Annal: 2003 Grammy Award for Album of the Year

Results of the Grammy Award in the year 2003.

Album:Speakerboxxx/The Love Below

Speakerboxxx/The Love Below

OutKast

At a time when experimentation is taboo in most overground rap, that’s all Outkast seem intent on executing. Firstly, this double CD has no cohesive link, other than the fact that it sounds like a pair of solo albums stitched together to demo exactly how Andre’s yin works to augment Big Boi’s yang. Andre 3000’s Love Below disc rates as the more eclectic of the two, given that he’s turned in his emcee credentials to become a full-on funk-soul-jazz vocalist who mostly sings about items of love (“Happy Valentine’s Day”), carnal lust (“Spread”), and female…

Album:Elephant

Elephant

The White Stripes

Jokingly referred to as the White Stripes’ British album, Elephant is scattered with cultural references that give away the fact it was recorded far from home. Just listen to the lyrics on “Seven Nation Army” (“From the Queen of England to the hounds of Hell”) or the album outro, in which someone chips in, “Jolly good, cup of tea?” But while there are new twists here, from Meg White discovering her voice to a tongue-in-cheek threesome with Holly Golightly, Elephant is no great departure for Jack and Meg White. They still push their creativity (and…

Album:Fallen

Fallen

Evanescence

The Daredevil soundtrack provided a nice boost for this previously unknown quartet from Little Rock, Arkansas. Evanescence’s songs “My Immortal” and the imposing “Bring Me to Life” are clear standouts in the film, mainly because they work so well with the dramatic, eerie undertones of the storyline. They reappear here on the band’s debut, alongside a selection of similarly brooding tracks that evoke pensive artists like Tori Amos and the Cranberries. Vocalist Amy Lee has the kind of voice that can cause weeks of insomnia, but on songs like “Tourniquet” and…

Album:Justified

Justified

Justin Timberlake

Common wisdom holds that debut albums have an autobiographical slant, so it’s hard to believe that Justin Timberlake’s first non-’N Sync outing doesn’t purloin much of its subject matter from the singer’s breakup with Britney Spears. Half the songs are about the abrupt severing of a romance and the singer’s rather hard-hearted stance. Sure, he may have been the wronged party, but that doesn’t excuse the inflexible emotional posture revealed in “Cry Me a River,” “Never Again,” and the sniping “Last Night.” But Timberlake apparently thinks it does, since he…

Album:Under Construction

Under Construction

Missy Elliott

Attention B-girls and boys: Missy Elliott is officially over it. Like her homegirl Mary J. Blige, the rap diva declares, “no more drama.” Time to get back to the essence. To that end, Under Construction bubbles over with a combination of ridiculously slamming beats and clever old-school references—not to mention a slew of guest stars. Based on the rhyme schematic from UTFO’s “Roxanne Roxanne” and featuring Ms. Jade’s tight-laced drawl, “Funky Fresh Dressed” draws on several classics, including the Beasties’ “Paul Revere.” Missy croons and Jay-Z namedrops…

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