Best Male Artist Of 2007
The Nominations are....
Winner: Danny (Sweden)
For wonderful enlightenment on the act that is Danny I turned to the blissful writer & pop journalist that is Pop Poster Girl who very kindly shed some critical light on the reasons why Danny ultimately won:
In past seasons, American Idol has had sixth place finishers like rocker wannabe Constantine Maroulis, Frank Sinatra-mimicking John Stevens, and Carmen Rasmussen, she of one of the most annoying vibratos in Idol history. All these singers had their fans at the time and even released some music after the show, but they've never troubled the mainstream charts. Thank goodness, then, that Danny Saucedo (artist name Danny) is from Sweden. Only in Sweden could the Idol 2006 sixth place finisher have been picked out as the vehicle for the song with one of the greatest key changes of the year, "Tokyo," penned by team who've given us Swedish dance-pop star September's songs. I know, "key change"--you're thinking of those big Idol ballads, the sort of thing you might get off of a bar-stool to do. Couldn't be further from the case--"Tokyo" was one of the biggest, cheesiest, and best dance-pop songs of the year and a smash hit in Sweden, achieving more success than of any of the releases of Idol contestants from his year, including the winner's single.
A one-off? Far from it, as the album, Heart Beats, threw off any Idol pretensions at seriousness or credibility to give us what may be the most fun album of the year, packed full of dance-pop and irresistible hooks. In addition to work from the Von der Burg team, who also contributed the more-pop-less-dance-but-just-as-good second single, "Play It For The Girls," the album also features a song from the team that gave us Kate Ryan's "Je t'adore," "Only Wanna Be With You," a house-pop song that gives us swooshes, raindrop-like electronic backing, and one of the best listening experiences of the year, and the Danny co-penned "Hey (I've Been Feeling Kind Of Lonely)," a punchy handclap-punctuated perfect pop song--and they've not even been singles yet!
Of course, that's not saying much, as nearly any song on the album could be a single, a rare condition not just for an Idol debut album but for ANY album. Even the hidden track, "Here I Am," is excellent, capturing longing in such a lovely way and melding it with music equally lovely and catchy. As if the pure(est) delight any pop lover is sure to experience listening to the album isn't enough, though, Danny had us all going into conniptions of excitement when it was announced the third single, "If Only You," would be modified to turn it into a duet with Therese Grankvist, she of one of the most underrated dance music careers around. The duet version of this lovely heartsick dance song lived up to expectations both quality-wise and commercially.
In fact, Danny has yet to let us down. Heart Beats is a pop lover's dream, a dance-pop collection unafraid to be cheesy but aware that cheesy doesn't mean a lack of quality, that excels equally well at making you want to dance and capturing real emotion ("set me free before you press delete" may look silly on paper, but listen to Danny sing it and see if it doesn't sound like one of the saddest lines of the year). As pop singer and early Max Martin/Denniz Pop muse Jessica Folcker once said, "Good pop should ALWAYS make you feel something…whether it's in your heart, in your hips or between your legs." Whether or not Heart Beats does that last one is questionable, but there's no doubt it accomplishes the first two (albeit with a emphasis on the second), making making Danny a worthy winner of this year's best male artist award!
Runner up: Magnus Carlsson
Youtube: Tokyo, Play It For The Girls
Links: Danny, PopPosterGirl