Picks and Pans Review: 2004 Grammy Picks
updated 02/09/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 02/09/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST
Album of the Year
Speakerboxxx/The Love Below
The White Stripes
Aside from Evanescence's metal-lite debut, which feels like a stretch (we'd have gone for Annie Lennox's Bare or Dido's Life for Rent), all the nominees have their merits. Elliott's old-school hip-hop homage seems too old, though, having been released in November 2002. Elephant, while a timely recognition of the garage-rock movement, doesn't have the heft of an Album of the Year winner. That leaves Justified and OutKast's double disc. If George Michael could win this trophy for his post-Wham! breakthrough Faith in 1988, then why not the erstwhile 'N Syncer for his surprisingly soulful solo makeover? But OutKast, with their visionary, genre-expanding tour de force, deserve to join Lauryn Hill as the only hip-hop winners in this category. The outsize, out-there brilliance of Speakerboxxx/The Love Below should have everybody shouting "Hey ya!" come Grammy night.