Grammy Nominees 2009 more or less resembles the state of American music in 2008, even if it emphasizes pop music at the expense of modern rock, country, and jazz. Perhaps the biggest puzzler is the absence of Flo Rida's "Low," the highest-selling single of the year and the recipient of multiple Grammy nominations. In its place, however, is a surprisingly good representation of the year's pop and R&B scenes, from Katy Perry's mega-platinum single "I Kissed a Girl" to the miniature British Invasion of Leona Lewis, Duffy, Adele, Estelle, and M.I.A.. Also included are all five nominated tracks for "Best Pop Group Performance," even though three of the category's nominations -- Gnarls Barkley's "Going On," Maroon 5's "Won't Go Home Without You," and (bizarrely) the Eagles' "Waiting in the Weeds" -- failed to chart well. Such choices are indicative of the Grammy's approach to picking its nominees, a process that's been routinely criticized for catering to the Recording Academy's whims rather than the public's tastes. Grammy Nominees 2009 is not an exception to such criticism, but its selection of candy-coated pop songs -- particularly those by female singers -- makes it more enjoyable than recent editions.
AllMusic Review by Andrew Leahey