Yesterday, the whole world was in shock after the Grammy jury made a bold and daring move by awarding the prestigious award of Album of the Year to underdogs Arcade Fire, for their album The Suburbs. With opponents like Eminem, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Lady Antebellum, no one imagined that an indie-rock band from Montreal could take down those pop/hip-hop juggernauts in a David-versus-Goliath scenario.
From my point of view, the Grammy’s jury achieved what the Hollywood foreign press (and most likely the Academy too) failed at doing, and that is recognizing talent and originality over financial stats and sales. They’ve opened the door to alternative music to get more exposure and more recognition, and it feels good to see something that is not labeled as pop win such an important award.
Of course, like any year, there is some disagreement from the public’s opinion about who wins and who doesn’t, but this is how contests work when they’re decided by a jury, and you’ll never receive unanimous positively-critical acclaim for a judged decision, but the “controversy” after the winners are announced is always a source of debate, which makes it even more interesting.
But yesterday, the American people (slight generalization here) proved once again that they’re a bunch of selfish, self-centered, ignorant people. After Arcade Fire’s win, the social media scene started being invaded by hateful comments about the band, along with the creation of a website called whoisarcadefire.com , with posts showing off Twitter posts that sounded like “Who the fuck is Arcade Fire ?” and “How the fuck can they win against my homeboy Em”. Allright, in 2008, I too was disappointed that Kanye’s Graduation lost to Herbie Hancock, and I expressed my disappointment via social media saying that “Mr. West should have won”, and I think that sharing your opinion is good. What is NOT good, is starting to hate on an extremely talented band because your musical knowledge is as vast as a hamster’s cage.
For those I’m aiming at, let’s start from the beginning. Is it possible that if you don’t know one of the 5 nominees that have a shot at winning Album of the Year, that your opinion on the subject could be categorized as “utterly useless” ? My guess would be, absolutely ! Now, if you’ve never heard about Arcade Fire (but know the lyrics to every Lady Gaga’s songs), chances are you don’t cruise around music websites a lot. Let’s point out a couple of stats here:
– Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs is currently the #3 seller in the iTunes Store in the USA.
– The Suburbs has 5 number 1 titles on Billboard.com.
– Back in August, The Suburbs debuted as #1 seller in the USA, Canada, UK and Ireland.
– Arcade Fire made the cover of a small magazine that you may have heard of… it’s called TIME.
Oh and I almost forgot, The Suburbs is still in the Billboard Top 200, 7 months after its release, in front of a couple of under unknowns, like Kid Cudi, Taylor Swift and Avenged Sevenfold, but who cares, you probably have never heard of them either.
Now one thing the general public needs to understand too, is that the award goes to the best ALBUM, and not the album that contains the songs most played on Sirius satellite radio. I’ve listened to all the albums nominated yesterday, except for Lady Antebellum’s and I can say that anyone who says Gaga deserved the award is completely wrong. If anyone should’ve won instead of AF, it’s Katy Perry, that brought a new flavor to pop music with her album Teenage Dream (allright, Firework will be the exception). The Suburbs is a masterpiece in terms of harmony and connectivity between the 16 tracks it features. Listening to it from the start to the end is an experience, which The Fame Monster IS NOT !
People need to get their heads out of their asses and realize that there is more to music than Justin Beiber and Madonna’s doppelganger otherwise known as Lady Gaga. If your musical knowledge is limited to MTV’s Top 10, then it’s time for you to start listening to real music or stop posting hateful comments about a band that your retarded selfish person has never heard of, even less listened to. Many people that I will describe as more open-minded than others, RT’ed one of Kanye West’s tweet from last night, which went like this: “#Arcade fire!!!!!!!!!! There is hope!!! I feel like we all won when something like this happens! FUCKING AWESOME!”. If someone like Kanye, who usually has a pretty strong and open opinion about everything, dares to say something like that, maybe Arcade Fire’s win isn’t such a fiasco after all… but that’s for you guys to judge.
Congratulations to the Grammys for seeing past record sales, and finally, congratulations to the Arcade Fire for their win and one of the most genuine award-speech ever.