First, a caveat: Back in January, this year's Golden Globe for original song went to Madonna's "Masterpiece," a wan electro ballad so forgettable that we here at Pop & Hiss had to YouTube it just to remember what it sounded like. (And now? Forgotten again.)
So it's probably unwise for anyone to look to the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. -- which on Thursday morning announced the nominees for next year's Golden Globes, set to be handed out Jan. 13 -- for wisdom on the matter of musical taste. In 2008, for instance, it honored a gloomy Eddie Vedder tune over one of Amy Adams' delightful "Enchanted" songs and John C. Reilly's pitch-perfect Johnny Cash parody from "Walk Hard."
And yet! The five selections in contention this time around -- including tracks by Adele, Taylor Swift and Keith Urban, among others -- aren't half-bad. Together with the surprisingly solid Grammy nominations announced last week, the list has us wondering whether our typically out-of-touch gatekeepers have suddenly figured things out.
But who are we to judge? Below, take a listen to each of the nominated songs -- and to a clip of a newly composed song from the yet-to-open "Les Misérables" -- and decide for yourself how clued-in the HFPA has become.
1. Adele, "Skyfall" (from "Skyfall")
2. Taylor Swift featuring the Civil Wars, "Safe & Sound" (from "The Hunger Games")
3. Keith Urban, "For You" (from "Act of Valor")
4. Jon Bon Jovi, "Not Running Anymore" (from "Stand Up Guys")
5. Hugh Jackman, "Suddenly" (from "Les Misérables")