Song of the Year is perhaps the crux of the whole "The Grammys only care about Top 40 music" argument. Album of the Year and Record of the Year can be judged on sales without much moral handwringing, but Song of the Year? The actual craft of writing a song that resonates with millions while building upon centuries of human achievement? The 2015 nominees include Taylor Swift and Meghan Trainor, and we will (begrudgingly) tell you who should win and who will win.
The charts have spoken, and Music Times is once again forced to take off its #HipsterHat and sort through a selection of songs that are best known for YouTube hits and Spotify spins.
- "All About That Bass" written by Kevin Kadish and Meghan Trainor (performed by Meghan Trainor)
- "Chandelier" written by Sia Furler and Jesse Shatkin (performed by Sia) and pulled from the album 1000 Forms of Fear.
- "Shake It Off" written by Max Martin, Shellback and Taylor Swift (performed by Taylor Swift)
- "Stay with Me (Darkchild Version)" written by James Napier, William Phillips and Sam Smith (performed by Sam Smith)
- "Take Me to Church" written by Andrew Hozier-Byrne (performed by Hozier) and pulled from the album Take Me to Church.
While "All About That Bass" was one of 2014's biggest surprises, the craftmanship is ... bizarre, to say the least. We are all for individual expression, but Kevin Kadish is a middle-aged white dude who co-signed on a Cherelles throwback that declared war on "skinny bitches."
Still, Kadish and Meghan Trainor get style points for a different kind of radio message. Hell, if Bryan Adams is on board with it, we are, too.
Sia's "Chandelier" is a song with actual emotion, an anthem for the party stars who hang on to the nightlife because they cannot look at themselves in the mirror without a shot first.
"I'm the one 'for a good time call,'" she sings. "Phone's blowing up / They're ringing my doorbell / I feel the love."
The only knocks on this song are 1) the video is the centerpiece and 2) nobody knows what the hell it is about until they peek at the lyrics sheet.
2014 was the year of Taylor Swift. We spent much of the year awaiting her new album, 1989, and when it finally showed up, our heads exploded. "Shake It Off" was the first offering from the album, and the only Swift-related song/album nominated thanks to the Grammys cutoff date -- watch out for a Taylor-filled show in 2016.
When viewed through the lens of "Hey, Taylor Swift is trying to make the No. 1 song in the country," she knocked this one out of the park. It is catchy. It is sassy. It has got #ThisSickBeat. But it is not exactly transcendent, just a better version of the dance-infused pop that dominated the radio waves last summer.
"Stay With Me" has been in the news lately because people finally, officially recognized it as a Tom Petty rip-off. But that is just the chord progression and melody. Smith actually penned a nice song that helped break down some barriers -- Surprise! It's about a dude! -- and shed new light on the one-night stand.
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa-a-a--a-a-a-a--a-a--a-a-a--a-men. We're finally to the Hozier section of this story. "Take Me to Church" is a bit wonky in its structure -- see aforementioned prayer bridge -- and will forever be one of those "misheard lyrics" classics that nobody really knows the words to.
But it is always nice when a raw song sneaks its way onto the FM dial, and Hozier appears to have connected with a large contingency of music fans who were waiting for Mumford and Sons to write a jock jam.
What Should Win: "Chandelier"
Masked by a swirling chorus and a viral video, the moral of the story eventually shines through with an excellent, introspective set of lyrics.
What Will Win: "All About That Bass"
Politics aside, somebody had to bring booty back on behalf of soccer moms.