Listen to the Best Original Song Nominees of the 87th Academy Awards (AUDIO)

The Best Original Song nominees are in for the 87th Academy Awards, and it’s a pretty interesting mix of songs performed by Rita Ora, Tegan and Sara with The Lonely Island, Glen Campbell, Keira Knightley (or Adam Levine, depending on which version you prefer), and John Legend and Common. In short, this is a pretty strong category. Not as strong as last year’s, but an impressive list of nominees nonetheless.

You can listen to all five nominated tracks below:

Listen to the Best Original Song Nominees of the 87th Academy Awards (AUDIO)

Music and lyrics by Shawn Patterson

This is the first nomination for Shawn Patterson, and the only nomination for The LEGO Movie, shockingly enough. The movie had been considered a frontrunner for the Best Animated Feature Award, but it didn’t make the cut. However, a Best Original Song nomination is nothing to scoff at. Plus, this is probably the closest the Academy will ever come to nominating a dubstep track.

Music and lyrics by Rita Ora

This is the seventh nomination for Diane Warren, one of the most prolific songwriters in the industry. Her previous nominations include “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” from Mannequin, “Because You Loved Me” from Up Close and Personal, “How Do I Live” from Con Air, “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” from Armageddon, “Music of My Heart” from Music of the Heart, and “There You’ll Be” from Pearl Harbor. So yeah, she’s probably overdue. But then again, Randy Newman was nominated 15 times before he finally won in this category for “If I Didn’t Have You” from Monsters Inc. (which, coincidentally, was the same year as Warren’s last nomination). The song is from the little-seen Beyond the Lights, which centers on a popular British singer who’s on top of the world, but emotionally unfulfilled.

Music and lyrics by John Stephens (John Legend) and Lonnie Lynn (Common)

This is the first nomination for both Stephens and Lynn. The duo recently won a Golden Globe for this song, making them the presumptive frontrunners, although the Globes ultimately don’t mean as much to this category as it would seem. This song played over the end credits of Selma, and the incorporation of still images from throughout history made for a moving, poignant closer. While the Academy tends to prefer songs to be in the body of the film (at least in recent years), end credits songs are still fair game, as long as it’s the first music cue when the credits start rolling. Ultimately, it’s a song that deserves to be here (although, honestly, I feel that way about all five of these nominees).

Music and Lyric by Glen Campbell and Julian Raymond

This is the first nomination for both Campbell and Raymond. It originates from the documentary Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me, centered on the singer’s farewell tour in the wake of his diagnosis with Alzheimer’s. Ultimately, this ended up being his final song before retirement, making this a real heartstring-puller. Adding to the song’s chances is the fact that Campbell is still alive to accept the honor. That said, it certainly helps that the song is legitimately moving, and easy on the ears.

Music and Lyric by Gregg Alexander and Danielle Brisebois

This is the first nomination for Alexander and Brisebois. On a personal level, this is my favorite of the five nominees. All things told, I’m a bit surprised that Begin Again wasn’t more successful than it was, considering it was the follow-up to Once. But the music was fantastic, as evidenced by this track here, which went on to be performed recently on the season finale of The Voice, as Adam Levine (who made his big-screen debut in the movie) performed it alongside finalist Matt McAndrew. I’m not entirely sure it can win, but hopefully the nomination will propel this song into the popular consciousness, not unlike what the Oscars did for “Falling Slowly”.

So there you have it! Which song do you think will take home Oscar gold? Sound off in the comments!

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