February 13, 2006 12:00 PM

“From the Bottom of My Heart”

One look at this underwhelming lineup and we’re left wondering, “Where have all the male pop singers gone?” This has us seriously hankering for Justin Timberlake. Alas, the Recording Academy fell back on a couple of golden oldies: McCartney and Wonder. While both multiple Grammy winners demonstrated they still had their mojo with strong albums in ’05—it was particularly good to hear Wonder back after 10 years—”Fine Line” and “From the Bottom of My Heart” are hardly any “Eleanor Rigby” and “You Are the Sunshine of My Life.” Like Wonder, the always classy Seal has previously won in this category (for “Kiss from a Rose” in 1996), but he could probably have sleepwalked through his remake of the old Dionne Warwick gem. At least surfer dude Johnson represents a breath of fresh ocean air with his folk-pop ditty. Our pick, though, is Thomas for his surprisingly funky work on “Lonely No More,” a song people have actually heard. We didn’t know he had it in him.

Best Female Pop Vocal

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