On Sunday, the Grammy Awards will hand out golden trophies to those who created the best music from the last year (or so).
But since the Grammys are a democracy made up of Recording Academy voters, they don’t always get it quite right. “The best” don’t always go home with a new item for their trophy case.
No matter what happens Sunday night, the following are my favorite songs that are nominated for Grammly Awards. (Listen a playlist below.)
What are yours? Let’s talk in the comments.
“Mirrors” by Justin Timberlake — Timberlake’s tune is a piece of perfection: A little prog rock mixed with a very layered pop song. Plus Timberlake’s vocals on the refrain are gorgeous.
“Royals” by Lorde — You couldn’t escape this tune, and for good reason. Lorde’s song is about not caring about all the fancy stuff, and the effortless vocal reflects the same “I couldn’t care” vibe.
“Get Lucky” by Daft Punk — Disco and R&B nostalgia looms large in this tune, which is great for a chill night or for a dance party.
“Just Give Me a Reason” by Pink and Nate Ruess — The melody and the vocals work so well on this song that I can’t get it out of my head. It just plays over and over up there.
“Always Alright” by Alabama Shakes — Brittany Howard kills it with this song. Fantastic bluesy stuff.
“F**kin’ Problems” by A$AP Rocky, Drake, 2 Chainz, Kendrick Lamar — The best rap collaboration that’s been out. It’s an incredibly catchy song even if I don’t agree with the sentiment.
“I Want Crazy” by Hunter Hayes — This one’s nominated for “best country performance” and it’s an incredibly fun, catchy tune. A song from a more established artist will probably win, and that’s unfortunate because Hayes’ tune is super-fun.
“The Stars (Are Out Tonight)” by David Bowie — Welcome back, Mr. Bowie. You did a great job. Again.
“Cut Me Some Slack” by Dave Grohl, Paul McCartney, Krist Novoselic, Pat Smear — No surprise, but these four dudes absolutely rocked when they got in a room together. Love that McCartney took part in something so heavy.
“Diane Young” by Vampire Weekend — Baby, baby, baby, baby, I love this song.
“Holy Grail” by Jay Z and Justin Timberlake — I think it’s the best rap song from the last year and Timberlake’s hook is a smash. I expect it to win both “best rap-sung collab” and “best rap song.”
“Swimming Pools (Drank)” by Kendrick Lamar — Lamar’s atypical hip-hop was so huge you saw big stars follow in his footsteps. This is the best of his efforts.
“Highway Don’t Care” by Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift, Keith Urban — You really can’t beat this collaboration, which includes three of the biggest names in country. Wow.
“I Drive Your Truck” by Lee Brice — Brice’s song is absolutely wrenching. Best-written country song around.
“Merry Go ‘Round” by Kacey Musgraves — Musgraves is a true talent, and this song’s message about messed up families is one of her best.
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