So the Grammys have come and gone, and unless you’re a full-time music devotee, you probably haven’t listened to every artist who walked off stage with one of those little gold gramophones. To help you catch up, we’ve put together a playlist of some of the best tracks from this year’s Grammy winners. Click the button below to listen to the full set on Made Man’s Spotify.
1. “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele
Adele took home more Grammys than anyone this year, and for good reason. Her album 21 was among the most popular of the year, and lead single “Rolling in the Deep”—a bluesy, foot-stomping anthem about love gone wrong—put her name firmly on the map.
2. “For Emma” by Bon Iver
Bon Iver (also known as one-man act Justin Vernon) was named best new artist of the year, having gained widespread recognition for his second album, the self-titled Bon Iver. While the album is good and all, for those just getting acquainted with Bon Iver, check out Vernon’s first album, For Emma, Forever Ago. Pay special attention to eponymous track “For Emma,” a horn-heavy number carried by Vernon’s crooning falsetto and topped off with a wailing slide guitar.
“Rolling in the Deep” is a bluesy, foot-stomping anthem about love gone wrong that put Adele firmly on the map.
3. “Progress” by Booker T. Jones
Fifty years after he and The M.G.s gave us “Green Onions,” Booker T. Jones is still going strong. He took the Grammy for best pop instrumental album this year for The Road from Memphis, and the infectious, upbeat melody on lead track “Progress” should tell you exactly why.
4. “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” by Skrillex
Skrillex’s music is about as divisive as it is popular. For every rabid, womp-crazed fan of his distinct take on the dub step genre, he’s got a brutally pissed off hater ready to take a mixing board to his head. Fortunately for Skrillex—winner of two Grammys this year for best dance recording and best dance album—that controversy has only helped elevate his name. Listen to “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” and decide for yourself what you think of the guy’s work.
5. “Walk” by Foo Fighters
The Foo Fighters took a handful of Grammys this year, including two for best rock album and best rock song. “Walk” gained them the latter award, likely for the fact that it was one of the most popular songs of 2011. With all the Foo Fighters staples—including a melancholy guitar intro that slowly grows into a triumphant, stadium-worthy chorus—the song is a radio favorite and will probably be stuck in your head for a while after you listen to it.
6. “I’d Do it All Again” by Corinne Bailey Rae
Science has shown that it is nearly impossible to not fall in love with Corinne Bailey Rae upon hearing her voice. Yes, by “science” I mean “personal experience,” but who has time for semantics? Rae won this year’s Grammy for best R&B performance for the song “Is This Love” off her five-track The Love E.P. Give it a listen, but first check out “I’ll Do it All Again” from her 2010 full-length The Sea.
7. “Gotta Have It” by Jay-Z and Kanye West
Somewhere in the Grammy rule book there’s a line that says “Jay-Z gets a Grammy every year, no matter what.” Of course, he always earns it, like when he and Kanye won best rap performance this year for the track “Otis.” Listen to that one, but also take some time to play “Gotta Have It,” arguably a better song.
Somewhere in the Grammy rule book there’s a line that says “Jay-Z gets a Grammy every year, no matter what.”
8. “Captain Marvel” by Corea, Clarke and White
Jazz doesn’t get the attention it deserves anymore, but the genre’s best artists are still doing it right. Like Corea, Clarke and White, who released their 2011 album Forever to critical acclaim. It won them the Grammy for best jazz instrumental this year, and single “Captain Marvel” is a perfect example of how jazz continues to expand and transform today.
9. “Come See About Me” by Tedeschi Trucks Band
Tedeschi Trucks Band does the classic blues sound with a modern edge, and the critics love them for it. Hence their Grammy win for best blues album of the year. ”Come See About Me” starts slow and builds to a rich, driving chorus that showcases front-woman Susan Tedeschi’s big voice.
10. “No Cigarette Smoking (In My Room)” by Stephen Marley
Who better to win the Grammy for best reggae album than a member of the legendary Marley clan? This was Stephen’s fifth Grammy win, and his sound is still as strong as ever. “No Cigarette Smoking” is pleasant and chilled out, much like the rest of the album, but guest vocalist Melanie Fiona’s notable contribution floats it to the top of the roster.