Entering its 11th year, the Best Dance/Electronic Album category has an interesting group of nominees. Past winners have included everyone from Madonna to Daft Punk -- Bassment Jaxx to Skrillex and this year provides a varied group of five newcomers, veterans and comeback kings. It appears to be a two-horse race, but when it comes to the Grammy members voting for a genre they aren't very familiar with, you never know for certain what they might do.
Aphex Twin - Syro
Deadmau5 - while(1<2)
Little Dragon - Nabuma Rubberband
Röyksopp & Robyn - Do It Again
Mat Zo - Damage Control
Who Should Win: Aphex Twin - Syro
This one isn't that close. Damage Control does well to touch on many different genres, but it is hard to imagine an album from a relative newcomer that has not changed dance music.
Little Dragon has developed into their sound as an artist and this is their strongest album to date, but Nabuma Rubberband does not stack up to the other non-DJ in the group.
Röyksopp & Robyn is a power combo that should be able to create magic, but it was only 5 songs and could be called an extended EP. When compared to deadmau5's 25-track effort, it is hard to put them in the same category of music works. Robyn's previously nominated album, Body Talk, was a stronger bet for a win.
Deadmau5 is a strong canidate for the crown, but while(1<2) becomes its own worst enemy at times and falls into lulls where a couple of the tracks can become forgettable before reviving itself with another standout song.
At the end of the day, fans, critics and music lovers everywhere have celebrated Aphex Twin's comeback with Syro. It is time that the Grammy's recognize the twisted genius of Richard D. James. After 13 years of being silent, this would make the comeback complete. Imagine what types of things he would say in an acceptance speach. It would be worth it to give him the award maybe even just for that (he really deserves it though). Even deadmau5 admits that James should win the prize.
Who Will Win: Aphex Twin - Syro
The last three years have been a growing period for the Academy as they come to learn a little bit about dance music and who Djs are. Skrillex and Daft Punk have taken home the nominations the past three years and it is hard to imagine them reverting back to old form, giving out a golden trophy to a non-producer DJ.
This automatically knocks out Robyn & Röyksopp, as well as Little Dragon, despite solid albums.
Damage Control is a very well-rounded album, but it does not have the star power or the cache that other artists in the category have to win the title. The nomination was an honor enough for Zo.
The voters may like deadmau5 because he is a name familiar to them, but the 25-track album may be a bit much to digest, a lack of big singles and the story of Aphex Twin will be too much to for deadmau5 to overcome.
The voters will like the legacy of Aphex Twin and have been told by countless publications how good the album is in the grand scheme of things. A comeback story is always attractive and something as thought provoking as this album will speak to the Grammys on many different levels. It should take home the golden trophy.