Thursday, December 08, 2005


Every year I hope to see something I really like threaten to dominate the Grammys, and almost every year I'm disappointed. Yes, I own the Gwen Stefani and U2 albums that came out late last year, but I never listen to them anymore, mostly because they're just not that great. Yet there they are, holding down 40 percent of the album of the year slate, up against Kanye West, Mariah Carey, and Paul McCartney.

Poor Fiona Apple got a single nomination (for best pop vocal album, where she's up against McCartney, Stefani, Sheryl Crow, and Kelly Clarkson), and while there are several categories where I own all the nominated songs or albums, only the best alternative album category could be called exciting for me, with Arcade Fire, Beck, Death Cab for Cutie, Franz Ferdinand, and the White Stripes duking it out. (Even there I have qualms--they couldn't find a better fifth album than the mediocre offering from DCFC? I can think of several off the top of my head: Bloc Party, Sufjan Stevens, Antony and the Johnsons, Bright Eyes, Martha Wainwright, Sigur Ros...)

I suppose I should accept that my tastes and those of both the public and the Recording Academy don't dovetail. Let this serve as fair warning that the list I post tomorrow will bear little relation to the one the Grammys have posted this morning.

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