2014 Grammy Awards: Album of the Year nominees
• The Blessed Unrest, Sara Bareilles
• Random Access Memories, Daft Punk
• good kid, m.A.A.d. city, Kendrick Lamar
• The Heist, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
• Red, Taylor Swift
The 2014 Grammy Award for Album of the Year is a tough one to nail down because there's no overwhelming favorite here. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Kendrick Lamar both released highly-successful hip-hop albums, but, as with Best New Artist, the fact that they're nominated against each other will end up making it difficult for either to win. And only two rap artists (Lauryn Hill, Outkast) have ever claimed Album of the Year.
Taylor Swift captured this award in 2010 for Fearless and has a great chance to win it again for Red. The album produced a number of hits, including "22," "I Knew You Were Trouble," Begin Again," and "Everything Has Changed." As always, Swift will have support from both country and pop voters within the Recording Academy, and she's the "safe choice" among this batch of nominees.
But it's tough to win Album of the Year more than once. The record for most wins in this category is three, shared by Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, and Frank Sinatra. Swift would join a select group of performers who have won it twice.
Daft Punk's Random Access Memories is an intriguing nominee. The duo earned several noms for the album and its hit single "Get Lucky." With no rock band nominated this year, Daft Punk are most likely to pick up the votes of the rockers within the Recording Academy. But we question whether the Academy would really give its biggest award to a couple of French robots.
Sara Bareilles is a non-factor, except that she might pull a handful of votes away from Swift. Will that be enough to allow Daft Punk to eke out the victory?
Get ready to see Taylor's "Omigod I can't believe it!" face one more time. We predict Swift will edge out Daft Punk and Macklemore to win the 2014 Grammy for Album of the Year.
Should win: Random Access Memories, Daft Punk
Will win: Red, Taylor Swift
Should have also been nominated: Same Trailer Different Park, Kacey Musgraves
Check out more of my Grammy Awards articles.