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HRC's Commentary on the Alternative GRAMMY Nominations

December 5, 2009

The Alternative category is a collection of misfits; artists who’s work doesn’t’ cleanly fit in one genre. Perhaps this is where new territory is forged, as disparate genres are pulled together into something truly unique.

The nominees for Best Alternative Music Album are:

David Byrne & Brian Eno’s Everything That Happens Will Happen Today is a melancholy ambient soundscape with near religious sounding vocals. The result is something that sounds both from the future and the past.

Death Cab For Cutie’s The Open Door continues their legacy as one of indie rock’s most reliable bands. Made up of leftover tracks from their previous full length album, the EP feels less alternative and more rock.

Depeche Mode’s Sounds Of The Universe continues the bands success at being uncategorizable yet universally appreciated. The album covers a lot of territory; there are slow songs, dance songs, love songs, and break up songs. Sounds represents what DM does best- it’s sexy, and it’s unique.

Phoenix’s Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix electronic indie rock definitely draws inspiration from fellow nominee Brian Eno. Interestingly, Phoenix are from the same neck of the woods as Air and Daft Punk- and you can almost hear it in the background of this album.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ It’s Blitz! is their third album, which explores a more electronic disco sound than their previous efforts. Karen O proves once again to be one of the strongest front women of this generation.

It’s hard to select who I think should win for Best Alternative Album since the entries are very diverse; but Depeche Mode is long overdue to receive an award for their work.

I would have loved to see a nomination for The Horrors’ Primary Colours and IAMX’s Kingdom of Welcome Addiction here.

Read my review from a YYY’s show earlier this year here, as well as The Horrors and IAMX.

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