Ultimate Grammy Collection: Contemporary Rock

Various Artists

Shout Factory, 2008

REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray


Simple idea: Compile the winners of Grammy rock awards from 1990 onward onto one CD. Running roughly chronologically, the disc tries to hit on a variety of songs while staying firmly in its stated genre.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

It's easy to figure out what songs will be on here if you've paid attention to the Grammys, so there are no real surprises, but most of these are quite good songs that warranted the award. As an overview of rock in the 90s and early 2000s, it's a decent sampler as well. Totally unnecessary, this disc, but a good listen all the same.

It's a mainstream list; early highlights include STP's "Plush," Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun," Living Colour's "Cult Of Personality" and the Pumpkins' "Bullet With Butterfly Wings." To break up the rock vibe is Chemical Brothers' "Block Rockin' Beats," Fiona Apple's "Criminal" and Tracy Chapman's "Give Me One Reason."

The definition of rock is quite fuzzy to the Grammy hander-outers, because why would Chapman, Coldplay and Melissa Etheridge be here? Blues Traveler, sure. Dave Matthews and Soul Asylum, fine, but pushing it. Evanescence and Green Day close out the proceedings.

Surely there were other songs that won the Grammy that would have fit better on here, but again, as a sampler of some pretty good award-winning music, this sounds as good in the car as any other like-minded 90s compilation.

Rating: B-

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