And the Grammy for Record Of The Year goes to…

Grammy season is quickly approaching, which means we are in store for incredible performances, show stopping outfits and, of course, awards. After delays due to COVID-19, the 63rd Grammys will finally be taking place March 14 on Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS). There are a total of 83 categories, however, the most anticipated of them is the coveted Record Of The Year. All the nominees within this category are exceptionally talented and deserving, but some outshine others. Here is a review of the Record Of The Year nominees. 


A scene from Billie Eilish’s music video for her single “everything i wanted,” which features her brother FINNEAS. Image courtesy of Billie Eilish, “everything i wanted.”

“everything i wanted” by Billie Eilish

Billie Eilish once again dominates the music world with her single “everything i wanted,” which was released on Nov. 13, 2019. Since the song’s debut, it has continued to grow in popularity, even reaching the number eight spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in November of 2019. This song does not disappoint vocally, musically or lyrically. The sound is captivating and chilling, as it leads with soft piano and is later met with a gentle yet consistent beat. The melody accompanies Eilish’s eerie voice, trailing the piano’s delicate notes. The chorus features the layering of both Eilish’s voice and the voice of her brother, FINNEAS, who co-wrote and produced the song. Eilish is the predominant focus, as her vocals are higher and more volumized, while FINNEAS’s voice adds a low, faded vocal to create a subtle yet entrancing harmony. Sensitive and traumatizing all at once, the lyrics describe one of Eilish’s past nightmares in which she commits suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. Despite the dark storyline, it also represents her strong relationship with her brother and his undying support for her. Eilish sings, “And you say, ‘As long as I’m here, no one can hurt you/Don’t wanna lie here, but you can learn to/If I could change the way that you see yourself/You wouldn’t wonder why you hear/‘They don’t deserve you.’”   


Doja Cat’s album “Hot Pink,” released Nov. 7, 2019, includes her popular single “Say So.” Image courtesy of RCA Records.


“Say So” by Doja Cat

Although Doja Cat is not a new artist for many, she has definitely garnered more acclaim this past year. Her latest album, “Hot Pink,” was released Nov. 7, 2019, and is her most successful yet, as its songs have been gaining a tremendous amount of traction on the social media platform TikTok. “Say So,” which is part of the “Hot Pink” album, is an upbeat, fun song that encapsulates the genres of pop, rap and even some influences of funk. Although the song can be slightly repetitive, the second verse diversifies the tempo by adding a rap section performed by Doja Cat herself.  



Popstar, Dua Lipa’s single “Don’t Start Now,” was released Oct. 31, 2019. Image courtesy of Genius.

“Don’t Start Now” by Dua Lipa

British pop star Dua Lipa’s lead single, “Don’t Start Now,” off of her second album “Future Nostalgia,” became a fan favorite as soon it came out. With over 1 billion streams on Spotify and earning the number two spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in November of 2019, it’s safe to say this song took over the music industry. Lyrically, the song describes a heartbreak Lipa endured, but quickly got over. She expresses that she is ready to move on despite the initial heartache. Lipa sings, “Did the heartbreak change me?/Maybe/ But look at where I ended up/I’m all good already/So moved on it’s scary/I’m not where you left me at all.” The bass and percussion are by far the song’s most vital elements, creating an upbeat, groovy tune when meshed together. While unconventional, the noises of cowbells, synthesizers, handclaps and violin all work together to make a cohesive song. The sound range is undoubtedly what attracted such a large audience to Lipa’s “Don’t Start Now.”  


Rapper Post Malone stars in the music video for his single “Circles.” Image courtesy of Republic Records.

“Circles” by Post Malone

Rapper Post Malone has raised the bar for his new music and has furthered his musical career with his most recent album “Hollywood’s Bleeding,” which was released in September of 2019. “Circles,” a single off of his album, is one of Malone’s slower songs as it features simple guitar, bass and drums. These instruments work together to produce a catchy, head-nodding sound; however, lyrically, this song focuses on a melancholy topic. “Circles” describes the story of a struggling relationship as Malone sings, “Seasons change, and our love went cold/Feed the flame ‘cause we can’t let go/Run away, but we’re running in circles/Run away, run away.” Malone’s voice in this song does not follow his typical rap style; instead, his performance and vocal technique is more musically inclined with a soothing raspy quality to it, which accompanies the song very well.   


Megan Thee Stallion and Beyoncé collaborated on the song “Savage,” which was released on April 29, 2020. Image courtesy of Stereogum.

“Savage” by Megan Thee Stallion featuring Beyoncé

“Savage” combines two of the most popular names in the music industry today: Megan Thee Stallion and Beyoncé. Originally the rap song only featured Megan Thee Stallion, but after its release, a remix was later produced and made available to the public in which Beyoncé was featured. The remix features multiple new verses from both artists. Both Megan Thee Stallion and Beyoncé offer something different to the song as their musical stylings are different, but they complement each other well. It is up-tempo and the melody is centered around repeated piano keys and a powerful beat. In addition, the song includes Megan Thee Stallion’s classic and familiar vocal sound, “Ah.” and Beyoncé’s angelic voice. “Savage” is a great dance song as it focuses on confidence, body positivity and empowerment.  



The Black Pumas’ self-titled debut album was released on June 21, 2019. Image courtesy of ATO Records.

“Colors” by Black Pumas

“Colors,” the single off the debut album of the recently formed psychedelic soul and R&B band, Black Pumas, has now reached over 39 million streams on Spotify. “Colors” features lead singer Eric Burton and guitarist Adrain Quesada. The song starts with slow strums of the acoustic guitar and is followed by the steady sounds of powerful percussion. Additionally, “Colors” has a funky bassline, which contributes to the song’s overall bluesy sound. Burton sounds absolutely incredible in this song as his spectacular vocal range and control shine throughout the entirety of  “Colors.” 



Rappers DaBaby and Roddy Ricch collaborated on the song, “Rockstar,” which was released April 17, 2020. Image courtesy of Genius.

“Rockstar” by DaBaby featuring Roddy Ricch

Unlike other rap songs, “Rockstar” by DaBaby featuring Roddy Ricch leads with simple guitar chords and DaBaby’s vocal “Woo’s,” which are met with low, deep beats and clapping sounds to create a rap or hip hop tune. The song’s lyrics compare the lives and behavior of a rapper or hip hop artist to a rockstar, thus the name “Rockstar.” There is a big emphasis on using guns within the song, even comparing it to a rockstar’s guitar. DaBaby raps, “This ain’t no guitar, b****, it’s a Glock.” In addition, there is also an emphasis on police as DaBaby raps, “Brand new Lamborghini, f*** a cop car.” Overall, “Rockstar” had a catchy rhythm, but there was nothing spectacular about the song composition. DaBaby did more singing than he typically does on his other songs, and although it was a new, unique style change, it was not something that altered the song in a positive way.   



Beyoncé’s single, “Black Parade,” came out June 19, 2020, in honor of Juneteenth. Image courtesy of Parkwood Entertainment/Columbia Records.

“Black Parade” by Beyoncé

The single “Black Parade” by Beyoncé was released on June 19, 2020, which is also Juneteenth, the holiday celebrating the ending of slavery in the United States. The song “Black Parade” celebrates Black pride and, more specifically, Black heritage. Beyoncé sings, “Put your fist up in the air, show Black love.” The song’s sound is led by a strong beat and various layerings of horn and flute melodies which captivates the listener. Not only is “Black Parade” an impressive song for its sound and production, but it also shares an important message and meaning behind it as it highlights a momentous day in American history. It serves as a reminder to honor the day of Juneteenth and is also a beautiful song.