Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Just Whistling Dixie?

Was politics or music behind the Dixie Chicks winning five Grammy Awards? Even if their country fanbase has abandoned them, or vice versa, you'd expect the Best Album winner to have garnered some critical praise in popular music circles before sweeping the industry's top awards show. Evidently not.

A look at Metacritic's Best Reviewed Albums of the Year reveals less than critical acclaim for the Chicks's Taking the Long Way. The album was listed by only two of the major publications surveyed. The Billboard staff consensus placed Long Way 8th, tied with the Chili Peppers' Stadium Archadium. One Entertainment Weekly critic placed it 1st, but overall Long Way placed 6th on the ET staff top 10. A single Shaking Through critic placed it 7th. And that was it.

Neither did Long Way crack Rolling Stones' Top 50 Albums of 2006. Not NPR's Listener Picks. Not even Amzaon's Editor's Picks Country.

This sampling, while not exhaustive or definitive, would seem to indicate that political slant rather than musical appreciation won the day for the Dixie Chicks among their industry peers at the Grammy Awards.

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