February 1, 2006
One of the best things about today's online music services is the opportunity to purchase individual songs for unlimited listening regardless of whether or not they have been released as a single. Each week I uncover some of the best pop tracks to download from online music services. This week I am recognizing the upcoming 2006 Grammy Awards with a review of some of the most memorable pop winners of the past decade.
Read lists from previous weeks.
1. Outkast - Hey Ya!
Speakerboxxx: The Love Below, the mammoth double album set by hip hop visionaries Outkast, was a shoo-in for Album of the Year in 2004. "Hey Ya!" is the biggest pop hit from the album.
2. U2 - Beautiful Day
With "Beautiful Day," U2 uncorked their best anthem in many many years. It was good enough to take home Record of the Year for 2001.
3. Alison Krauss - Down to the River to Pray
To the amazement of many pop music observers, the soundtrack for the movie O Brother Where Art Thou?, an album of traditional American popular music, swept to the top of the album chart and then took over the 2002 Grammys winning Album of the Year honors. This Alison Krauss track is one of the most moving of a powerful set of songs.
4. Coldplay - Clocks
With one of the most memorable piano riffs of all-time leading into the song, Coldplay took home Record of the Year in 2004 for "Clocks."
5. No Doubt - Hey Baby
Many fans were willing to consign No Doubt to has-been status before the album Rock Steady. The song "Hey Baby" from the album took home the Grammy for Duo or Group Pop Vocal Performance in 2003.
6. Nelly Furtado - I'm Like a Bird
Canadian Nelly Furtado and her highly distinctive vocals charmed their way up the pop singles chart and into the hearts of Grammy voters who awarded her the Female Pop Vocal Performance award for 2002.
7. Lauryn Hill - Doo Wop (That Thing)
When Lauryn Hill released her album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill it was obvious that she had quickly moved beyond the confines of her group the Fugees musically. "Doo Wop (That Thing)" is one of the biggest hit singles from this Album of the Year winner for 1999.
8. Madonna - Ray of Light
Grammy voters have not looked kindly on Madonna for much of her career. However, they recognized a new classic when they saw one and awarded Ray of Light Pop Vocal Album of the Year in 1999.
9. Christina Aguilera - What a Girl Wants
Even though she had to compete commercially with the likes of Britney Spears, many fans and critics believed Christina Aguilera had the superior voice. That recognition helped her take home the Best New Artist Grammy in 2000.