2013 Grammy Predictions and Proclamations

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On Sunday night, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) will dole out honors at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards. While the folks at CBS may be more concerned with enforcing its dress code, we’re here to provide all of our predictions and proclamations about this year’s ceremony, including who will win, who should win and who got snubbed.

Best Pop Vocal Album
Kelly Clarkson – Stronger
Florence and the Machine Ceremonials
Fun. – Some Nights
Maroon 5 – Overexposed
Pink – The Truth About Love

Who Will Win: Kelly Clarkson
Clarkson’s a Grammy favorite and a well-known commercial success who will likely get passed over in the major categories this year. Look for voters to toss this one her way to make up for her other losses.

Who Should Win: Florence and the Machine 
Ceremonials, is just as ethereal as its own title implies, even as it locates some power in the repetitions of ritual. It’s the sound of an artist who has grown much more confidence not only in her talents but also in her eccentricities.—Stephen M. Deusner

Who Got Snubbed: Hospitality, Hospitality
Hospitality’s self-titled debut is crammed to the brim with hooks: Amber Papini sings in a cutesy, faux-British lilt, almost as if she’s projecting these songs to herself in a hair brush while bouncing merrily in front of her bedroom mirror. And the music (conjured largely by bassist Brian Betancourt and multi-instrumentalist Nathan Michel) is simultaneously atmospheric and muscular, with superb, bottom-heavy production from Shane Stoneback (Vampire Weekend, Sleigh Bells) that gives the songs a beefy ’70s feel, in the mode of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours.—Ryan Reed

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”

Who Will Win: Adele 
At this point, if there’s an award Adele’s eligible for, she’s gonna win it.

Who Should Win: Adele 
Part of what makes Adele’s success so refreshing is that she’s actually completely deserving; she’s got the strongest set of pipes in this field, and if she’s inexplicably defeated by any of these other nominees, it’ll be criminal.

Who Got Snubbed: Beyonce, “Love on Top”
She’s (oddly) nominated for this in the Traditional R&B category, where she’ll likely win, but Beyonce’s “Love on Top” single is pure pop goodness. We dare you to listen to those key changes and tell us she’s undeserving.

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
Florence and the Machine  – “Shake It Out”
Fun. – “We Are Young”
Gotye feat. Kimbra – “Somebody That I Used to Know”
LMFAO – “Sexy and I Know It”
Maroon 5 – “Payphone”

Who Will Win: Fun.
Fun.’s likely to rake in plenty of awards this year, and Janelle Monae’s presence on their massive single may just be the extra push that’ll drive it past Gotye and Kimbra in this category.

Who Should Win: Florence and the Machine 
Florence Welch’s booming voice over a pop-gospel piano and backing vocals is more than enough to fill the arenas she tours. Still, there’s something down-to-earth about a song Welch claims is the ultimate hangover cure.—Adam Vitcavage

Who Got Snubbed: Hospitality, “Friends of Friends”
Amber Papini’s vocals follow her guitar line while Brian Betancourt’s bass provides the counter on this joyful tune, but it’s the horns that take it over the top. Cute without being precious, joyful but substantial, this is indie pop at its finest.—Josh Jackson

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”

Who Will Win: Alabama Shakes
Normally, any time an aging classic rock star is nominated in this category, it’s a lock. However, Alabama Shakes’ retro sound is appealing to the classic rock crowd as well, and Springsteen will likely be recognized in the Rock Song category instead.

Who Should Win: Alabama Shakes
One listen to Alabama Shakes’ vocalist Brittany Howard should be more than enough to set their group apart from seemingly every band currently recording music. Arriving onto the scene in early 2012 with “Hold On,” Alabama Shakes immediately turned heads with their refreshing take on the traditional music that makes up their influences, headlined by Howard’s stunning vocals. With one of the best new voices in music and a commitment to making heartfelt and meaningful music, Alabama Shakes are clearly here to stay.—Brian Tremml

Who Got Snubbed: Japandroids, “House That Heaven Built”
On March 27, a Magic Johnson-fronted group bought the Dodgers, pink slime and the murder of Trayvon Martin continued to infuriate Americans, and The Hunger Games earned a cool 10 million bucks. But, you might best remember it as the day that you heard Japandroids’ “The House That Heaven Built.” After streaming the Soundcloud, your reaction was likely to listen again, and then again, and then again while sending the link to a half-dozen friends. Now, eight months later, the sincere and sweet words sound as anthemic as ever, the punk “ohs” still receive a raised fist in response, and the sweat-coated guitar swirls and drum fills evoke wonderful things, like youth and innocence, things that made you love rock ‘n’ roll in the first place.—Philip Cosores

Best Rock Song
Jack White  – “Freedom at 21”
Mumford & Sons – “I Will Wait”
The Black Keys – “Lonely Boy”
Muse – “Madness”
Bruce Springsteen – “We Take Care of Our Own”

Who Will Win: Bruce Springsteen 
Springsteen’s inspirational lyrics—which soundtracked the Obama re-election campaign last year—will be enough for him to take home this songwriting award.

Who Should Win: The Black Keys 
The Black Keys can write a hook like few other bands can, and “Lonely Boy” is no exception.

Who Got Snubbed: Japandroids, “House That Heaven Built”
(See above.)