The GRAMMY Rock Battle Begins

(For a complete list of 54th GRAMMY Awards nominees, click here).

The nominations are in, and this year's crop of Rock Field GRAMMY nominees are varied as always. However, this year's group is unique in that it is a nice mix of artists spanning multiple decades.

Foo Fighters are near the front of the pack in nominations overall with six; most notably, an Album Of The Year nomination for Wasting Light. This highly lauded album was a back-to-basics approach recordingwise for the band, as detailed in their documentary, Foo Fighters: Back And Forth. The band will attempt to go from the garage to the GRAMMYs, literally!

The nominees for Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song are in agreement, in mood, and the nominees range from the rock-meets-pop of Coldplay's "Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall" and the folky, harmonica-laced Decemberists' tune "Down By The Water" to the tearjerker story of the Foo's "Walk," Mumford & Sons' crossover Americana track "The Cave" (which is also nominated for Song Of The Year), and the eerie, ambient electronic quirkiness of Radiohead's "Lotus Flower." A strong theme of nature is woven throughout these songs, and while I find the categorization of some as rock surprising, these bands are creating some of the most popular tunes today.

The nominees for Best Rock Album cover a lot of territory. Jeff Beck's been entertaining us with his guitar work longer than many of the other nominees have been alive, and a win for Rock 'N' Roll Party Honoring Les Paul would follow-up three GRAMMY wins last year. Once again, Foo Fighters are represented for Wasting Light. Kings Of Leon look to add to their past three GRAMMYs with Come Around Sundown. The punk alt-rock band of the '90s, Red Hot Chili Peppers, are back with I'm With You, and Wilco round out the category with The Whole Love.

The nominees for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance somehow manage to be angry, dramatic and playful. The nearly nine-minute operatic metal piece by Dream Theater, "On The Backs Of Angels," is laden with guitar solos; the Foo's take their rock up a notch for an entry into hard rock with "White Limo"; Mastodon shines with their second career nomination, this time for the nearly nonsensical "Curl Of The Burl"; Megadeth have their third consecutive nomination with the biting "Public Enemy No. 1"; and Sum 41 is the pop punk kid not like the others with their nomination for "Blood In My Eyes."

This year's nominees list has piqued my interest in a different way than years past. I can’t wait to see who wins this battle for top of the GRAMMY rock.

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