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Feb 13, 2013
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Read any article on the health of the worldwide record industry; they all paint a picture of an ailing enterprise that is just about ready to conk out. We won’t claim to know more than industry insiders, but for us regular music fans, we couldn’t be more stoked about the state of things to come.

As we start another year in music, tastes are in flux and questions are raised once again. Will folk music kick EDM out of its place in the Top 40? Will the new David Bowie album prove that David Bowie is still awesome? And, more important, will Chris Brown continue to be a jackass? We don’t know the answers to any of these, but just the prospect of all the changes that are about to take place is enough to make us break out Starship’s “We Built This City” and air guitar in our office cubicles.

Below are the music predictions we gleaned from watching the 2013 Grammys, from observing recent musical trends, and from everyday trolling on the Net.

(For more of FHM's Fearless Forecasts, click here and here)

1. Black is back

With R&B crooners Frank Ocean, Drake, and Miguel among the artists who wowed at the 2013 Grammys; newcomer Kendrick Lamar being hailed as the next big thing in hiphop; black music-leaning Justin Timberlake returning to the studio after a long hiatus; Rihanna reuniting with Chris Brown (for better or worse—it remains to be seen), megalomaniac Kanye West shacking up with one of the biggest, uh, personalities in entertainment (yes, we've been keeping up with the Kardashians); and hip-hop’s first couple Jay-Z and Beyonce showing up in practically everything so far this year; it doesn’t take a genius to see that rap and R&B are about to come back in a big way. Fo shizzle.

2. Folk becomes cool (sort of).

This year’s Grammy Awards proved that pastoral sounds are in, with Album of the Year winners Mumford & Sons and copycats The Lumineers showing the assembled audience what a glorious racket you can make with some acoustic guitars and a foot on a kick drum. Following in the path tread by the English troubadours are Of Monsters and Men and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and even Phillip Phillips channeled nu-folk for his winning song on American Idol Season 11.

However, we predict that the folk interest will be short-lived. All that rustic yodeling and farmside finger-picking may sound lovely to stare out a window to, but a four-on-the-floor beat can still whip us out of our seats anytime.


3. Your hibernating musical heroes will come out of hiding.

Last year, we had the likes of the Rolling Stones, Stone Roses, and Fiona Apple unexpectedly showing up on our news feeds; this year, we’re about to witness even more musical comebacks.

David Bowie and Suede have announced their first LPs in 10 years, My Bloody Valentine has just released a follow-up that took 22 years to make, and the original boys of Black Sabbath are set to unleash their first studio album together in 35 years. Prince has also released new material, even making a brief, yet no less scene-stealing, appearance at this year’s Grammys. Other icons who are hitting the road on tour this year are Fleetwood Mac, Morrissey, The Breeders, The Postal Service, and Blur. Now, if only those Gallagher brothers would kiss and make up.

NEXT: OPM revivals: still making a killing, still a massive wall against creativity