Open your eyes to new sounds

Open your eyes to new sounds

First released in 1995, the Grammy Nominees series of CDs is an annual collation of some of the biggest tracks of the year - as well as a surprising number of little-known songs.

This year's offering includes everything from the big night's big winner's signature track (Adele's Rolling in the Deep) to songs by artists most of us in Hong Kong have only heard of since the nominations were made (Skrillex, The Band Perry), if at all.

The benefit of compilation albums is that they let you discover new artists and sounds without investing too much time or money on new music.

The problem with Grammy Nominees 2012 is that, despite the second highest number of tracks in the series, it "came out a little bit country", as a lyric in Blake Shelton's Honey Bee goes; eight of the 22 tracks are country, or, in the case of Mumford & Sons' The Cave, country-inspired.

There are several songs that may convert you to genres you've never given the time of day. Lady Gaga's You & I is a surprisingly unfussy rock track if you think she's more about style than substance. Mean is Taylor Swift's upbeat nose-thumbing to her small-minded critics, while The Black Keys' brilliant Dearest should send you running to the record store for their album (or racing to legally download it).

As for Body and Soul, by Tony Bennett and the late Amy Winehouse, it's a great reminder of why jazz is still so relevant.

YP Rating: 4/5

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