ¸ Come Away With Me

Norah Jones seemingly came out of nowhere and swept up audiences all over the country with her mysteriously wonderful song "Don't Know Why." That track alone has made this album sell, sell, sell. But are the 13 other tracks worth the price? Definitely. This is an album that you need to spend some time with and get to know better if you haven't already.

John Mayer

Room For Squares came out in late 2001 ÷¸and wasn't even noticed until Mayer hit the road at full speed, showing audiences what he was made of in 2002. In the course of that year, the album picked up speed and became a sensation all over. The thing is ÷¸ this album is really very good and has more pop sensibility than some sk8ter girl who has sold 5 million records.

Norah Jones/John Mayer

Now did I pick Norah Jones on this one because of her seductive, breathy voice? Or was it because the rest of the nominees are terrible? The answer is yes. John Mayer, on the other hand, just blows his competition out of the water with his lyrics alone on "Your Body is a Wonderland." Pay close attention to these two.

Paul Iiams

"Without Me" ¸ Eminem

For some reason, Eminem always wins at least one award. This year will be no different. His first release off The Eminem Show was hilarious and not nearly as controversial as his prior songs. It is this combination that will sway the Grammy voters in Mr. Mathers' direction, over the superbly talented Norah Jones. But Jones doesn't need to worry; it will be her night.

The Rising ¸ Bruce Springsteen

Although I think that Rising is one of Springsteen's weakest albums ever, he is a Grammy favorite. His "heart-wrenching" songs will inevitably tug at the voters' tickers and push the votes his way. If this was any other year, I don't think the album would even have been nominated. Norah Jones once again comes in a close second, but they don't give awards for second place.

Norah Jones

This will be a very close race. For some reason, everybody loves the "attitude" of Avril Lavigne. Please. She is just like all the other pop girls, except she wears different clothes. If the vote was made strictly on talent, it would be between Jones and Mayer, with Jones coming out a little bit ahead. Let's just hope the voters vote with their hearts and not their pea-sized brains.

Norah Jones/John Mayer

These are categories where who should win usually doesn't. Jones should win, but it will probably be that punk Lavigne. Sheryl Crow could win and I would be happy. Do you believe she's over 40? On the men's side, the odds are stacked against Mayer. The old-school trio of Sting, Elton John and James Taylor will make it hard for Mayer to emerge victorious.

Kevin Smith

Eminem ¸ "Without Me"

With the kinder, gentler Marshall Mathers III making his debut thanks to a hit movie and a compact disc that 30-year-olds have embraced, this might be his year. Norah Jones and Vanessa Carlton are possible dark horses, but Nickelback and Nelly? Did they just pull those out of a hat? Hypothetical Grammy judge #2: "Youngsters are still hip to the Nickelback, right guys?"

Bruce Springsteen ¸ The Rising

Hate it if you want to, but this album is the best of the bunch. The Rising is an uplifting post-9/11 spin down E-Street with the Boss in the driver's seat. It was the "Shawshank Redemption" of 2002. Much love to Jersey for this one. Eminem can't touch this award because The Eminem Show got too old, too quick.

Norah Jones

I swear, it's like my parents picked the nominees. Since Jones is the only one who hasn't drenched me in media saturation this past year, it goes to her. She also seems the most honest/talented. John Mayer? "Your body is a Ě " Shut the *@%# up. That guy, Avril, Ashanti and Branch can go take a jump off TRL's four-story Times Square window.

Craig David ¸ "7 Days"

James Taylor, Sting and Elton John? Does anyone under 60 still listen to these guys? "I can only do it properly when I pop a couple Viagras and toss in the new Sting," said hypothetical Grammy judge #4. Sheryl Crow had a good thing going with "Soak Up the Sun," but I'm going with Brit crooner David because it sounded good in the year 2000.

Jessica Suarez

Vanessa Carlton ¸ "A Thousand Miles"

An awful collection of songs to have to choose record of the year from. If I had to choose my least hated, it would be "A Thousand Miles," only because it reminds me of the theme song to "National Geographic's Wild America."

Nelly ¸ Nellyville

Once again, this is a pretty terrible selection of nominees. Eminem shouldn't have tried to produce himself. He should let the Neptunes produce him, like Nelly did. Perhaps then he could have equaled the brilliance of "Hot in Here." Honestly. Listen to the production on that song; it's good, and almost makes up for his terrible play at bedroom music, "Dilemma."

Avril Lavigne

Avril Lavigne inspired a whole generation of chubby mall girls to throw away their Britney Spears posters and put on arm warmers and neckties. Pure genius. Hot Topic should sponsor her next tour. One thing though, Avril: How punk is it to not write your own songs?

John Mayer and Britney Spears

Did anyone catch the cover to John Mayer's CD? He's an adult contemporary artist in hipster-rock clothing. I don't know much about him, and what I've heard isn't very good, but I'd rather listen to him than pick someone out of my dad's CD collection or that "I did her on Monday, then I did her on Tuesday" song. Oh, and Britney Spears, just because she's hot too.

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