Grammy Awards 2013: Handicapping Album of the Year

As the Feb. 10 55th annual Grammy Awards edge closer, we”re analyzing a category a day. Today, we look at the biggest award of them all, Album of the Year.

Album of the Year nominees
“El Camino,”  The Black Keys
“Some Nights,” fun.
“Babel,” Mumford & Sons
“Channel Orange,” Frank Ocean
“Blunderbuss,” Jack White

Oh, how about anyone with a two X chromosomes? Though women made some of the most interesting albums of the year, artists like Fiona Apple, Florence + The Machine, Kelly Clarkson and Pink were ignored in this category (Don”t worry, Taylor Swift”s “Red” come out too late for eligibility this year; it was be a 2014 contender)

THE PLAYERS: Grammy voters usually include at least one veteran or heritage (read: geezer) act in this category, whether it be Neil Young, Steely Dan or Tony Bennett. Not this year. This year, the Grammys were current and accurate, picking the best of today”s crop of hit makers.

The chances of Jack White or  The Black Keys pulling an Arcade Fire-like upset that occurred in 2011 are slight (Fun fact: Arcade Fire is the only act to have its only Grammy–so far– be album of the year).  Frank Ocean put out the most critically acclaimed album of 2012, but fun. and Mumford & Sons had greater mainstream success and sales, which will count since all members can vote in this category. Ocean”s “Channel Orange” feels like the most “important” record and that may make it a close race, but it may not have enough wind beneath its wings to lift it over “Babel.” Regardless of who wins, “Channel Orange” will be the record people will be calling a landmark album 20 years from now.

“Babel,” Mumford & Sons

Previous predictions:

Best Dance Recording
Record of the Year
Best Urban Contemporary Album
Song of the Year
Best Country Duo/Group Performance
Best Rock Song
Best R&B Performance
Best Pop Vocal Album
Best New Artist