The 2014 Grammy Awards are just days away, and before music’s biggest night, Wetpaint is taking a look at the four major categories and sizing up the competition. Today, we’re focusing on Song of the Year.
The nominees for this category include: "Just Give Me a Reason" (Pink, featuring Nate Ruess), "Locked Out of Heaven" (Bruno Mars), "Roar" (Katy Perry), "Royals" (Lorde), "Same Love" (Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, featuring Mary Lambert). Now, before we continue, let’s differentiate Song of the Year and Record of the Year — because both “Royals” and “Locked Out of Heaven” are nominated for both. Song of the Year recognizes songwriters, while Record of the Year recognizes production. Got it? Good. Because while Bruno Mars’s “Locked Out of Heaven” is a great song — with its retro spin on The Police — it will most likely be overlooked in this category and win big for Record of the Year.
And while we wish we could say Song of the Year belonged to 17-year-old Lorde for her summer hit “Royals” — it spent eight weeks at the top of the Hot 100 (second only to Robin Thicke’s "Blurred Lines") — we’re going to have to give this one to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. “Royals” is undoubtedly a cultural touchstone for teens in the same way Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” struck a chord back in 1991, but at a time when gay marriage is at the heart of political rhetoric in America, “Same Love” spoke to us on an entirely different level. It broke through all barriers to become the feel-good sleeper hit of the year.
This year, the number of U.S. citizens where same-sex marriage is available went from roughly 36 million to 121 million, thanks to the death of California's Prop 8 and more states achieving marriage equality. And, this will be the year the Recording Academy shows its love for progressive rap songs. Perhaps the only thing standing in Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s way is the fact that no rap song has ever won in this category before. However, Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, and Mary Lambert's "Same Love” is timely and good-hearted enough to break through any industry pompousness.
Of course, if there was one song that could upset Macklemore, it’s “Just Give Me a Reason,” Pink and Nate Ruess’s lovelorn ballad. Nate Ruess took home this award for "We Are Young" with fun. last year, and “Just Give Me a Reason” seems to hit all the right notes when it comes to gut-wrenching piano ballads.
Who will win Song of the Year? Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, and Mary Lambert’s “Same Love.” Looking at past winners — “Viva La Vida” (2009), “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” (2010), “Need You Now” (2011), “Rolling In The Deep” (2012) and “We Are Young” (2013) — the Recording Academy seems to honor anthems, and we can’t think of a better anthem for our generation than the socially aware “Same Love.”
Who should win Song of the Year? Again, it’s hard to not root for a song like “Same Love,” but it would be nice to see the alternative teen queen Lorde win this one.
Who do you want to see win Song of the Year? Sound off in the comments!
Don't forget to tune in to music's biggest night — aka the 2014 Grammy Awards — on January 26, 2014 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.