Released two weeks before the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards, this album represents a small slice of the 500-plus songs, albums, and artists nominated that year. The 19-song track list focuses on 2010’s most commercial music, bypassing genres like classical and reggae in favor of sweeping pop anthems, country ballads, and rock songs. No Grammy compilation would be complete without several tracks that weren’t actually popular, a dubious honor shared by Sade’s “Babyfather” and Michael Jackson’s “This Is It,” and the absence of Kesha (who, despite releasing the year's most popular song, wasn’t even nominated) and Justin Bieber provides further proof that the Grammys don’t always reflect the true state of popular music. But 2011 Grammy Nominees is still thorough enough, featuring three of the year’s five highest-charting songs (Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now,” Train’s “Hey, Soul Sister,” and Katy Perry’s “California Gurls”) while highlighting other heavy-hitters like Miranda Lambert, Lady Gaga, Paramore, and the Glee cast.
AllMusic Review by Andrew Leahey