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Grammy Awards: Arcade Fire shocks Streisand, the universe, with Grammy win

February 13, 2011 |  8:45 pm


CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK: A night of bold moves and noisy risks at Grammys 

Wow. I think it's fair to say "wow." Here I was, all ready with the bile, ready to rip on the Grammys for giving the trophy to Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" or a Lady Gaga EP. 

Yet no...the Arcade Fire's "The Suburbs" was named album of the year. Repeat. The Arcade Fire's "The Suburbs" was named album of the year.

We're going to say that one more time: THE ARCADE FIRE'S "THE SUBURBS" WAS NAMED ALUBM OF THE YEAR. 

The Grammys got a lot of things wrong tonight, and this was a total shock, considering the band lost the alternative album field. Even Barbra Streisand seemed to struggle in saying "The Suburbs."

Yet the act with the most complex, thoughtful and adventurous album actually won the Grammy for album of the year. When was the last time that happened? Maybe 2004, when OutKast won for "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below." 

But this shows a few things: One, that the Grammy Awards is finally recognizing independent music in its top categories. Two, a band that has sold 484,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan, can actually compete with performers whose albums have all sold more than 1 million copies.

Performance-wise, the show was the usual Grammy mess, but for the first time in years, I can say the Grammys got the top prize and best new artist right. It's a step forward.

A shame, however, that they cut Arcade Fire off on the band's second song.

-- Todd Martens

Photo credit: Los Angeles Times