Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Grammy Winner Predictions for 2013

The 55th Grammy Awards will be handed out this Sunday night on Feb. 10 on CBS. As always, I'll take a crack at guessing who will walk away with some hardware. Make sure to come back during the Grammys since I'll be liveblogging and providing on the spot analysis on the event as usual.

Album of the Year

The Black Keys - El Camino
fun. - Some Nights
Mumford & Sons - Babel
Frank Ocean - Channel Orange
Jack White - Blunderbuss

Will win: The most competitive AOTY race in years essentially comes down to The Black Keys, fun., Mumford & Sons and Frank Ocean. The rock vote will be split all over the place, but based on how hard the Grammys are trying to regain credibility, El Camino will probably come out on top since it seems to be the album that even non-rock fans can agree on.
Should win: Channel Orange was my #2 album of 2012 and just about every publication had it in their year-end top ten.
Overlooked: Fiona Apple - The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than The Driver of The Screw And Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do; Miguel - Kaleidoscope Dream

Record of the Year

The Black Keys - "Lonely Boy"
Kelly Clarkson - "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)"
fun. feat. Janelle Monáe - "We Are Young"
Gotye feat. Kimbra - "Somebody That I Used to Know"
Frank Ocean - "Thinkin Bout You"
Taylor Swift - "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together"

Will win: I can't really think of any other recent song as popular and uniting as "We Are Young."
Should win: This is the first time that I can recall not having a problem with either of the nominees winning, even though my Channel Orange bias has me rooting for "Thinkin' Bout You."
Overlooked: Carly Rae Jespen - "Call Me Maybe"; Jay-Z & Kanye West - "N----s In Paris"

Song of the Year

Ed Sheeran - "The A Team" (songwriter: Ed Sheeran)
Miguel - "Adorn" (songwriter: Miguel Pimentel)
Carly Rae Jepsen - "Call Me Maybe" (songwriters: Tavish Crowe, Carly Rae Jepsen & Josh Ramsay)
Kelly Clarkson - "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" (songwriters: Jörgen Elofsson, David Gamson, Greg Kurstin & Ali Tamposi)
fun. feat. Janelle Monáe - "We Are Young" (songwriters: Jack Antonoff, Jeff Bhasker, Andrew Dost & Nate Ruess)

Will win: fun. should take this one as well since everyone knows it and the Jepsen nod is more of a consolation for not landing in Record of the Year.
Should win: It's hard to deny the catchiness of "Call Me Maybe."
Overlooked: Frank Ocean - "Thinkin' Bout You"; Taylor Swift feat. The Civil Wars - "Safe and Sound";

Best New Artist

Alabama Shakes
Hunter Hayes
The Lumineers
Frank Ocean

Will win: Frank Ocean had the one of the biggest music stories of the year. This has been his award since June. fun. would play the big spoiler in this case.
Should win: Aside from all the press, Ocean's music holds up on its own regardless of hype.
Overlooked: Carly Rae Jepsen, Elle Varner

Best Pop Solo Performance

Adele - "Set Fire to the Rain" (Live)"
Kelly Clarkson - "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)"
Carly Rae Jepsen - "Call Me Maybe"
Katy Perry - "Wide Awake"
Rihanna - "Where Have You Been"

Will win: Although her year wasn't as big as 2011, Adele still has some support. If not her, it'll be Kelly Clarkson.
Should win: If it's based strictly on the performance, I'd like to see Kelly take another Grammy for her empowering turn.
Overlooked: Demi Lovato - "Give Your Heart A Break"; Ne-Yo - "Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself)"

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

Florence + the Machine - "Shake It Out"
Fun. feat. Janelle Monáe - "We Are Young"
Gotye feat. Kimbra - "Somebody That I Used to Know"
LMFAO - "Sexy and I Know It"
Maroon 5 feat. Wiz Khalifa - "Payphone"

Will win: The tide has switched more in favor of fun. than Gotye at this point.
Should win: "Somebody I Used To Know" opened up a lot of ears to a sound that might have been too different for them before the video went viral.
Overlooked: Carly Rae Jepsen & Owl City - "Good Time"; No Doubt - "Push and Shove"

Best Pop Vocal Album

Kelly Clarkson - Stronger
Florence + the Machine - Ceremonials
fun. - Some Nights
Maroon 5 - Overexposed
Pink - The Truth About Love

Will win: Some Nights, mainly because it will remind voters of a classic sound.
Should win: Is it okay to admit that I haven't heard most of these? Alright.
Overlooked: Carly Rae Jepsen - Kiss; Lianne La Havas - Is Your Love Big Enough?

Best Dance Recording

Avicii - "Levels"
Calvin Harris feat. Ne-Yo - "Let's Go"
Skrillex - "Bangarang"
Swedish House Mafia feat. John Martin - "Don't You Worry Child"
Al Walser - "I Can't Live Without You"

Will win: It might be foolish of me to go against Skrillex, but Avicii's "Levels" felt more like a definitive EDM song for this time period.
Should win: "Levels," for pretty much the same reason listed above.
Overlooked: Die Antwoord - "I Fink U Freeky"; Icona Pop - "I Love It"; Justice - "On'n'on"; Kylie Minogue - "Timebomb"; MNDR - "#1 In Heaven"

Best Dance/Electronica Album

Steve Aoki - Wonderland
The Chemical Brothers - Don't Think
Deadmau5 - Album Title Goes Here
Kaskade - Fire & Ice
Skrillex - Bangarang

Will win: Skrillex has the hot hand right now in terms of buzz, which this category has started to favor recently.
Should win: Steve Aoki's Wonderland was goofy and carefree, but it was also more fun than it had any right to be.
Overlooked: Escort - Escort; MNDR - Feed Me Diamonds;

Best Rock Performance

Alabama Shakes - "Hold On"
The Black Keys - "Lonely Boy"
Coldplay - "Charlie Brown"
Mumford & Sons - "I Will Wait"
Bruce Springsteen - "We Take Care of Our Own"

Will win: The Black Keys have the most nominations, so I expect them to pick up more than a few Grammys in the rock field, starting here.
Should win: Alabama Shakes' "Hold On" brought some true soul and fire to modern rock radio.
Overlooked: The Mynabirds - "Generals"; Smashing Pumpkins - "Panopticon"

Best Rock Song

The Black Keys - "Lonely Boy" (songwriters: Dan Auerbach, Brian Burton & Patrick Carney)
Mumford & Sons - "I Will Wait" (songwriters: Ted Dwane, Ben Lovett, Winston Marshall & Marcus Mumford)
Muse - "Madness" (songwriter: Matthew Bellamy)
Bruce Springsteen - "We Take Care of Our Own" (songwriter: Bruce Springsteen)
Jack White - "Freedom at 21" (songwriter: Jack White)

Will win: "Lonely Boy," mainly because The Black Keys are so likable at this point.
Should win: "Lonely Boy" is a fun shredder.
Overlooked: First Aid Kit - "Emmylou"

Best Rock Album

The Black Keys - El Camino
Coldplay - Mylo Xyloto
Muse - The 2nd Law
Bruce Springsteen - Wrecking Ball
Jack White - Blunderbuss

Will win: The Black Keys have only grown in stature since they beat Muse, Arcade Fire and Kings of Leon in Best Rock Performance by a Group two years ago.
Should win: Jack White's Blunderbuss had a beauty that the others here can't match.
Overlooked: Alabama Shakes - Boys & Girls

Best Alternative Music Album

Fiona Apple - The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do
Björk - Biophilia
Gotye - Making Mirrors
M83 - Hurry Up, We're Dreaming
Tom Waits - Bad as Me

Will win: Fiona Apple got some of the best reviews of 2012, which should play in her favor here.
Should win: Apple took the most chances with her sound out of anyone here and it paid off.
Overlooked: Sleigh Bells - Reign of Terror;

Best R&B Performance

Estelle - "Thank You"
Robert Glasper Experiment featuring Ledisi - "Gonna Be Alright (F.T.B.)"
Luke James – "I Want You"
Miguel – "Adorn"
Usher - "Climax"

Will win: I'd usually be inclined to go with Usher in this category, especially if he has a big hit, but I think Miguel's "Adorn" probably left more of an impact.
Should win: "Adorn," but "Climax" is very close behind for me.
Overlooked: Elle Varner - "I Don't Care"; Frank Ocean - "Thinkin' Bout You"

Best Traditional R&B Performance

Anita Baker - "Lately"
Beyoncé - "Love on Top"
Melanie Fiona - "Wrong Side of a Love Song"
Gregory Porter - "Real Good Hands"
SWV - "If Only You Knew"

Will win: I don't think anyone here stands a chance against Beyoncé.
Should win: I'll go with Gregory Porter's "Real Good Hands" just to prove to myself and the world that songs about respect can still make for a good listen.
Overlooked: Rebecca Ferguson - Nothing's Real But Love

Best R&B Song

Anthony Hamilton - "Pray for Me" (songwriters: Antonio Dixon, Kenny Edmonds, Anthony Hamilton & Patrick "jQue" Smith)
Miguel - "Adorn" (songwriter: Miguel Pimentel)
Trey Songz - "Heart Attack" (songwriters: Benjamin Levin, Rico Love & Tremaine Neverson)
Tamia - "Beautiful Surprise" (songwriters: Tamia Hill, Claude Kelly & Salaam Remi)
Elle Varner - "Refill" (songwriters: Darhyl "DJ" Camper, Elle Varner & Andrew "Pop" Wansel)

Will win: "Adorn" blew up on radio and that Song of the Year nomination won't hurt either.
Should win: "Adorn" was about as sensual as it got in 2012.
Overlooked: Usher - "Climax"

Best Urban Contemporary Album

Chris Brown - Fortune
Miguel - Kaleidoscope Dream
Frank Ocean - Channel Orange

Will win: Smart money says to go with the guy who has the Album of the Year nomination, so Frank Ocean it is.
Should win: We'll be talking about Channel Orange and its impact for a while.
Overlooked: Dawn Richard - Armor On; Elle Varner - Perfectly Imperfect

Best R&B Album

Robert Glasper Experiment - Black Radio
Anthony Hamilton - Back to Love
R. Kelly - Write Me Back
Tamia - Beautiful Surprise
Tyrese - Open Invitation

Will win: Only heavy hitters tend to win this award, and Kels is the heaviest of them all.
Should win: Robert Glasper Experiment's Black Radio still felt seamless in spite of all its collaborators.
Overlooked: SWV - I Missed Us; THEESatisfaction - AwE NaturalE

Best Rap Performance

Drake feat. Lil Wayne - "HYFR (Hell Ya Fucking Right)"
Jay-Z & Kanye West - "N----s in Paris"
Nas - "Daughters"
Kanye West feat. Big Sean, Pusha T & 2 Chainz - "Mercy"
Young Jeezy feat. Jay-Z & André 3000 - "I Do"

Will win: "N----s In Paris" was too colossal to ignore.
Should win: "I Do" featured some of the most heartfelt verses from all three men involved in sometime.
Overlooked: Odd Future - "Oldie"

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration

Flo Rida feat. Sia -"Wild Ones"
Jay-Z and Kanye West feat. Frank Ocean & The-Dream - "No Church in the Wild"
John Legend feat. Ludacris - "Tonight (Best You Ever Had)"
Nas feat. Amy Winehouse - "Cherry Wine"
Rihanna feat. Jay-Z - "Talk That Talk"

Will win: "No Church In The Wild," mainly because both Jay-Z or Kanye rarely lose categories in the rap field.
Should win: Nas' "Cherry Wine" was one of the better Amy Winehouse posthumous tracks.
Overlooked: Gorillaz feat. Andre 3000 & James Murphy - "DoYaThing"; Meek Mill feat. Drake & Jeremih - "Amen"

Best Rap Song

Drake feat. Lil' Wayne -"The Motto" (songwriters: Dwayne Carter, Aubrey Graham & Tyler Williams)
Jay-Z & Kanye West - "N----s In Paris" (songwriters: Shawn Carter, Mike Dean, Chauncey Hollis & Kanye West/W.A. Donaldson)
Nas - "Daughters" (songwriters: Nas & Ernest Wilson/Patrick Adams, Gary DeCarlo, Dale Frashuer & Paul Leka)
Wale feat. Miguel - "Lotus Flower Bomb" (songwriters: Olubowale Akintimehin, S. Joseph Dew, Jerrin Howard, Walker Johnson & Miguel Jontel Pimentel)
Kanye West featuring Big Sean, Pusha T & 2 Chainz - "Mercy" (songwriters: Sean Anderson, Tauheed Epps, Stephan Taft, James Thomas, Terrence Thornton & Kanye West/Denzie Beagle, Winston Riley & Reggie Williams)
Wiz Khalifa & Snoop Dogg feat. Bruno Mars - "Young, Wild & Free" (songwriters: Calvin Broadus, Chris Brody Brown, Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine, Peter Hernandez & Cameron Thomaz/T. Bluechel, M. Borrow, T. Griffin, K. Jackson, N. Lee & M. Newman)

Will win: The starpower of Jay-Z and Kanye will be too much for the other nominees here.
Should win: "Daughters" provided a unique perspective on the challenges of fatherhood.
Overlooked: Young Jeezy feat. Jay-Z and Andre 3000 - "I Do"

Best Rap Album

Drake - Take Care
Lupe Fiasco - Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album. Pt. 1
Nas - Life Is Good
The Roots - Undun
Rick Ross - God Forgives, I Don't
2 Chainz - Based on a T.R.U. Story

Will win: The multiple hit singles from Take Care will have likely reached the most voters.
Should win: What longtime hip hop fan wouldn't love to see Nas finally take home a Grammy for his best album in years?
Overlooked: Killer Mike - R.A.P. Music;

Producer of the Year

Dan Auerbach
Jeff Bhasker
Markus Dravs
Salaam Remi

Will win: Dan Auerbach, mainly because of the respect The Black Keys command, which is usually the way this category swings or for a well-known, established hitmaker.
Should win: Salaam Remi is probably one of the greatest hip hop producers of all-time that the mainstream is not aware of.
Overlooked: Hit-Boy; Mike WiLL Made It

Best Short Form Music Video

Foster the People - "Houdini" (directors: Daniels)
Jay-Z & Kanye West feat. Frank Ocean & The-Dream - "No Church in the Wild" (director: Romain Gavras)
M.I.A. - "Bad Girls" (director: Romain Gavras)
Rihanna feat. Calvin Harris - "We Found Love" (director: Melina Matsoukas)
Woodkid - "Run Boy Run" (director: Yoann Lemoine)

Will win: "Bad Girls," since this category tends to favor the video with the biggest buzz.
Should win: "Bad Girls," for its captivating mix of eye-catching imagery and political subtext.
Overlooked: Beyoncé - "Countdown"

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