February 10, 2013 at 8:20 PM
With the 55th Grammy Awards commencing at 8 p.m. tonight, senior music reporter Chris Calabrese predicts who he believes is most apt to bring home a gilded gramophone in the most prominent categories:
1. Record of the Year
“Lonely Boy” was the first single off of The Black Keys’ most recent album, “El Camino.” The production was certainly experimental, as the entire album was co-written and produced by hip-hop beat man Danger Mouse. The team created an interesting sound and I would like to see them win, but I think the award is going to “We Are Young” by the indie pop band, Fun. The way that the album was written and recorded tames the band’s colorful sound in the best way possible. The piano ballad quickly turns into a tribal chorus, with synthesized bass and stadium rock guitar chords. It’s an epic anthem seemingly written on a drunken walk home.
2. Album of the Year
I believe that Jack White deserves it 100 percent. He is my personal favorite guitarist, drummer, singer, rapper and producer. White’s album “Blunderbuss” is the epitome of a solo album seeing that he wrote every part for every instrument on every track, all while producing the album under his own record label, Third Man Records. Jack White is one of the most highly acclaimed rock legends of our time and “Blunderbuss” is an incredible album, but I don’t think he will win this Grammy. I think Frank Ocean will win this award. Although I am an "Odd Future" fan and I really do like Ocean’s album “Channel Orange,” I think it is one of the most overrated albums of the year. His sound is a minimalistic R&B when it is all said and done. No one does the genre like he does, but I don't think it deserves all of the acclaim it has received.
3. Song of the Year
The nominations for this category this year are absolute trash. “The A Team” is a cutesy acoustic serenade that I would deem a one-hit wonder. The track “Adorn” is by Miguel, another R&B artist whose success I don’t understand. It’s nothing too new. “Call Me Maybe” may have ruled the radio waves and the charts, but I could not see it winning this award. I think Carly Rae has a chance in the Best Pop Solo Performance but not here. “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” was popular or bit too, but I don’t think it will win anything. This award, I believe, will go to Fun. for “We Are Young.” It seems like the only song of substance on the list, not to mention that it is a genuinely great song.
4. Best New Artist
This is definitely my favorite award because it shows viewers where pop music is going. Each of these groups is great in my opinion, with the obvious exception of Hunter Hayes. I would love to see either Alabama Shakes or The Lumineers win this one. They both adopt that folk or blues sound that has made its way into the top forty recently. Both bands created outstanding debut albums and I do not see either of them fading away anytime soon, but neither of them will win this award. This one, I believe, is going to be a photo finish between Frank Ocean and Fun. Ultimately, I think Fun. is going home with the Grammy. Fun. has a very powerful sound, reminiscent of Queen. The band has a ton of depth: powerful vocals, epic instrumentals, meaty rhythms, catchy melodies and lyrical anthems of youth and individuality. The group, in my opinion, encompasses an important and long-lasting band for our generation.
5. Best Rock Album
This is one of the hardest categories for me to predict. I think that both “The 2nd Law” by Muse and “Mylo Xyloto” by Coldplay can be ruled out. This one is going to be a tight one between Jack White, The Black Keys and Bruce Springsteen. The Boss pulled off the Album of the Year award from Rolling Stone magazine for his album “Wrecking Ball” and The Black Keys certainly have a chance with their success with “El Camino,” but I want Jack White to run away with this one. Jack needs to win something and I think he has the best chance in this category. “Blunderbuss” was too good of an album to go unappreciated by the Grammys.
6. Best Pop Vocal Album
This is a tough one to predict. I would like to see Florence + the Machine take this one but I don't think they will. I think that this award is split between “Some Nights” by Fun. and “Overexposed” by Maroon 5. Both bands had exceptional years, but I believe that this one is going to Fun. Just as Adele dominated the Grammys last year, I think that Fun. will dominate this year. The Grammys certainly have a tendency to pick favorites, but in this case, I believe that Fun. deserves some recognition for its outstanding come up.