Five albums to check out before Grammys nightBy Emily Strickland | 01/26/2017 9:43pm
Chance the Rapper's album Coloring Book is nominated for Best Rap Album at the 2017 Grammy Awards. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
The 59th Annual Grammy Awards will be held on Sunday, Feb. 12, and will feature live performances by Carrie Underwood, John Legend and several others. Listed below are five of the most noteworthy albums and artists contending for the top awards on Music’s Biggest Night.
"A Sailor’s Guide to Earth" – Sturgill Simpson
Sturgill Simpson received his first two Grammy nominations with his self-produced album "A Sailor’s Guide to Earth." The 2016 release was designed to be a concept album which follows the journey of a sailor traveling the world and sending messages to his wife and son, whom he may never see again. Simpson lists influences such as Marvin Gaye, George Harrison, and Bill Withers, all who contribute to the album’s figurative journey around the world by providing a diverse sampling of genres throughout the unconventional country album. Simpson’s third studio album is nominated for Best Country Album and Album of the Year.
"Coloring Book" – Chance the Rapper
Chance the Rapper has been making waves in the rap community as the 23-year-old unsigned artist whose songs are in everyone’s head. "Coloring Book" is his third release, a mixtape with an upbeat attitude and a star-studded list of features, which includes everyone from prominent rappers like Kanye West and Lil’ Wayne to gospel singer Kirk Franklin. Coloring Book is nominated for Best Rap Album, and the single "No Problem" is nominated for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song. Chance is also on the list for Best New Artist and has mentions for his work alongside Kanye West in the songs "Ultralight Beam" and "Famous."
"Malibu" – Anderson .Paak
Another nominee for Best New Artist, Anderson .Paak brings a fresh, groovy feel to the traditional R&B sound. His fourth studio album, "Malibu," is nominated for Best Urban Contemporary Album and effectively illustrates .Paak’s versatility not only as a performer, but also as a songwriter, musician, and producer. Features on Dr. Dre’s 2015 album "Compton" served as a springboard for the 2016 release, which received an average rating of 85/100 from review aggregator Metacritic and has been compared to the works of Stevie Wonder and Kendrick Lamar.
Adele’s third studio album received a coveted nomination for Album of the Year, as well as consideration for Best Pop Vocal Album. The album’s highly-anticipated first single, "Hello," broke the Vevo record for most views in one day with 27.7 million views in 24 hours. "Hello" also received nominations for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Solo Performance. In all, Adele has received a total of 18 lifetime Grammy nominations since her professional debut in 2009, including the five she has accumulated this year.
"Lemonade" – Beyoncé
With nine total Grammy nominations this year, Beyoncé’s acclaimed visual album "Lemonade" crosses typical genre lines and received commendations in rock, pop, music video, and film categories. The singles "Hold Up," "Don’t Hurt Yourself," and "Freedom" each received performance nominations, with "Formation" receiving nominations for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Music Video. Beyoncé’s sixth studio album and second visual album, Lemonade’s nine nominations combined with previous recognitions add up to a total of 62 career Grammy nominations for the singer, dancer and rapper.