Did Daft Punk Deserve Album of the Year?

Where’s the Party?

 

I get the idea. Take a band known for robotic vocals and acid-soaked synths and make an album with live drums, guitars and bass with would-be awesome collaborators Nile Rodgers and Pharrell. Genius. Problem is, it didn’t work. Daft Punk won the Grammy for the wrong album.

“Random Access Memories” is overrated. It’s downtrodden. It’s un-danceable. In all its extravagance, the album loses its way. They over-thinked it. Daft Punk is supposed to be all about partying and having a good time – think “One More Time” from 2001’s “Discovery.”

“R.A.M.” doesn’t accomplish that at all. Unlike their earlier work, it wasn’t locked and loaded for the discotheque. It was perfectly suited for insular listening via headphones or computer speakers. Fun, right?

When “Get Lucky” dropped, I was excited. What a brilliant and captivating song. It’s a megahit. However, it’s the only song on the album with the same joie de vivre of past material.

The Grammys have a rich history of getting it wrong.

Notoriously, in 1989, the Academy awarded the Best Rock/Metal Performance trophy to Jethro Tull, a prog-rock band from England that sounds nothing like metal.

Three years ago, they gave Album of the Year kudos to Arcade Fire for their third album “The Suburbs.” It was a shocker – beating out Eminem, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Lady Antebellum. This is a band that deserves to win a Grammy, but they should’ve gotten one for their instant-classic 2004 debut “Funeral.” To use a cliché – hindsight is 20/20.

Similarly, Daft Punk should’ve won the award for their EDM masterpiece “Discovery” in 2001. Instead, it took the Academy 13 years to take notice of the group’s vast history of electro dance party music.

A message to the Academy: stop this business of retroactively handing out Grammys. Or you will lose all credibility. If you haven’t already.

One Response

  1. Andrew J. Seitz says:

    At least for me the Grammys have had little to no credibility for some time. The whole nomination and voting process is a mess and is why the results end up often being questionable.
    The retroactive Grammy curse hit in the Rock Album category this year with Led Zepplin winning for a Live Album.
    There was the whole “Mackelmore has too much crossover appeal and shouldn’t get the Rap nomination alongside struggling acts like Jay-Z and Eminem” controversy.
    Don’t put too much weight on The Grammys (or The Oscars) as they are nothing more than a marketing scheme at this point.

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