By Erik Myers
Once a field dominated by pop stars, the award for best dance recording has since become exclusive to electronic producers. Whether or not that’s a good thing is up for debate. The exclusion was the result of the adjustment of the category’s definition to “recordings intended for the dance/club market.”
There’s plenty to say about each Grammys 2013 best dance recording nominee, but we felt it necessary to include the songs of the past year who were obscured by the glittery garbage set before the National Academy of Recording Arts & Science. To silence those still supporting the Grammys, let’s start with a very peculiar Grammys 2013 best dance recording nominee.
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“I Can’t Live Without You”, by Al Walser
Who? Yes, who? Despite what his Wikipedia page would suggest, Walser is not actually important. His atrocious auto-tune single was only nominated because, as Billboard reported, Wasler gamed the voting system through relentless self-promotion. The producer is actively involved in Grammy committees and circles, and used years of networking and countless hours logged into social media making sure as many voting members as possible heard of him, especially those who don’t listen to electronic music.
His strategy is equivalent to that of the salesman who sells grandma the entire set of steak knives just because “he was so nice.” But where Grandma made an innocent mistake, Academy members ought to have known better. His success speaks truth about the Grammys’ deeply flawed voting system, which is unlikely to change anytime soon.
Will they win? No, but whoever does should give him a shout out, if only to further embarrass the Academy.
What song deserves this spot? “Everything is Embarrassing”, by Sky Ferreira. It’s time to shuffle singers back into this mix, and nothing does a body good like soulful pop, especially if it’s a bit of a downer. Despite Wasler’s best attempts, he can’t come close to recreating the longing here.
Who? The pride of Swedish house, Avicii has been on a winning streak lately with his singles. The young producer was given his big break by none other than Tiësto, and proceeded to spin a residency in Ibiza into an internationally successful career.
Will they win? “Levels” is the category’s dark horse. It was pasted all over commercials and big party bashes, probably leaving Pretty Lights a little sore since it was he who first used that Etta James sample to win over the masses in 2006. Yet poor Pretty Lights remains without a nomination. Avicii might have had a better shot had he ripped off the man who will almost certainly win this category.
“Let’s Go”, by Calvin Harris, feat. Ne-Yo
Who? Calvin Harris is a Scottish DJ who got here with the help of his smooth-singing collaborator Ne-Yo. While his studio album “18 Months” was forgettable fluff, perhaps he deserves to be here after producing plenty of decent tracks, like Rihanna’s “We Found Love.”
Will they win? No. This track is standard issue dance music with nothing particularly special or memorable compared to the others. Even Al Walser was able to induce feeling with his track.
What song deserves this spot? “Jasmine”, by Jai Paul. Few singles last year were as seductive as this number from the erratic British artist, whose lack of a full-length is enough to drive a man insane.