Ferndale Library Circulation Specialist Amber Davis has a comprehensive and diverse taste in music. She’s been listening to a lot of albums over the last year; more than anyone on staff!
So when it came time to think about the upcoming Grammys ceremony, this Sunday night, we asked her to look at some of the Artists who are nominated for the big categories and get her take on who she thinks should be the winner. Whether they’re the popular front-runner or not, Davis is sharing her personal favorites, with convincing arguments to make their case.
(Click the links for each album title to find them in our online catalog).
Amber’s Grammy Picks, 2018
Album of the Year – “Awaken, My Love!” – Childish Gambino
This album is quite different from what we usually hear from Childish Gambino. While it’s not a rap album, it also really doesn’t fit into any other specific genre of music. On Awaken My Love, Childish Gambino (aka Donald Glover) gives us a composite 70s funk, psychedelic soul vibes. There’s also a mix of rock and even gospel. It’s retro, and yet, the more you listen, it’s actually a bit futuristic, as if he’s doing all of this awesomeness from some distant planet in space! I can only imagine how great this album would sound on vinyl, and I applaud Glover for stepping outside of the box on this one.
Best New Artist – Alessia Cara
I know SZA is also up as a nominee in this category, which made this a hard decision, but Alessia Cara is just stealing my heart right now. While she didn’t release a new smash album, her song “Scars to Your Beautiful” and her collaboration with Logic and Khalid on “1-800-273-8255” really made a statement about who she is as an artist. She genuinely wants to uplift other young women, and everyone who has ever felt, different, flawed, or “other.” Aside from all that, she’s just talented – her inspirational lyrics, her gorgeous voice that has the ability to be both R&B and Pop is so relatable and reaches a very broad audience. Looking forward to what she does throughout her LONG music career.
Best Alternative Album – “American Dream” –LCD Soundsystem
LCD was gone for a long time. Like totally off the radar! But I’m so glad they’ve returned with an album like “American Dream” as their comeback. They really took us back to this 80’s post-punk era, which is one of my absolute favorite genres. The electro-dance fusion on some of the tracks also makes this album something you can cut loose to as well. I’d dance to it at any club or party. Love it!
Best Rap Album – “DAMN” – Kendrick Lamar
Probably one of the tougher decisions for this category, especially with Rapsody’s “Laila’s Wisom” in the running because I love and respect her, the album she’s nominated for is amazing. However, I need to see Kendrick Lamar take this one home. This album won me over on so many levels. The beats bang so hard on this album, in combination with Kendrick’s flow which is always on point. Again, I’m all retro vibes and “DAMN” definitely had a little old school 90’s rap nod to it, especially on tracks like “FEEL” and “DUCKWORTH.” Sometimes I was even reminded of the musical beats you’d hear from an old school Outkast album. This is just pure, raw rap at its finest, and I know Kendrick worked hard on this one. He deserves to take this one home.
Best R&B Album – “Freudian” –Daniel Caesar
I’ve actually surprised myself with this pick since I’ve always been a huge fan of Musiq Soulchild and Ledisi, but “Freudian” just made me feel good and vibe with it in a way the other albums in this category did not. Out of all the other artists in this category, I feel like this album embodies what R&B is. This music on this album is soulful, smooth with a pure groove I could jam to all night long. On top of that, Daniel’s voice is so unique and modern. He transitions into those falsettos so effortlessly, like silk. For me, this is an authentic R&B album worthy of respect.
Best Country Song – “Tin Man” – Miranda Lambert, Jack Ingram, Jon Randall
With all the “interesting” things some artists are trying to do with country music, “Tin Man” is a refreshing, timeless country song that’s so easy on the ears. I first heard this song on a YouTube video with Lambert performing live. It was just her and her guitar on stage, and I loved it! The lyrics are emotional and relatable, and as usual, Miranda Lambert’s voice on this track is stunning. Nothing is overdone here, just simple, authentic country. Even with the lyrics being on the sad side, the music has so many pleasant nuances –airy, melodic, nostalgic, you can’t help but be mesmerized by it.