The 2013 Grammy Nominees List: An Eclectic Range of Raw Talent

February 10, 2013 may seem like an ordinary date for most, unless you’re amongst the ranks of talented musicians nominated for the 55th annual Grammy Awards. For some lucky artists, two months into the new year promises an accolade of musical achievement in the famed form of a gilded, gramophone trophy. In the list below, you can find your favorite nominee(s) for the upcoming Grammy extravaganza:

Album of the Year
The Black Keys – El Camino
Fun. – Some Nights
Mumford & Sons – Babel
Frank Ocean – Channel Orange
Jack White – Blunderbuss

Record of the Year
The Black Keys – “Lonely Boy”
Fun. feat. Janelle Monae – “We Are Young”
Kelly Clarkson – “Stronger”
Gotye feat. Kimbra – “Somebody That I Used to Know”
Frank Ocean – “Thinkin Bout You”
Taylor Swift – “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”

Best New Artist
The Alabama Shakes
Fun.
Hunter Hayes
The Lumineers
Frank Ocean

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

Song of the Year
Ed Sheeran – “The A Team”
Miguel – “Adorn”
Carly Rae Jepsen – “Call Me Maybe”
Kelly Clarkson – “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)”
Fun. – “We Are Young”

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”

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”

Best Dance Recording
Avicii – “Levels”
Calvin Harris feat. Ne-Yo – “Let’s Go”
Skrillex feat. Sirah – “Bangarang”
Swedish House Mafia feat. John Martin – “Don’t You Worry Child”
Al Walser – “I Can’t Live Without You”

Best Dance/Electronic Album
Steve Aoki – Wonderland
The Chemical Brothers Don’t Think
deadmau5>Album Title Goes Here<
Kaskade Fire & Ice
Skrillex Bangarang

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”

Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance
Anthrax – “I’m Alive”
Halestorm – “Love Bites (So Do I)”
Iron Maiden – “Blood Brothers”
Lamb of God – “Ghost Walking”
Marilyn Manson – “No Reflection”
Megadeth – “Whose Life (Is It Anyways?)”

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”

Best Rock Album
The Black Keys, El Camino
Muse, The 2nd Law
Coldplay, Mylo Xyloto
Bruce Springsteen, Wrecking Ball
Jack White, Blunderbuss

Best Alternative Music Album
Fiona Apple, The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do
Bjork, Biophilia
Gotye, Making Mirrors
M83, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
Tom Waits, Bad As Me

Best R&B Performance
Estelle – “Thank You”
Robert Glasper Experiment feat. Ledisi – “Gonna Be Alright (F.T.B.)
Luke James – “I Want You”
Miguel – “Adorn”
Usher – “Climax”

Best Traditional R&B Performance
Anita Baker – “Lately”
Beyonce – “Love on Top”
Melanie Fiona – “Wrong Side of a Love Song”
Gregory Porter – “Real Good Hands”
SWV – “If Only You Knew”

Best Urban Contemporary Album
Chris Brown, Fortune
Miguel, Kaleidoscope Dream
Frank Ocean, Channel Orange

Best R&B Album
Robert Glasper Experiment, Black Radio
Anthony Hamilton, Back To Love
R. Kelly, Write Me Back
Tamia, Beautiful Surprise
Tyrese, Open Invitation

Best Rap Performance
Drake feat. Lil’ Wayne – “HYFR (Hell Ya F—ing Right)”
Jay-Z & Kanye West – “N—as In Paris”
Nas – “Daughters”
Kanye West feat. Big Sean, Pusha T & 2 Chainz – “Mercy”
Young Jeezy feat. Jay-Z & Andre 3000 – “I Do”

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
Flo Rida feat. Sia – “Wild Ones”
Jay-Z & Kanye West feat. Frank Ocean & The Dream – “No Church in the Wild”
John Legend feat. Ludacris – “Tonight (Best You Ever Had)”
Nas feat. Amy Winehouse – “Cherry Wine”
Rihanna feat. Jay-Z – “Talk That Talk”

Best Rap Song
Nas – “Daughters”
Wale feat. Miguel – “Lotus Flower Bomb”
Kanye West Featuring Big Sean, Pusha T & 2 Chainz – “Mercy”
Drake feat. Lil’ Wayne – “The Motto”
Jay-Z & Kanye West – “N—as In Paris”
Snoop Dogg & Wiz Khalifa Featuring Bruno Mars – “Young, Wild & Free”

Best Rap Album
Drake, Take Care
Lupe Fiasco, Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album, Pt. 1
The Roots, Undun
Nas, Life Is Good
Rick Ross, God Forgives, I Don’t
2 Chainz, Based on a T.R.U. Story

Best Country Song
Carrie Underwood – “Blown Away”
Ronnie Dunn -”Cost of Livin’ ”
Alan Jackson – “So You Don’t Have to Love Me Anymore”
Eli Young Band – “Even If It Breaks Your Heart”
Eric Church – “Springsteen”

Best Country Solo Performance
Dierks Bentley – “Home”
Eric Church – “Springsteen”
Ronnie Dunn – “Cost of Livin’ ”
Hunter Hayes – “Wanted”
Blake Shelton – “Over”
Carrie Underwood – “Blown Away”

Best Americana Album
The Avett Brothers, The Carpenter
John Fullbright, From the Ground Up
The Lumineers, The Lumineers
Mumford & Sons, Babel
Bonnie Raitt, Slipstream

Best Blues Album
Shemekia Copeland, 33 1/3
Dr. John, Locked Down
Ruthie Foster, Let It Burn
Heritage Blues Orchestra, And I Still Rise
Joan Osborne, Bring It on Home

An eclectic range of artists battle for lead nominee, spanning from the indie-rock and folk genres of Fun., The Black Keys and Mumford & Sons to the hip-hop contenders of Frank Ocean, Jay-Z and Kanye West.

Regardless of the end result, the 2013 Grammys guarantee a myriad of categorical diversity, showcasing a bevy of talented performers truly deserving of such musical recognition.

>> Make sure to tune into CBS on February 10, 2013 at 8/7 c to follow the winning results of your favorite artists! <<

New video from Kanye West and Jay-Z

Here’s the new video for “No Church in the Wild.”

2011 – The year in music

Here’s one from Jay-Z and Kanye West. Check out other 2011 favorites from the Grantland staff.

21st Century Breakdown: Jim Washington’s Best Albums of the 2000s

As I compiled my list of the best music of the decade (a much, much longer list than you see here) one inescapable conclusion reared its shaggy head: the last 10 years pretty much belonged to Jack White.

How many other artists produced five stellar albums in the aughts, not to mention a couple of killer side projects and (that old rock critic standby) incendiary live shows?

No one, that’s who.

So, the best album of the decade really came down to which White Stripes album did you like more, White Blood Cells or Elephant.

Thankfully there’s no wrong answer. I first became enamored of “Fell in Love With a Girl,” totally fell for “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground,” became quite close to “We Are Going to Be Friends” and spent a lot of time in “Hotel Yorba” and “Little Room.”

On the other hand, Elephant had “Seven Nation Army.”

“Seven Nation Army,” motherfuckers. How could a song released in 2003 sound like it invented the bass line? Not just that bass line, but the whole concept of bass lines.

So as we recap our favorites of the decade, rock lives on into the new century in various forms, from low down and dirty to high and arty to pulsating and poppy, while what was once the cutting-edge hip-hop has devolved into auto-tuned disco synth. No doubt something new will emerge in the next decade to take our minds off it.

1. The White Stripes: White Blood Cells (or Elephant)
2. Wilco: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
3. Outkast: Stankonia (or Speakerboxx/The Love Below)
4. Green Day: American Idiot
5. The New Pornographers: Electric Version (or maybe Mass Romantic)
6. The Flaming Lips: Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
7. LCD SoundsystemL Sounds of Silver
8. TV on the Radio: Return to Cookie Mountain
9. Jay-Z: The Blueprint
10. The Strokes: Is This It?

Just a few of the runner-ups:

Queens of the Stone Age: Songs for the Deaf, Rated R
Belle & Sebastian: Dear Catastrophe Waitress
Drive By Truckers: Southern Rock Opera, Dirty South
Sufjan Stevens: Come On Feel the Illinoise
Arcade Fire: Funeral
Franz Ferdinand: Franz Ferdinand
Decemberists: Picaresque, Crane Wife
Radiohead: In Rainbows
Ben Folds: Rockin’ the Suburbs
Missy Elliott: Miss E…So Addictive
The Roots: Phrenology

21st Century Breakdown: David Medsker’s Songs of the 2000s

I used to have a thing about my musical tastes. I so desperately wanted them to be cool, or at the very least be something that only a handful of people were privy to. (I was tempted to say ‘hip’ instead of ‘privy,’ but you can’t spell ‘hipster’ without ‘hip,’ and God knows I’m not hip enough to be a hipster.) My friend Kathi, she has obscenely cool taste in music. I’m surprised she’s friends with me, since I surely bring her cool factor down by a good 20 points.

Then a couple of years ago, I realized – who the hell cares? A great song is a great song, and it doesn’t really matter how popular – or unpopular – it is. I can’t tell you how freeing that was, and I have a very well-known blogger to thank for it. When she admitted to me in private how much she enjoyed a band at Lollapalooza, only to dismiss them a few days later in her column, I realized that it was completely pointless to pander to hipster elitism. You’re being dishonest with yourself, and the hipsters are only going to turn on you in the end, anyway.

So I turned a blind eye to what was a pop song versus what was a “pop” song, as it were, and realizing that there was no distinction between the two made everything soooooo much easier. So here we are in 2009, and as part of our recap of the best music the decade had to offer, I have to try to apply this whole revisionist history viewpoint to the entire decade, which is no mean feat, to say the least. It therefore makes sense that assembling one big-ass list of songs will look like the work of someone with multiple personalities, so instead they are cut up into bite-sized lists for easier consumption, with YouTube links for the uninitiated.

Top 10 Modern Rock Songs of the 2000s
10. “Do You Want To,” Franz Ferdinand
“Take Me Out” was the bigger hit, but this song swings like Austin Powers in the jungle. Nice riff on “My Sharona” in the break, too.

9. “Galvanize,” Chemical Brothers
Push the button; shake that booty.

8. “The Bleeding Heart Show,” The New Pornographers
What the world needs now, is more hey la, hey la’s.

New_Pornographers_015

7. “Sometime Around Midnight,” Airborne Toxic Event
Suck it, Pitchfork. These guys are good. You’re just too far up your own asses to admit it.

6. “American Idiot,” Green Day
The only sad thing about this song is that Joey Ramone didn’t live long enough to hear it.

5. “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor,” Arctic Monkeys
I love the way these guys riff on Duran Duran lyrics, and then act as if they made it all up themselves. As the old adage says, talent borrows, but genius steals. And for the record, we don’t care for sand, either.

4. “Chelsea Dagger,” The Fratellis
Best drunken barroom chorus since “Tubthumping.”

3. “Laura,” Scissor Sisters
For all the progress that was made this decade in terms of hip hop and black culture becoming more accepted on pop radio, it appears that the gays still have a long road ahead of them. Pity.

2. “Never Miss a Beat,” Kaiser Chiefs
They opened their set at Lollapalooza with this. The only other band to grab me by the throat like that with their opening song is, well, My #1…

Muse_05

1. “Knights of Cydonia,” Muse
September 11, 2006, Columbus, Ohio. Muse opens their set with this song, blows the roof off the place.

Top 10 Pop Songs of the 2000s
10. “Can’t Get You Out of My Head,” Kylie Minogue
Proof that even the most alt of alt rockers love Kylie: The Flaming Lips covered this song.

9. “Drops of Jupiter,” Train
They did a great job recreating the Elton John sound. Too bad they didn’t have Bernie Taupin write the lyrics. Fried chicken? Ugh.

8. “Music,” Madonna
I watched this song take one of those sports bars that has basketball courts and bowling alleys, and turn every one of its patrons into dancing fools.

7. “Is It Any Wonder?,” Keane
Dogged by some for its similarity to U2, but when was the last time U2 wrote something this bouncy?

6. “Shut Up and Let Me Go,” The Ting Tings
I’ll shut up, Katie, but there’s no way I’m letting you go.

5. “Chasing Pavements,” Adele
It took two Grammy wins for this song to finally crack the Top 40. (*shakes head in disbelief*)

4. “Hey Ya,” Outkast
Andre 3000 finally picks up a guitar to write a song, and this, THIS, is the first thing that comes out. Mother, fucker.

3. “Crazy,” Gnarls Barkley
When my mom comes home from a trip to see my brother on the east coast and tells me about a song she heard by a band whose name is similar to some celebrity or other, I know that said celebrity knockoff band has struck a chord.

2. “99 Problems,” Jay-Z
“You crazy for this one, Rick!” Actually, Jay-Z, you have it the other way around. You crazy if you make this song with anyone other than Rick Rubin.

1. “Umbrella,” Rihanna
It was at least a year before I made the effort to find out what the hubub was about this damn “Umbrella” song. And then I heard it. Holy shit, this song pisses genius.

Big in the UK
7. “LDN,” Lily Allen
No guy wants to hear his ex tell the world what a lousy lover he is, but is there a man alive that doesn’t want a shot at Lily Allen?

6. “Nearer Than Heaven,” Delays
My favorite new musical expression of the decade: skyscraper, used to describe a song with soaring melodies. And this puppy’s the Empire State Building.

5. “Boyfriend,” Alphabeat
That this album didn’t even see the light of day in the States shows just how myopic our views of pop music have become.

4. “Digital Love,” Daft Punk
Keytar!

3. “Plug It In,” Basement Jaxx featuring J.C. Chasez
Come on, bang that head in the chorus. You know you want to.

2. “Never Be Lonely,” The Feeling
B-b-b-baby, this song is c-c-c-crazy catchy.

1. “Kids,” Robbie Williams & Kylie Minogue
Another song I thought had a shot at cracking the US charts. Funky verses, slammin’ choruses, what’s not to love? Robbie Williams, apparently. He never gained the traction here that other UK singers did. Strange.

Best Pop Songs You Never Heard
Of course, you probably have heard most of these songs, but I didn’t have another category to place them in, so they’re going here instead.

“Nice,” Duran Duran
Easily the band’s best song since “Ordinary World” and “Come Undone.” Anyone who likes Rio but has since given up on the band, go listen to this at once.

“I Believe She’s Lying,” Jon Brion
Los Angeles’ resident mad genius of pop finally gets his 1997 album Meaningless released in early 2001. Power pop fans proceed to lose their minds. And can you blame them? Listen to that drum track. It’s like the piano solo to “In My Life,” gone drum ‘n bass.

“Mine and Yours,” David Mead
If the video I linked to is any indicator, this was a big hit with the Japanese karaoke crowd. Go figure.

“She’s Got My Number,” Semisonic
Where an otherwise straightforward pop band goes off the deep end into delicious, melancholy strangeness. One of my bigger interview thrills was getting to tell Dan Wilson how much I loved this song.

“My Name Is Love,” Rob Dickinson
Catherine Wheel singer turns down the distortion, ramps up the harmonies. Again, the word ‘skyscraper’ comes to mind.

“Can We Still Be Friends?,” Mandy Moore
Dan Wilson reference #2: he sings backing vocals on this shockingly good Todd Rundgren cover. People have scoffed at the notion of Ryan Adams marrying someone like Mandy. Not me.

“io (This Time Around),” Helen Stellar
Let it not be said that nothing good came from “Elizabethtown,” as it introduced me to this beautifully spacey song.

“Buildings and Mountains,” Republic Tigers
Truly a band out of time, which is exactly why I love them. I wonder if the reason A-ha is breaking up is because they heard this song and thought, “Damn, they do us better than we do.”

“The End of the World,” Gin Blossoms
Most bands that take 11 years between albums come back as a pale imitation of their former selves, but the Gin Blossoms’ 2006 album Major Lodge Victory was a damn fine little record. This one appeals to my not-so-inner Beatlemaniac.

“Fragile,” Kerli
This Estonian princess is an odd little bird, but that’s what I like about her. This ballad closes her debut album with quite the quiet storm.

“Road to Recovery,” Midnight Juggernauts
Another band whose lack of success has me scratching my head. It’s the best dance album Peter Murphy never made, or the best rock album Daft Punk never made, one of the two. Or both.

My sincere apologies to the following bands, who also deserve mention:
Divine Comedy, Noisettes, Pet Shop Boys, Doves, Rialto, Beck, White Stripes, Rufus Wainwright, Kenna, Mylo, Pete Yorn, Apples in Stereo, Hard-Fi, The Thorns, Rock Kills Kid, The Hours, Derek Webb, Glen Hansard, Aimee Mann, Kirsty MacColl, Gorillaz, Air, Charlotte Sometimes, Mika, Def Leppard, Coldplay, Chicane, Elastica, XTC, and about 50 others.

Rolling Stone breaks down the odds for Super Bowl XLIV halftime act

It’s almost a year away, but that didn’t stop the folks at Rolling Stone from throwing out the names of a few potential acts to follow in Bruce Springsteen’s footsteps.

It’s a tall order to fill: applicants must be legendary but still active, rocking but not raucous, and as big as the game itself. So who’s left? Oddsmakers are already lining up favorites for next year’s Lombardi Trophy (The Patriots? Really? No love for your new champs, the Pittsburgh Steelers? Your loss, Vegas.), so we thought we’d set the odds for next year’s halftime show. The NFL could go country (Tim McGraw? Taylor Swift?) or pop (Kelly Clarkson will soon return to us), but you have to presume they’ll stick with what works — big rock from big names. We have, of course, completely pulled these names and numbers out of thin air, plus gambling’s illegal just about everywhere, so keep your money in your wallet.

The Who
Pros: Legendary band with a sound louder than the game itself.
Cons: None. They’re the Who.
Odds: 3/2

In addition to the magazine’s suggestions — The Who (solid), Bon Jovi (solid), AC/DC (too hard), John Mellencamp (solid), Metallica (too hard), Van Halen (maybe), Nickelback (why?), Green Day (big enough profile?), Foo Fighters (see Green Day), Jay-Z (didn’t he retire?) — I’ll throw a few out there as well: Bob Seger, Neil Diamond, Fleetwood Mac, Eric Clapton, the Black Crowes, the Eagles and the Steve Miller Band.

Who do you think should provide the halftime entertainment next year?

Bullz-Eye’s Favorite Albums of 2008: Staff Writer Taylor Long’s picks

2008 was a year of many highly anticipated albums, from long-awaited follow-ups from big names to indie debuts. There were the albums I listened to most and felt left a lasting dent on the current musical landscape.

Top 10 Albums of 2008

1. TV on the Radio: Dear Science
Brooklyn’s critical darlings hit it out of the borough again with their third full-length, Dear Science. They continue to defy even the most coherent explanations and descriptions. This is what the future sounds like – and it’s exciting.

2. Fleet Foxes: Ragged Wood
The Pacific Northwest is finally producing, once again, the caliber of music that its isolated atmosphere and gorgeous surrounds should be stimulating. Driven by front-man Robin Pecknold, but by no means a one man band, the Fleet Foxes have the best lockdown on vocal harmonies since a certain supergroup in the ’70s — and the songs do their fair share of standing out, as well.

3. Pattern Is Movement: All Together
Throw all notions of what a two-piece should sound like out of your mind. This Philidelphia duo is nothing like what you’d expect them – or anyone – to be. Avant-pop-rock meets classical form and textures in the most beautiful mess of an album. If, at first, you’re taken aback, don’t worry, just press repeat.

4. Dengue Fever: Venus on Earth
While there were bands that hit it bigtime with their exploration of international sounds (see below), Dengue Fever didn’t come nearly close enough to receiving the kind of attention they deserved. Boasting Chhom Nimol, a singer who actually sings in Khmer, the official language of Cambodia, the LA inhabitants’ mixture of Cambodian pop meets surfer pop and psych rock is not only legitimate but bred of some serious talent.

5. Wolf Parade: At Mount Zoomer
It could perhaps be argued that At Mount Zoomer, the follow up to Wolf Parade’s first album Apologies to the Queen Mary, doesn’t pack the same punch in terms of pop hooks. In many ways, this is true. In other ways, it doesn’t matter. The over-10-minute-long album closer “Kissing the Beehive” is just as memorable – if not more so – as any of their shorter tunes.

6. Deerhunter: Microcastle/Weird Era Cont.
One of the weirdest yet most beautiful, comforting yet most alienating albums in recent memory – or double-album, if we’re getting technical. Get lost in the repetition, then find yourself in the breakdowns and freakouts.

7. The Notwist: The Devil, You + Me
The highly, highly anticipated follow up to the German group’s earnestly romantic and soothing electro-pop album, Neon Golden. The Devil, You + Me continues in the same vein as the album that they broke out with. What more could anyone ask?

8. Vampire Weekend: Vampire Weekend
As pleasing as it might be to be able to deny the righteous climb of the afro-pop appropriating, stereotype-perpetuating ivy leaguers known as Vampire Weekend, the honest truth is, aside from its lack of emotion, their debut is pretty undeniable. And in a musical climate where one too many bands have been overly saturated in their feelings, perhaps a little break from them ain’t so bad.

9. Death Cab for Cutie: Narrow Stairs
Every year, there’s a band that gets the sentimental vote. This year, it’s this one. Seattle’s Death Cab for Cutie bounce back from glistening pop to a strangely inconsistent yet cohesive sixth album. Piano ballads, power pop and, of course, the experimental stalker jam first single – it’s all here.

10. Portishead: Third
The last slot is almost always the hardest. What pushed it over to Portishead were two things. Firstly, unsurprisingly, the group’s history. One of the most influential players in trip-hop, Portishead recorded a measly two albums (though there was nothing measly about the content). Secondly, they bounced back some 10 years later to deliver not just another album, but another groundbreakingly, strangely beautiful one. If only every long-term hiatus had such remarkable results.

Top 10 Songs From Albums Not On My Top 10 List

1. “Put On,” Young Jeezy feat. Kanye West
The video alone would have warranted the number one spot on this list, but as it just so happens, “Put On” is a completely unforgettable song, the kind I heard blasted on my Brooklyn block night and day. Also noteworthy: the only time Kanye West used a vocoder this year that didn’t sound stupid.

2. “A Milli,” Lil’ Wayne / “A Billi,” Jay-Z
Weezy arguably had the more successful summer jam over Jeezy, but truth is, his voice is still slightly irritating, no matter how many times I hear this. Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that I like Jay-Z’s freestyle cover just as much as Wayne’s original.

3. “U.R.A. Fever,” The Kills
This is the sexiest song released in 2008. Really.

4. “L.E.S. Artistes” / “I’m A Lady,” Santogold
I refuse to choose between the two hottest jams on the debut from Brooklyn’s Santogold. So I’m not going to.

5. “Take My Love With You,” Eli “Paperboy” Reed & The True Loves
Why wasn’t this song blasted from the speakers of every single person who loved retro-revival acts like Amy Winehouse and the Pipettes over the last year? It should have been. Also: people in long-distance relationships, you have a new jam. Trust me.

6. “Mr. Alladatshit,” Kidz in the Hall
Kidz in the Hall made my mid-year list, but the second half was just too strong and knocked them out of contention. That said, this song from the Chicago rap duo is, to quote the song, “flyer than giraffe’s [privates].” Assuming they meant that as a good thing…

7. “Touch Me I’m Going To Scream, Pt. 1,” My Morning Jacket
The My Morning Jacket album was a little too uneven, but its high points were very high, including this lilting, sensual jam that’s exemplary of everything the band does right.

8. “Many Shades of Black,” Raconteurs
Without as much influence from Brendan Benson, the Raconteurs are starting to sound like another White Stripes… which would be ok if there wasn’t already the White Stripes. Having said that, this soul-infused break-up tune is not just more of the same.

9. “Lately,” The Helio Sequence
The duo from Portland continue to evolve their sound with Keep Your Eyes Ahead, their most memorable album to-date, which boasts the repeat-worthy lead off track “Lately.”

10. “Sensual Seduction,” Snoop Dogg (or “Sexual Eruption,” if you have the unrated version)
It’s as if Snoop Dogg heard any of R. Kelly’s recent albums and said, “That man knows what he’s doing.”

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