Released just in time for the fifth annual Latin Grammy Awards, 2004 Latin Grammy Nominees rounds up some of the key nominations, with a generous 19 songs in total. This is quite a substantial serving of smashes, and it’s relatively diverse: for instance, you get the Brazilian pop of Maria Rita (“A Festa”), a gem by Spanish superstar Alejandro Sanz (“No Es lo Mismo”), the gritty Latin rap of Juan Gotti (“No Sett Trippin”), a reggaeton team up of Vico C., Tego Calderon, and Eddie Dee (the dancehall version of “El Bueno, el Malo y el Feo”), a rock en español rave-up by Estopa (“Fuente de Energia”), and some good old-fashioned Latin pop groups like los Tri-O (“Tu Carcel”), to spotlight just a few inclusions. Because of the broad diversity, it’s questionable whether or not it was ideal for EMI Latin to round up everything on to one disc as the label has done here. Last year Universal Music Latino did the duty, and that label split up the nominees on two separate discs: Regional Mexican and Latin Pop and Tropical. That certainly made sense, given the very different audiences (and the increased sales opportunities). It was also frustrating, though, because each disc only featured about a dozen songs. Had Universal filled up those discs rather than leave them half-empty, it would have been ideal for consumers; instead, you felt short-changed. So while this EMI disc is sure to include some styles of music that may overreach your boundaries of taste (i.e., the abrasive urban inclusions), at least you’re getting better value (and perhaps getting introduced to styles of music you wouldn’t otherwise encounter — again, those urban inclusions). One possible complaint, however, is that while EMI impressively manages to round up almost all of the nominees for the featured categories — Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Best New Artist, Best Male Pop Vocal Album, Best Pop Album by a Duo or Group With Vocal, and Best Urban Music Album — that leaves out many other great categories: Best Female Pop Vocal, Best Rock, Best Alternative Music, Best Salsa, Best Merengue, Best Ranchero, Best Latin Jazz, Best Brazilian, and more. So it might have been most ideal if EMI had made this a double-disc compilation, or perhaps separately released a complementary disc that features other, less general categories. In any event, 2004 Latin Grammy Nominees is a strong, substantial, and relatively diverse roundup, even if it overlooks more regional Latin music styles like salsa, banda, or MPB.