For the past 12 months it seemed like you could not turn on the radio without hearing Lady Gaga, the Black Eyed Peas or Taylor Swift. For those of you who may have been living under a rock for the past year, it is highly advised that you go out and buy this year’s edition of the Grammys’ annual mix CD.
The disc is a compilation of the music that dominated 2009. If you were paying close attention to MTV and VH1, the music featured on the album has been impossible to avoid and you’re likely sick of most of these songs.
However, if you’re only catching up now on the year’s biggest tracks, this album will serve as an excellent review of the year.
The album starts off with the pop side of music with “I Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas, last year’s defining party anthem. Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” has a beat that may be permanently embedded in the youth of America.
Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody” is an emotive rock song that helps the disc evolve nicely into some of the year’s soft-rock favorites, from a prosaic Dave Matthews Band ballad to Taylor Swift’s clean-cut and endearing “You Belong to Me.”
Next comes the catchy Colbie Caillat song “Fallin’ for You” to the Fray’s ubiquitous and partly dreary “You Found Me.”
The disc includes the compulsory country tracks — upbeat pop-country contributions from Sugarland, Lady Antebellum and the Zac Brown Band.
A couple of weak offerings from U2 (“I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight”) and Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood (“Can’t Find My Way Home”) bring the disc to a close, but the compilation is expectedly heavier on the pop side, with the rebellious teenage anthem, “My Life Would Suck Without You” (Kelly Clarkson) and “Hot N Cold” (Katy Perry).
Although one may hope to see an old favorite win an award or two, it is always nice to see a young starlet take the stage. Perhaps this time around, Taylor Swift will be able to accept an award she clearly deserves and have time to make an acceptance speech she has waited so long to give.
Jacalyn Estrada can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.