Monday, February 09, 2009

dance grammy analysis: daft punk safe but sound

The Recording Academy took the safe route when it came to choosing winners in the two dance music categories -- which were swept by Daft Punk (see below). But that's to be expected, and it could have been worse. There would have been some serious groans from dance industry had, for example, Lady Gaga or Rihanna won in the Best Dance Recording category. On the other hand, Sam Sparro would have been a visionary choice.

In the Best Electronic/Dance Album category, Moby, as I noted, was the safe choice (and not necessarily a bad one), but the Punk took the nod with an album that was a live redux of some of its dated material. Again, it could have been worse. Kylie Minogue, Cyndi Lauper and Robyn were in the album category.

If anything, the Daft Punk sweep makes the academy look hip -- one year after the French duo appeared on stage with Kanye West as they performed "Stronger" together. I have my qualms with Daft Punk: Its sound hasn't changed much since the mid-1990s, and its popularity reflects that the rest of the world has finally caught up with EDM. But there's no denying that the Daft Punk flavor, also reflected by the rise of the likes of Best Remixed Recording winner Justice, represents the club-land sound of 2008. The pair has planted seeds for a new generation of artists. And, as I've said before, it's certainly more cutting-edge to recognize the influence of Daft Punk in pop music than, say, to continually reinforce the tired trance DJ melieu, as DJ magazine seems to do each year with its Top 100 DJs poll.

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