The nominees in the Rock Field for the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards include many sonically varied styles of the guitar-driven genre as ever, united by themes of longing, melancholy, anger, and passion. What differs this year is that the nominees are skewed more toward the new generation of rockers.
The Best Rock Performance nominees include Alabama Shakes' "Hold On," a bluesy entry from their debut album Boys & Girls. The group is fronted by Brittany Howard, marking the sole female representation in the category. The Black Keys offer up garage rock with "Lonely Boy," while Coldplay's "Charlie Brown" is a pop/rock song with electronic bits. Mumford & Sons' "I Will Wait" has a bluegrass and gospel feel. The category closes with the seasoned vet of the genre, Bruce Springsteen, for "We Take Care of Our Own," a patriotic, anthemic number.
The Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance nominees consist Anthrax, who garner their fourth career nomination with "I'm Alive." Halestorm receive their first nomination with "Love Bites (So Do I)," marking the second appearance by a female nominee in the Rock Field. Iron Maiden hope to win their second GRAMMY with "Blood Brothers." Lamb Of God's "Ghost Walking" is also nominated, marking the group’s fourth career nomination. Marilyn Manson's "No Reflection" represents his fourth nomination. Megadeth, fronted by the venerable Dave Mustaine, gain their 11th career nomination with "Whose Life (Is It Anyways?)."
The Best Rock Song nominees mirror the Best Rock Performance nominees for Mumford & Sons, The Black Keys, and Bruce Springsteen, but add in a track from Jack White's debut solo album, "Freedom at 21". Also in the category are Muse's "Madness", which utilizes dubstep elements as a sign of the times.
The Best Rock Album nominees are he Black Keys' El Camino, Coldplay's Mylo Xyloto, Muse's The 2nd Law, Bruce Springsteen's Wrecking Ball, and Jack White's Blunderbuss. The variation between the sound and feeling of these five albums is enough to make your head spin.
A few rock entries with crossover appeal earned nominations in the General Field categories. For Record Of The Year, the Black Keys' "Lonely Boy" is nominated. Proving that rock music is still album-focused, the Album Of The Year nominees include three artists also nominated in the Rock Field: El Camino, Mumford & Sons' Babel and Blunderbuss. Alabama Shakes received a nod for Best New Artist.
Who will emerge victorious as the kings and queens of rock this year? Tune in to the 55th Annual GRAMMY awards on Feb. 10 to find out.