Can Fiona Apple beat Gotye for the Alternative Album Grammy?

According to our Grammy predictions, Gotye is the frontrunner to win Best Alternative Album for his breakthrough disc, “Making Mirrors,” getting field-leading 27 to 20 odds. It’s the only category he’s expected to win; his hit “Somebody That I Used to Know” is predicted to lose both Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group to Fun.‘s “We Are Young.”

But not so fast. Two of our six editors and more than 40 users think Fiona Apple actually has the edge for her critically acclaimed fourth studio album, “The Idler Wheel…” Apple would seem to be at a disadvantage; Alternative Album is her only bid, and history usually favors artists with general-field nominations. For instance, Best New Artist-winner Bon Iver won this category last year, beating Grammy darlings Radiohead.

-ADDPREDICTION:76:147:Click to predict Alt Album winner:ADDPREDICTION-

But Gotye may be vulnerable. Despite his Record nomination for “Somebody,” he was notably absent from the New Artist lineup, losing out to breakout stars Fun, Frank Ocean, and Hunter Hayes, along with lesser known Alabama Shakes and The Lumineers.

After such a breakthrough year, a New Artist bid should have been all but guaranteed for Gotye, so his snub may be telling. Given the massive success of his single – “Somebody” went six-times platinum – perhaps voters fear he’s a one-hit wonder.

Fiona Apple, on the other hand, is no one-hit wonder. Though she has yet to repeat the sales success of her 1996 debut, “Tidal,” for which she won her only Grammy (Female Rock Vocal for “Criminal”), she has consistently been a critics’ darling and has earned at least one nomination for every album she’s produced. It has been 15 years since her last win, so she can be considered due another turn in the winner’s circle.

A poll in our message board disagrees with our prediction center odds, with 54% of respondents predicting Apple; Gotye is a distant second with 24%.

But our posters don’t necessarily think it’s a two-way race. They explain why Tom Waits, Bjork, and M83 may also be major challengers for the win. Read some of their comments below, and join the discussion here.

Renaton: Fiona and Waits benefit from huge breaks they had between albums. Considering how loyal and passionate their fan-bases are, they salivate at any sign of them doing anything, and it only helps both albums were excellent and had much acclaim.

MovieManiac405: It’s between Fiona, Gotye, and Bjork… They might give it to Bjork as a win for her career, but “The Idler Wheel” was the far more acclaimed album here, and Grammy loves Fiona.

blueprint: Tom Waits, respected veteran, can totally win this and is Fiona’s biggest threat. Both albums received equally great acclaim and I think it will come down to voters’ taste.

Icky: Considering all the acclaimed female artists that they’ve had the opportunity to award here – PJ Harvey, Bjork, Tori Amos, the female-led Yeah Yeah Yeahs – it’s clear that having a uterus doesn’t help in this category. Honestly, anyone can win this.

ProfessorChaos: The Gotye album rightfully deserves this, especially after the [Album of the Year] snub, by far a much more artistically accomplished album than Fun. Also, in this year reflecting the merging of indie rock into mainstream, Gotye is the commercial beneficiary riding the coattails of the movement (as are M83).

6 thoughts on “Can Fiona Apple beat Gotye for the Alternative Album Grammy?

  1. Fiona Apple’s effort seems a bit more genuine and genius. I don’t know. This will be a category to watch. I hope they actually air this one. Kind of a shame that the Grammys only focus on popular acts. The music industry as a whole needs to showcase more musicianship as a whole instead of always awarding people just because they keep the industry in business.

    One year Christina Aguilera’s “You Lost Me” wasn’t even nominated yet a live version of Beyonce’s “Halo” from a concert was along with Katy Perry and a few other acts who were nominated I guess by default. People are losing respect for this show and its awards.

  2. Wally De Backer (“Gotye”) was not “snubbed” in the Best New Artist category. He isn’t a “New” Artist, unless we’re going by his relatively “new” visibility on the general American public’s radar. De Backer has been a long-established and multi-award-winning artist elsewhere, namely Australian (where he lives), and has performed as “Gotye” for over 12 years now (not to mention as part of a three-piece rock-and-roll band called The Basics). In a nutshell, he’s barely “new” to anything.

    The fact that De Backer seems a bit off-the-grid in terms of popularity is hopeful: it ensures that he will feel less-pressure to conform to popular expectations and continue to make well-crafted, mentally-stimulating, and personally (to himself)-pleasing music that goes beyond “music” and is more an example of craftsmanship.

    Still–I wish him well in the three categories in which he’s nominated. Were I a voter, he’d got my vote every time.

  3. Probably the worst album I have heard all year. The video with the squid on her head was pointless and distracting. The album cover was ripped off from some famous artist from the last century. A level of creativity equal to copy & pasting a entire image onto a cover. Pawn and Criminal put my expectations too high.

  4. Goyte’s song is likeable. Fiona Apple is a confusing stream of consciousness. Because you “look” and “sound” artistic and creative doesn’t automatically convince people that you are original and an artist. Her video was very boring and confusing as the album title itself. Now we know why Sony had her shelved for 7 years, right?

  5. LOL @ Linda thinking Sony “shelved” Fiona. FYI artists don’t get “shelved,” they get dropped and clearly that didn’t happen. Real artists do their own thing and if that means waiting 7 years to release an album, so be it.

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