And the Grammy Nominees Are? Not as Bad as They Could Be

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The nominees for the 2006 Grammy Awards have been announced ... by Justin Timberlake among others. The so-called Big Four awards — Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist — contain mostly predictable nominees (get the full list here). Gnarls' "Crazy" is justifiably nominated alongside Blunt's "Beautiful," among others, for Record of the Year; Gnarls Barkley, the Dixie Chicks, John Mayer, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Justin Timberlake are all nominated for Album of the Year; songs by James Blunt, Corinne Bailey Rae, the Dixies, Carrie Underwood and Mary J. Blige were all nominated for Song of the Year; those in line for Best New Artist of the Year include James Blunt, Chris Brown, Imogen Heap, Corinne Bailey Rae and Carrie Underwood.

Some surprisingly clued-in nominations include Death Cab for Cutie as Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group (let's hope they kick the shit out of the also-nominated "My Humps"), Arctic Monkeys, Gnarls, Flaming Lips, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Thom Yorke as nominees for Best Alternative Album, and Best Rock Album nominees the Raconteurs, Tom Petty and Neil Young (alongside the Chili Peppers and an apparently hard-rocking John Mayer).

As usual however, the voting members of the Recording Academy found 108 categories weren't enough to recognize some of the year's best albums. Does anyone really think Justin Timberlake's FutureSex/LoveSounds is a better album than Dylan's Modern Times, which was not nominated for Album of the Year? Modern Times was instead nominated for Best Contemporary Folk/Americana Album, and the song "Someday Baby" was nominated for Best Solo Rock Vocal Performances and Best Rock song. Unforgivable. Another glaring error in Grammy-related judgement — Cat Power's career-defining The Greatest to name just one that's really glaringly absent. It was too much to hope the Hold Steady would get some play here, but Chan Marshall?! Isn't she just as good a candidate for the Next Norah Jones crown as Corinne Bailey Rae? Who else is missing from this list of nominees? And who shouldn't have been nominated in the first place?

Plus: Our own David Fricke was nominated under the Best Album Notes category for his work on liner notes for The Byrds incomparable four-CD collection There Is a Season. Read the Rolling Stone review of the album here.