St. Vincent’s DeJAMZ 2-4-13

The 55th annual Grammy Awards will take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and air exclusively on CBS Feb. 10.

With more than 81 different categories, we’ve narrowed down our top picks from this year’s list of nominations.

1. “Lonely Boy” by The Black Keys – Three out of the five nominations the Ohio rock duo secured are for this track, and rightfully so. Drummer Patrick Carney lays down the foot-tapping backbeat while singer-guitarist Dan Auerbach dishes out unforgettable guitar riffs and howling vocals to make for a great anthem. The track leaves longtime fans and casual listeners feeling more than satisfied.

2. “Cherry Wine” by Nas feat. Amy Winehouse – Less than 10 seconds in, the soulful voice of the late Amy Winehouse chimes in. Nas elegantly interrupts to paint a portrait of the girl of his dreams – his soul mate. Dug up from the musical vaults of 2008, this song pays homage to two talented voices. In one word, it is timeless. The duet is nominated for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.

3. “Shake it Out” by Florence and the Machine – In the same vain of the band’s successes “Dog Days Are Over” and the more recent “No Light, No Light,” the song nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, counteracts the pleas of an aching heart with reflective optimism. Lead singer Florence Welch reaffirms her title as one of the most talented singers of our time with this single.

4. “Freedom At 21” by Jack White – The song is nominated for Best Rock Song, alongside The Black Keys, Mumford & Sons, Muse and Bruce Springsteen. Nevertheless, Jack White’s single is a force to be reckoned with. There is a method to White’s madness that has earned him a place among rock ‘n’ roll legends. In “Freedom” he nearly raps lyrics, but between the strong instruments and his disturbed voice, White manages to make such disturbing lyrics sound insightful. It will be interesting to see who snatches the Grammy in this category.

5. “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” by Eli Young Band – Country might not be your cup of tea, but think of this song as a mild taste of Nashville. It’s country, but not “drive-my-daddy’s-truck-into-your-barn” country. Rather, it’s more of a poetic testament to chasing dreams. The song has earned the group two nominations for Best Country Song and Best Country Duo/Group Performance.

6. “Adorn” by Miguel – This single is nominated for three different categories, including Song of the Year. It is slow, smooth and sensual in every way. Miguel’s striking falsettos and magnetic bass stand out especially and make for a truly captivating song.

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