Annal: 2003 Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album

Results of the Grammy Award in the year 2003.

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:Bare

Bare

Annie Lennox

Annie Lennox’s first album of original songs in 11 years on is a stylish tour de force that showcases the former Eurythmics chanteuse in all her chilly, shimmering splendor. Her formidable voice is still a supple and intriguing instrument, lithely shape-shifting between emotions, personas, and musical forms. Lennox moves effortlessly from the sparse and pristine lament of “A Thousand Beautiful Things” to the deceptively simple “Pavement Cracks,” a solemn ballad that is transformed by electro dance beats that recall some of the best of the Eurythmics. But Lennox’s…

Album:Brainwashed

Brainwashed

George Harrison

Completed by George Harrison’s son Dhani and Jeff Lynne (Traveling Wilburys, Cloud Nine) after the ex-Beatle succumbed to a long illness in November 2001, Brainwashed is a bittersweet reminder of the myriad contradictions that made Harrison such a compelling figure. One of the most warm, melodically rich albums in a career pockmarked by personal frankness and professional indifference in its latter years, Harrison finds rewarding ways here to reconcile bitter assessments of the material world (the title track) with more fleshly concerns, as his…

Album:Motown

Motown

Michael McDonald

The owner of one of the most distinctive set of vocal chords outside the Motor City has completed a distinguished project that will be a dream release for fans who have long known him to be one of the most seductive voices of his generation. Michael was the singer and writer/co-writer of countless hits with the Doobie Brothers. He then went onto a successful solo career. This new album is produced by Simon Climie and is a collection of 14 Motown classics delivered with the Michael McDonald touch—including ‘I Heard It Through The Grapevine’, ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours’, ‘How Sweet It Is’ and many more including the UK bonus track, ‘Too High’ with Fourplay.

Album:Stripped

Stripped

Christina Aguilera

Underneath all Christine Aguilera’s coy affectations and vocal gymnastics lurks a rare talent. With her second album, Aguilera allows it to flower by abandoning all pretense at courting the teenage market. Stripped is a seemingly effortless move into weightier adult territory. Using her extraordinary voice as a much subtler instrument, Aguilera sings movingly and with grit and anger about the disintegration of a relationship; she’s ultimately stronger for the pain. But that’s not her whole agenda. Aguilera also extols the power of women on “Can’t Hold Us…

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