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Music Review: Various Artists – 2010 Grammy Nominees

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This year marks the 16th edition of the best-selling series highlighting artists and songs nominated for Grammy Awards. The Recording Academy®'s Grammy® Recordings and EMI Music’s 2010 Grammy Nominees album features music and musicians nominated for the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards.

Established in 1957, The Recording Academy is an organization of musicians, producers, engineers, and recording professionals that is internationally known for the Grammy Awards, a peer recognized award for musical excellence.

This 20-song collection is full of pop, rock, dance, adult contemporary, and country and contains many of the most widely recognized Grammy categories.

It's hard to choose favorites among these standout songs, but if I had to I would include the ever-upbeat, party song anthem “I Gotta Feeling” by The Black Eyed Peas, which appeared on the album The End (The Energy Never Dies). The song itself is nominated for Record Of The Year, and the album is nominated for Album Of The Year and Best Pop Vocal Album. The equally danceable and catchy “Poker Face” by Lady Gaga, off the album The Fame, is up for Record Of The Year, with the album also up for Album Of The Year.

With visions of Glee dancing in my ears, I adore “My Life Would Suck Without You” by American Idol alum Kelly Clarkson off the album All I Ever Wanted, which is up for Best Pop Vocal Album. And the catchy girl-on-girl kiss follow-up “Hot N Cold” by Katy Perry (off the album One of the Boys), is also up for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

Pink, who I feel is highly underrated, offers “Sober” (off Funhouse), the latter of which is up for Best Pop Vocal Album and the former of which is up for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. And smooth southern alt-rockers Kings of Leon contribute “Use Somebody,” a haunting rock song off Only By The Night that's up for Record Of The Year and Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals.

This collection also includes the Fray's predictable “You Found Me” (off their self-titled album up for Best Pop Vocal Album); Dave Matthews Band's “You & Me” (off Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King up for Album Of The Year); Green Day's antiwar statement "21 Guns" (off 21st Century Breakdown); and Coldplay's homage to the afterlife, "Life In Technicolor ii" (off Viva La Vida).

Any tween or teen can tell you it's no surprise that youngster Taylor Swift, who seems to capture the spirit of awkward teenage years, is up for Album Of The Year for Fearless, and Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for her teen-angsty (yet adorable) “You Belong With Me.” Meanwhile, the gal I'm rooting for, Adele, is up for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance with her bluesy, ballsy "Hometown Glory" (off 19).

The 2010 Grammy Nominees album also features Colbie Caillat's ho-hum "Fallin' For You" (off Breakthrough), and Beyoncé's beautiful "Halo" (off I Am…Sasha Fierce).

Proving their staying power, U2 is in the mix with "I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight" (off No LIne on the Horizon). And the powerhouse pairing of former Blind Faith bandmates Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood contribute the amazing “Can’t Find My Way Home” off Live From Madison Square Garden.

The final songs in this collection are my least favorite for good reason — country music is not my cup of tea. Thankfully there are only four tracks devoted to the genre, including Zac Brown Band’s “Chicken Fried” (off The Foundation), Sugarland’s "It Happens" (off Love on the Inside), Lady Antebellum’s "I Run To You" (off their self titled album), and “Here Comes Goodbye” by Rascal Flatts (off Unstoppable), all up for Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals. To me, country music is akin to nails on a chalkboard, so I defer to the expert opinion of The Recoding Academy that if these folks are nominated, these are indeed good songs.

The 2010 Grammy Nominees CD is a collection of listenable music that echoes what’s being played on the radio, so if that’s the kind of music you like, you can’t go wrong here.

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