Various Artists

The Brit Awards 2012

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The official compilation of the U.K. music industry's biggest night of the year, The BRIT Awards 2012 is a three-CD, 61-track compilation celebrating some of the best that the nominees and winners, both past and present, have to offer. Best British Female and Best British Album winner Adele understandably opens the album with "Someone Like You," the track she performed at last year's awards which kick-started her stratospheric success, and is followed by all eight of the other winners, including Best British Male and Best British Breakthrough Ed Sheeran ("The A Team"), One Direction's Best British Single, "What Makes You Beautiful," and Critics' Choice Award recipient Emeli Sandé ("Heaven"). Elsewhere, there are contributions from some of the show's performers including Olly Murs ("Heart Skips a Beat"), Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds ("The Death of You & Me"), and Florence + the Machine ("Shake It Out"). Amy Winehouse ("Back to Black") received a remembrance tribute from host James Corden during the show at London's 02 Arena, and unlucky Jessie J ("Price Tag") went home empty-handed despite three nominations. Not entirely comprehensive, the collection ignores several acts who were recognized by the voting panel (Anna Calvi, Bon Iver, Lady Antebellum) in favor of several who were perhaps unfairly ignored, particularly Katy B ("Lights On") and Will Young ("Jealousy"). But it's difficult to argue with the third disc, a nostalgic retrospective which features 19 artists who have been awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Music title over the years, spanning from Elton John ("I'm Still Standing") back in 1986 right up to 2012's winner, Blur ("Beetlebum"). As always, The BRIT Awards 2012 is dominated by the most popular, rather than the best, but it's still a diverse selection of songs which shows today's commercial pop scene is in decent health.

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