Ah, the Grammys. Of the major awards-season shows, obviously the Grammys are the ones I have the most feelings about. Mostly bad feelings. But feelings, nonetheless. This year’s is especially baffling as, at one point going through, I had to look some things up to make sure I was looking at the nominees for the right year. A lot of the records here are old.
Anyway, like last year I’m largely skipping the classical and jazz categories. Part of that is because I don’t really have the ability to evaluate them in the “Grammy” sense – I don’t listen to enough classical recordings to have any kind of idea what makes one arrangement any “better” (in the awards show sense) than another. And the contemporary jazz that gets nominated for Grammys is officially the most boring crap it’s possible to nominate for anything1.
Basically, if I don’t feel I can give the firm, definitive pronouncement of the proper winner that I know you’ve all grown accustomed to, I’m not going to write about the category. That said, I’m probably also going to write about some categories I didn’t write about last year.
Best Music Video
Boy, Jay-Z really has lost his fucking mind, hasn’t he? That really happened all at once. Anyway. Picasso Baby is dumb bullshit. “Suit & Tie” is proof that Jay-Z isn’t keeping his brainworms to himself. I have literally no idea why “Can’t Hold Us” should be nominated for anything, as that video is dumb. The “I’m Shakin’” video is pretty cool. Jack White sure does have a strong sense of style. But that Capital Cities video is cheese city with extra cheese, and I can’t turn that down.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Capital Cities, “Safe and Sound” (Bonus: now that fucking song is in your head. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.)
Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical
I feel like this is the first time I’ve seen a remix category at the Grammys? I don’t remember there being one in years past. Maybe I just wasn’t paying attention. Anyway. This is perhaps the most challenging category, as what is it, exactly, that makes a remix “good”? I decided that I didn’t want to answer that question, and evaluated each remix as thought it was a completely new song, and then again in relation to the original, and it turned out that the same song came up on top both times.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNERS: Lana Del Rey “Summertime Sadness (Cedric Gervais Remix)”
Producer of the Year, Non-Classical
Another technically-challenging category, the only way to evaluate the effectiveness of a producer is within the context of the act (Pharrell, for example, is almost certainly not trying to do the same things for Mayer Hawthorne that Jeff Tweedy is trying to do for Mavis Staples, and that’s even sort of within the same genre). That said, Dr. Luke had just about his worst year on record, if his grammy-nominated songs are to be believed. Ariel Rechtshaid and Rob Cavallo seem to have the same talent: producing songs that people like to play on the radio (or whatever passes for radio these days). And so we come back to Pharrell vs. Jeff Tweedy. On the one hand, Pharrell is basically in his element, and did make some crazy good records this year. On the other hand, Jeff Tweedy produced a Low album.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Jeff Tweedy. Duh.
Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical
I’m not actually that fussed about the winner here, but I would like to say that Pistol Annies/Madeleine Peyroux/Alice in Chains/Queens of the Stone Age/Andrew Duhon/Daft Punk is probably the weirdest set of people in one category.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Daft Punk, because whatever else they may or may not be good at, their records are engineered as soundly as a Swiss watch
Best Historical Album
Uh huh. Uh huh. You know, I probably could have skipped this category, but I like that it exists so much. Still, though. What a boring set of choices.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Pictures of Sound: One Thousand Years of Educed Audio
Best Album Notes
Why is Work Hard, Play Hard, Pray Hard here and not above? Please note: this is not the first time I will question the category that something winds up in.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: the person that writes me a note explaining why these categories are a massive, confused jumble.
Best Boxed or Limited Edition Special Package
Man, here’s one for all the physical media enthusiasts out there! I buy a lot of records physically, but 1) not any of these and 2) rarely conversation pieces. Still, though, I suppose the population of “people who only want to buy a Paul McCartney album if they can display it tastefully above their mantle” are pretty happy this year.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: I can’t even pretend to care.
Best Recording Package
You know what I’ve never actually considered? Who actually makes the packaging decision for, say, a Metallica album. Some research also shows that I have absolutely no idea what could possibly be being awarded here. There is nothing remotely interesting about any of the “packaging” of any of these records, unless it refers to cover art, in which case “David Bowie’s thirty-five-year-old album cover with a big fuck off square in the middle of it” is the clear winner.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: David Bowie’s thirty-five-year-old album cover with a big fuck off square in the middle of it.
Best Song Written for Visual Media
Cleverly worded so that songs from tv shows can be included! And, presumably, not paintings! But a song from a painting would be pretty boss. Anyway. This is a collection of the dullest music in the present environment. Like, seriously. Even the ones (Adele, Regina Spektor) who can be not be boring are, here, quite boring.
Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media
I liked the score for Argo a lot a year ago when I wrote about it for the Oscars. I feel that I still like it.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Argo
Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media
How bad do you think Baz Luhrmann wants these Grammys every single time he shits an idea out of his stupid butt brain? WELL HE’S NOT GETTING THIS ONE.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: I actually don’t care, I just want someone to not give it to Baz Luhrmann
Best Comedy Album
Uuuuuuugh. Jesus. I almost feel like they must have tripped over that Tig Notaro record by accident. Like, how did they even find it? Clearly they have absolutely no idea where to look. Bob Saget? Kathy Griffin?
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Tig Notaro, Live. Because it’s actually great, but also because it’s the only good thing in this godforsaken category.
Best Spoken Word Album (includes Poetry, Audio Books and Storytelling)
I can honestly say I’ve never heard a “storytelling” album. Also I firmly believe that Stephen Colbert’s jokes are better than Pete Seeger’s poetry.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Stephen Colbert, America Again: Re-Becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t
Best Folk Album
Hey! It’s Sarah Jarosz! Hi Sarah Jarosz! I legitimately thought I heard about Guy Clark having died a couple of years ago. I guess he’s not even retired. Huh. The Milk Carton Kids and The Greencards didn’t manage to do anything of much inspiration, and Arhoolie Records would have to be trying to not put together an impressive compilation, so that kind of seems like cheating.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Sarah Jarosz, Build Me Up From Bones
Best Americana Album
I skipped Best Bluegrass Album, but that, the folk category and this category all seem like they could all be one category, no? I guess they’re not as worried about the categories that’ll probably just never be televised. Anyway. This worked out a lot better than last years Americana crop. Especially once you throw out Steve Martin and Edie Brickell (“folk music for people that think folk music is best appreciated by people who don’t have any idea how folk music works”). It’s hard to throw out Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale, and even harder to throw out Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell. I guess the reason they can’t lump this in with folk or one of the country categories is that would leave out Allen Toussaint and Mavis Staples, which would be a shame.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Mavis Staples, One True Vine
Best American Roots Song
And then, of course, my carefully-reasoned theory is thrown out in favor of not making any goddamn sense. So all the categories are just lumped together up here in “roots song.” Anyway. Steve Earle. He’s a reliable workhorse. Still not giving it to Steve Martin and Edie Brickell2. So nobody named Steve, then. Tim O’Brien and Darrell Scott will probably be sad to know that it’s not them either. I like Allen Toussaint, but I always feel like I don’t like him as much as people expect me to. Or as other people tell me they do. Anyway.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Sarah Jarosz, “Build Me Up From Bones”
Best Country Album
Skipping over the CCM3, latin, jazz and other assorted small-band categories means that the Country category follows logically from the other, well, country categories. I think that for as long as I do this I’m going to have to be annoyed at Jason Aldean. That’s fine. I’m in this for the long haul. We’ll see who rusts first, Aldean. I’m just going to move Tim McGraw and Blake Shelton out ofthe way right away – not because they didn’t make good records4, but because Red and Same Trailer, Different Park are both quite good, and it was always going to come down to them.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Kacey Musgraves, Same Trailer, Different Park, because it’s actually a country record.
Best Country Song
There used to be such a fuss made about whether or not any given performer wrote their own songs. Remember that? That was, in hindsight, pretty goddamned ridiculous. Anyway, I mention it because that would mean that Taylor Swift was the only person those people would take seriously which, if you think about who the people who thought that writing your own songs was important are, is goddamned hilarious. Actually, most of the effort people go to to marginalize non-rock music was pretty funny.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: All of us, really, because we are allowed to look back upon such silliness.
Best Country Duo/Group Performance
This remains the category that I basically care about the least. The country music duet is a form with a long and storied history that has led to some of the genre’s best moments, up until the early nineties and the advent of adopting the model of playing in the studio with your touring band5, which made it even more awkward to bring in another singer that had no chemistry. Now, as we move away from that model once more, it seems only fair that the noble country duet gets some more time in the sun. But that is also something that’s probably going to happen outside of the Grammy awards
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: In the first repeat winner of the category, it’s Mrs. Coach and Mrs. Coach’s hair! Way to go, ladies!
Best Country Solo Performance
Miranda Lambert’s, “Mama’s Broken Heart” appears on the Grammys’ website with no album attributed to it, which tells me that the Grammys are as embarrassed about the title of Four the Record as everyone associated with it should be. It’s an ok song, but they’re right: it can never win. Anyway, everyone here knows that I think Hunter Hayes should be set on fire. I just listened to the Lee Brice song “I Drive Your Truck,” again, and I’ve already forgotten it. That leaves us with Blake Shelton vs. Darius Rucker.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Darius Rucker, “Wagon Wheel”, because it really is a great song.
Best Rap Album
One of the things I love about Kanye West is that, even though his creative output is pretty uniformly incredible, and even though he has the ability to basically bend all of hip-hop around him, he is still his own biggest fan, and this Grammy nomination was the source of a hissy fit because it wasn’t all the other Grammy nominations. That’s beautiful. Anyway, I do actually think that Yeezus is better than Kendrick Lamar’s Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City, but I’ll be interested to revisit that opinion in a few years.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Yeezus, if only because Kanye’s thank-you speech would be infinitely more entertaining than Kendrick’s.
Best Rap Song
Huh. “Thrift Shop.” I thought awards-granting bodies had already moved on to “Same Love.” I guess they aren’t controlled by a sinister monomind like I thought. Anyway, both songs are terrible and neither deserves anything. Drake still did not start from the bottom, and that song sucks, too. “Holy Grail” is possibly the best song on Magna Carta Holy Grail, but that’s not actually saying that much. ONAT First Half of 13 favorites “New Slaves” and “Fuckin’ Problems” are both great songs, and it appears that we have yet another Kanye vs. Kendrick fight on our hands. These are really hard on my heart, guys. I totally know how children from broken homes feel now.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Kanye West, “New Slaves,” but I don’t think we need to dwell on it. I LOVE YOU BOTH, KENDRICK IT’S JUST THE RIGHT CHOICE FOR RIGHT NOW.
Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
In a just world, this would be a Drake song vs. a Future song and maybe, like, a Rich Kidz song or something. But it isn’t. It’s rap songs with sung hooks. And it’s got J. Cole in it! But, somehow, inexplicably, not Macklemore! But two different Jay-Z songs! I don’t understand anything! Anyway, it’s obviously not J. Cole or either Jay-Z song. I’m sad to say it’s not “Remember You,” either, but that’s more because Wiz Khalifa is, like Blake Shelton, such a happy puppy that I feel bad for denying him stuff.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Kendrick Lamar & Mary J. Blige, “Now or Never”
Best Rap Performance
There are four terrible songs in this batch, and one stone-cold great one. Oh, and I’d like to single out “Thrift Shop” for still sucking.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Kendrick Lamar, “Swimming Pools (Drank)”
Best R&B Album
HOLY SHIT, EVERYBODY. IT’S FAITH EVANS. HOLY JESUS. Anyway. She’s not going to win a Grammy, but it’s good to know she’s still…around? I mean. It’s good to know the advertising wing of some label or other figured out how to convince the Grammy-granters that she’s still around. That’s very nice. The R&B Grammy is not the Urban Contemporary Grammy, so I think it’s fair to call this one “the R&B Grammy for Old Folks.” And old folks looooooove John Legend. And, possibly, Faith Evans.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: John Legend, Love in the Future
Best Urban Contemporary Album
This category (“R&B for young folks”) has been such a goldmine in years past that this year’s anemic selection seems like it should be an accident, but upon some digging: it pretty much isn’t. Oh sure, it would be nice to see Blood Orange or the Weeknd or whoever in there6, but they’re not really the Grammy type. It’s also somewhat notable for the fact that Unapologetic is the Rihanna release that’s gotten the most breathing room, Rihanna’s-release-schedule-wise. It’s still not a very good album, though, although it’s better than Fantasia or Tamar Braxton could do. That Mack Wilds record is ok. The Salaam Remi record is better.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Salaam Remi, One: In the Chamber
Best R&B Song
I mean, I know that I devote a lot of words to it, but literally nothing about the Grammys’ genre separation makes a single lick of sense. So songs that were “Urban Contemporary” in album categories are now “R&B” in song format, and I AM MORE THAN A LITTLE CONFUSED BY THIS. Anyway, I quite like “Pusher Love Girl”.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Justin Timberlake, “Pusher Love Girl”
Best Traditional R&B Performance
“R&B for people who can’t bear to admit they listen to R&B”, I guess? Anyway. That Fantasia song was on an Urban Contemporary record a minute ago. If it seems like I’m just splitting hairs, consider: they called each of the categories different things, why can’t they either open up the field of nominations, or figure out what it is they want to call it?
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Gary Clark, Jr., “Please Come Home”
Best R&B Performance
Y’know, the non-traditional ones. Actually, this just brings to mind a bunch of seventies-style jumpsuited, finger-poppin’ song and dance men re-enacting Marina Abramovic pieces. Which, obviously, is something that needs to happen right away.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Marina Abramovic
The Best Alternative Album
More fun with genres! Luckily, “Alternative” never meant anything in the first place. Nine Inch Nails’ Hesitation Marks, The National’s Trouble Will Find Me, Neko Case’s The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You7 – the winner of this year’s ceremonial “willowy lady with a really long album title nomination” – and Modern Vampires of the City are all albums by bands that have made significantly better albums. They are also all albums that I find it hard to do anything but shrug at. I dunno. But that Tame Impala album was tits.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Tame Impala, Lonerism
Best Rock Album
Lord help us all. Given that they’ve managed to boner every single category, do you wonder what it is the Grammy voters could get right? Also, isn’t Celebration Day a film? Of all the dumb-ass intergenre nonsense the Grammys have managed, nominating the soundtrack to a concert film in this category seems like it’s pretty much the dumbest. Anyway, that Queens of the Stone Age record is pretty good, and people really had a lot of very excited things to say about that David Bowie record, but I don’t understand any of those things.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Queens of the Stone Age, …Like Clockwork
Best Rock Song
I feel Gary Clark Jr’s presence here and in the R&B nominations is either proof that the Grammy academy can’t decide what is and is not R&B, or that I’m being fucked with. I, obviously, choose to believe the latter. Anyway. The average age of the nominees in this category is 56. You can take that as a victory for the vitality of old people, as a sign that young people aren’t making commercial rock music anymore, or as a sign that the Grammy Voting Academy is hedging whatever their bets may be by trying to appeal to the most tried-and-true acts. None of it particularly matters, I suppose, because the only good song in the bunch is that Gary Clark, Jr. song, and that’s not a rock song.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: The vengeful ghosts of all of the genres that were dismissed casually by an audience created by the mainstream commercial rock machine.
Best Metal Performance
Actually, this set of nominees is going to leave us with “least terrible” metal performance but, as with several of the country nominations, at least they got the fucking genre right. Dream Theater, Black Sabbath and Anthrax are all bands that have made vital contributions to the music environment. The most recently that statement could have been present tense for any of those bands is twenty full years ago. And even that only applies to Dream Theater. Seriously. If the Grammy nominators think that R&B fans are inscrutable and/or mercurial, they obviously just think that heavy metal fans are just old.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: I couldn’t even begin to tell you. I’m too busy listening to The Body.
Best Rock Performance
I’m still protesting the inclusion of Celebration Day. Is it a bribe to get the surviving members of The Entity Currently Calling Itself Led Zeppelin8 to show up to the awards ceremony? Is it because commercial rock is in such a weird place right now that there’s basically no idea to tell what it even is9? Alabama Shakes’ “Always Alright” is actually from a proper soundtrack to a non-concert film, so I’m ok with it in the larger sense, if still thinking it’s not very good in the smaller. “My God is the Sun” and “I’m Shakin’” are both fair-to-middlin’ songs by acts that are (or have been) capable of genuine rockin’ greatness. “Radioactive” is, easily, the worst song of 2013. Easily. Handily. In a walk it is the worst song of 2013. I could devote thousands more words to this fact. Instead, I won’t.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: A recording of the sigh and headshake this category deserves. Alternately, a righteous haunting by the ghost of John Bonham.
Best Traditional Pop Vocal
The “traditional pop” category was introduced in 1992 – right around the last time there was a major divide in the targeted ages of Grammy categories. It has also been won in half of those years by Tony Bennett (that’s not a joke). And he’s up for it this year, and history shows that he’s likely to win it again. Cee-Lo’s Christmas album and Gloria Estefan’s album of standards are beneath consideration. Dionne Warwick’s oddly-assembled (albeit mildly interesting10) Now is better on paper than in execution. That means it comes down to Michael Buble and Tony Bennett, and frankly, who am I to argue with the force of history and tradition?
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Tony Bennett & Various Artists, Viva Duets
Best Dance/Electronica Album
I am pretty happy to take any opportunity to shit on Calvin Harris. Even this one. Fuck you, Calvin Harris. Kaskade and Disclosure are both so deathly dull that I can’t imagine giving them an award for anything, except possibly “most bafflingly adored act currently going”11. I’ve written enough on this blog about how uninteresting I find the Daft Punk record. Luckily, Pretty Lights is here to save the day.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Pretty Lights, A Color Map of the Sun
Best Dance Recording
Seriously, do you think if we just start swatting Calvin Harris on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper he’ll go away? I’ve given up on ever remembering the time he was talented. Kaskade is here again, officially setting them on the road to being the J. Cole of the Grammys. Duke Dumont and Armin Van Buren have other, better songs that they aren’t nominated here for. I kind of like that Zedd song.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Zedd featuring Foxes, “Clarity”
Best Pop Vocal Album
The 25% of The Complete 20/20 Experience that’s good is quite good. And it’s depressing that among this field it puts that record in the middle of the pack – healthily above Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines and Lana Del Rey’s Paradise. But Unorthodox Jukebox and Pure Heroine are both better records.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Bruno Mars, Unorthodox Jukebox, because even though it’s an uneven, inconsistent record, it’s not as uneven or inconsistent as Pure Heroine
Best Pop Instrumental Album
Of all the categories at the Grammy awards, this is the one that seems the weirdest. I listen to more instrumental records per year than anyone I know, and I’m basically entirely-unaware of the field of “pop instrumental” music, at least as separate from EDM (which is how it’s presented here).
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Herb Alpert, Steppin’ Out, because why not?
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
Man, if you throw out “Blurred Lines” you have a category full of songs that are both 1) good and 2) nominated in the correct category. It’s a Christmas miracle! “Suit & Tie” still has that terrible Jay-Z verse. “Just Give Me a Reason” still has all those parts that aren’t the chorus. “Get Lucky” is still a minute too long.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: “Stay,” but it should be accepted by Low or, failing that, Patti Smith.
Best Pop Solo Performance
Now this is a category. Sara Bareilles’ come-from-behind Grammy showing is mildly interesting in and of itself, and “Brave” is a pretty good song, even. Unfortunately it’s outclassed here. “Mirrors” is the high point of The 20/20 Experience, “If I Was Your Man” is the only Bruno Mars song where the whole song is as good as the chorus, “Roar” is the best Katy Perry single since “Hot and Cold.” But this is also my first opportunity in this blog space to profess my love for “Royals”.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Lorde, “Royals.” Seriously. It’s so good.
Best New Artist
I see no reason to beat around the bush here. Sorry, Kacey Musgraves.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Kendrick Lamar
Song of the Year
Oh there’s “Same Love.” Right. Well, that’s a piece of shit, so it doesn’t win. “Just Give Me a Reason” is still a cut below the rest of the nominees here. “Roar” is too reliant on its performance and production to win the “song” category12. “Locked Out of Heaven” is good, but also production-driven.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Lorde, “Royals.”
Album of the Year
Obviously, The Heist is still awful. Where once it held the pleasures of Ryan Lewis’ production (and, make no mistake – he’s a very good producer), that’s pretty much wiped out by the sheer, unbelievable crassness that marks basically every other aspect of the record. Branch out on your own, Ryan. Make beat records and post them on Soundcloud or something. Leave Ben to do his own weird, insulting, bandwagony thing. You’re better than this. I did have some nice things to say about Sara Bareilles, and I was as surprised as anybody, but let’s not get carried away here. Random Access Memories is still not a very good album. Red has an absolutely top-notch clutch of singles, and would be the winner in a Kendrick-free field.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Kendrick Lamar, Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City
Record of the Year
Ah, here it is! The big one! The Grande Belle award of the evening! Unfortunately, in these writeups, as in the show itself, there’s basically no suspense left. There are no surprises here. So I’m going to take this last opportunity to say: Robin Thicke is gross, and Imagine Dragons are mind-bogglingly awful.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Lorde, “Royals”
1 there are also a whole bunch of Latin categories that I just don’t feel like I can evaluate, having essentially zero exposure to any of the music, which would mean coming to a conclusion about which Latin record is best to someone who literally has no idea about the mien of the record. That’s like getting fashion advice from a Kardashian*.
2 a note, here: I have never gotten the impression that Steve Martin’s banjo-playin’ folk musician career was anything but completely genuine. I think he really means all that pickin’ and grinnin’. I think, however, that he also has been enabled in his earnestly-meant “folk music” stylings by the sort of people that like the idea of a real person going over the fence to play hillbilly music they don’t have to feel bad about liking. Actors make vanity records all the time, but only in Steve Martin’s case does it turn into some twisted form of fake-legitimacy because of the genre in which he chooses to work.
3 for those of you who were waiting patiently for the answer posed back in the American Music Awards writeup to the question “is it still called CCM?” – yes, yes it is. You may now resume breathing normally.
4 Well, Blake Shelton did. Tim McGraw did not make a good record.
5 an advent that I’m all in favor of. The country music duet gave us some strong parts, but it is also the easiest way to make a song that’s just terrible.
6 I am going, here in this footnote, to call this next year for Jhene Aiko, who really does appear to be gathering hosannas, which is pretty cool.
7 to swallow the cat to swallow the rat to swallow the spider* to catch the fly
*that wriggled and jiggled and tickled inside her
8 I realize that it’s still ¾ of actual Led Zeppelin, but calling John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant without John Bonham Led Zeppelin is like calling a grilled cheese sandwich a cheeseburger because it has most of the right parts.
9 hint: it’s this one.
10 she reconnected with Burt Bacharach, Hal David and Phil Ramone to remake a bunch of songs that had already been hits for them, which is a neat idea.
11 this applies only to Disclosure. As far as I can tell, nobody likes Kaskade.
12 the “record” categories go to the artifactual existence of the record itself – all of the things that you physically hear. The “song” categories try to isolate the song in some kind of metatextual existence. Or, rather, textual existence. Whether this is possible or not is up to you to decide, but whatever feat of songwriting you can conjure up, the effectiveness “Roar” is borne of its singer, and therefore has very little to do with the song.