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Will [Mariah's] Cinderella story have a happy ending, or will she be left feeling like a pumpkin?

NOMINEE-O-RAMA: LAST-MINUTE GRAMMY TOUTS

Some Final Thoughts on the Grammy Nominations in the Form of Pithy Comments on Selected Categories
RECORD OF THE YEAR
Mariah Carey, “We Belong Together”: Will her Cinderella story have a happy ending, or will she be left feeling like a pumpkin?
Gorillaz f/De La Soul, “Feel Good Inc.”: Would be first cartoon characters to win this award, which would certainly make for some animated acceptance speeches.
Green Day, “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”: Will the anti-Bush forces give it a shot in this field?
Gwen Stefani, “Hollaback Girl”: She’s pregnant with possibilities. Will she get her “blessed delivery” on Grammy night?
Kanye West, “Gold Digger”: Will he complain NARAS doesn’t care about black people if he loses in this category?

ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Mariah Carey, The Emancipation of Mimi: Will this be another battle between Mimi and Stefani?
Paul McCartney, Chaos and Creation in the Backyard: Will he admit it’s an honor just to be nominated, or will he be rewarded for his career achievements?
Gwen Stefani, Love. Angel. Music. Baby.: Personally, we’d rather see a winner-take-all cat fight between her and Mariah for the Grammy.
U2, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb: What, the cover of Time wasn’t enough for Bono?
Kanye West, Late Registration: It’s #1 with critics and the Dean (Christgau), but will Grammy voters feel the same way?

SONG OF THE YEAR
Rascal Flatts, “Bless the Broken Road”: Not unless the entire Nashville membership votes as a block.
Bruce Springsteen, “Devils & Dust”: Probably has a better chance at winning a Pulitzer...
John Legend, “Ordinary People”: This dark horse could win the race.
U2, “Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own”: Let’s see if the Academy feels Bono’s ode to his father is as emotionally wrenching as he does.
Mariah Carey, “We Belong Together”: Will Grammy voters agree with that sentiment?

BEST NEW ARTIST
Ciara:
Coming fast in the home stretch.
Fall Out Boy: Sugar, we’re going down... but they’ll be there anyway.
Keane: U.K. sleeper likely to be a footnote come Grammy night, but it’s an honor, etc...
John Legend: If a computer generated the typical Grammy winner, it would look a lot like him.
SugarLand: Will internal turmoil hurt their chances... which were a long-shot anyway.

BEST SOLO ROCK VOCAL PERFORMANCE
Eric Clapton, “Revolution”: Did he sign a pact with the Devil or the Grammys for his consistent nominations?
Robert Plant, “Shine It All Around”: By the way, did Led Zeppelin ever win a Grammy? Just asking.
Bruce Springsteen, “Devils & Dust”: The only ones who loved this album were critics and fans, and then not all of the latter. But he’s still the Boss.
Rob Thomas, “This Is How a Heart Breaks”: Is Tom Cruise a voting member of the Grammys?
Neil Young, “The Painter: New Jonathan Demme film has upped the momentum as the race nears the finish line.

BEST ROCK PERFORMANCE BY A DUO OR GROUP WITH VOCAL
Coldplay, “Speed of Sound”:
Should be music to Grammy voters’ ears, but critical backlash remains a puzzle.
Foo Fighters, “Best of You”: Grammy’s version of an acceptable rock band.
Franz Ferdinand, “Do You Want To”: They’d love to, but will NARAS give them a chance?
The Killers, “All These Things That I’ve Done”: The fact they’re a new rock band that can sell records doesn’t hurt.
U2, “Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own”: If song is ignored in the main categories, it could earn honors here.

BEST ROCK ALBUM
Coldplay, X&Y:
Kinda the underdog in this crowd.
Foo Fighters, In Your Honor: In the case of this double-CD, quantity means quality.
Rolling Stones, A Bigger Bang: Impressive comeback... Will Grammy voters be in a make-good for past transgressions mood?
U2, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb: The album’s been out almost two years... Will Grammy voters recall its impact?
Neil Young, Prairie Wind: A moving comeback for a true legend.

BEST ALTERNATIVE MUSIC ALBUM
The
Arcade Fire, Funeral: We’ll see how hip the Grammy voters really are.
Beck, Guero: Past Academy fave with return-to-form, but is he still as hip as his fellow nominees?
Death Cab for Cutie, Plans: This won’t be their last nomination. Will first time be the charm?
Franz Ferdinand, You Could Have It So Much Better: Keeping the spot warm until Arctic Monkeys are eligible.
The White Stripes, Get Behind Me Satan: Even their less-than-great is better than everybody else.

BEST RAP SOLO PERFORMANCE
Common, “Testify”:
The best of the positive rappers will be a Grammy perennial.
Eminem, “Mockingbird”: Will Grammy give him a retirement present?
50 Cent, “Disco Inferno”: Is this even the best song on the album?
Ludacris, “Number One Spot”: He was great in Crash and Hustle and Flow, but is that enough for a Grammy?
T.I., “U Don’t Know Me”: Least known in this category, he’s bucking long odds here.
Kanye West, “Gold Digger”: Feels like slam dunk here.

BEST RAP ALBUM
Common, Be:
He’ll win eventually; if not now, soon.
Missy Elliott, The Cookbook: They love her, they usually love her, but this doesn’t feel like her year.
Eminem, Encore: Remember Slim Shady? Think Grammy voters will?
50 Cent, The Massacre: Will Grammy give him one more shot?
Kanye West, Late Registration: Can’t see him being denied here.

BEST PRODUCER
Danger Mouse:
From industry scourge to Grammy nominee, a victory here would be a true mash-up.
Nigel Godrich: Playing John to Macca’s Paul, he did the impossible, getting the cute Beatle out of his comfort zone.
Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis: Perennials are back again with a laundry list of hits, but is it enough to overcome the favored ‘Tunes?
Steve Lillywhite: Will Grammy hold it against legendary producer that he’s now an in-house A&R exec, or reward him?
The Neptunes: Stefani, Snoop, Mariah, Missy and Omarion... The hits keep coming for talented duo.

BEST POLKA ALBUM
Eddie Blazonczyk’s Versatones, Under the Influence:
Still waiting for a correct pronunciation of their name.
Walter Ostanek & Ron Sluga, Time Out For Polkas and Waltzes: Newcomers waiting for emergence of polkaton.
Del Sinchak Band, Polka Pizzazz: For most innovative use of a squeezebox.
Kevin Solecki, Solecktions: Certainly sounds Polish enough...
Jimmy Sturr & His Orchestra, Shake, Rattle and Polka!: Their grip on this category is ironclad... Will this be the year their reign ends?

HITS LIST: AMPERSANDS
Dynamic duos (12/3a)
TAYLOR'S TREMENDOUS YEAR
She'd make one helluva CEO. (12/3a)
THEY CALL THE WINDFALL MARIAH (HOLIDAY EDITION)
Ch-chingle bells (12/3a)
SONG REVENUE:
BOWS OF HOLLY
Adele is money. (12/3a)
UTA MUSIC EXPANDS IN NASHVILLE
Reshuffling the deck (12/3a)
CHESTNUTS
Roasting.
STOCKINGS
Stuffing.
PIPERS
Piping.
SANTA
Coming.
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