Picks and Pans Review: "Yeah!"

UPDATED 02/14/2005 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 02/14/2005 at 01:00 AM EST

Usher featuring Lil Jon and Ludacris [star]

If anything, the Record of the Year nominees are even less gramophone-worthy than the Album of the Year lot. Sure, "Let's Get It Started" is a fun party song, but it's so lightweight it makes the Black Eyed Peas' previously nominated single in this category, "Where Is the Love," look like "What's Going On." "Heaven" floats along on a blissful cloud, but it falls short of the lofty artistry one would expect from a winner here. "Here We Go Again," while a cross-generational charmer, is hardly revelatory enough to make it worth anointing a remake (although the combined Grammy pedigrees of Jones and Charles maybe too much for voters to ignore). Green Day proved that they have come a long way from their Dookie days by thumbing their bratty noses in the face of the political establishment. But we're rooting for Usher, whose rump-shaking smash, with its sirenlike call to the dance floor, was impossible for us to say no to.

Best Male Pop Vocal

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