There has always been a huge disparity between music critics and the Grammy Committee. In a lot of ways, the Grammys have always been self-serving. Their picks are often out of touch with what is going on in the music industry, but just because it appeals to them, it must be good. Whenever they do venture outside of these picks and go “bold” by picking a younger artist, the Grammys reward mainstream pop acts that have high sales numbers, but low critical ratings. So as you can imagine, there has always been a question of “credibility” when it comes to the Grammys deciding what is good art.

Now, after decades of upsets and disappointment, a band that is highly praised by critics and loved by music snobs has finally won. So what does this mean? Did the Grammys finally get it right? The answer is yes and no. First off, it’s impressive to say the least, that Arcade Fire are on an indie label and have gotten to this level of success without jumping to a major label. But that said, you don’t get where you are without bruising some knuckles. While Arcade Fire are on an indie label, they have very much run their business like that of a major label. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but much of the reason they were even in that position to win in the first place was because of that business savvy. So let’s not all buy into this idea that suddenly indie bands can win the big award at the Grammys. In truth, you have to reach the outer limits of the indie genre (the edge of mainstream) to even be noticed by them.

It’s no secret that the band’s management has been pushing hard for Arcade Fire to get more recognition. Back when The Suburbs came out, it went on sale for 99 cents on Amazon four days before they registered the Billboard numbers. The band urged fans to buy the album for the low price, just so they could finally make #1. Now, I know that it wasn’t just a #1 album for the band. It was also a #1 album for Merge, an incredible indie label, who by all accounts deserves all the success it can get. But we would have to be naive to think the band didn’t want that #1 debut album under their belt. And after campaigning for it, they barely edged out Eminem (who was weeks past the debut of the album). Similarly, the end of the Grammys also felt like it was calculated and set up beforehand. The show just happened to end neatly five minutes before it usually wraps up, just in time for frontman Win Butler to accept the award and announce, “We are going to play another song, because we like music.” Putting the Grammy award for Album of the Year down on the stage (they zoomed in on this award multiples time throughout the final performance), they launched into “Ready to Start.” It was actually pretty awesome – one of the coolest ways I’ve seen a Grammy ceremony end. But after further reflection, I couldn’t help but feel tricked, like the entire ending was set up beforehand, and I was playing into the illusion that they are the next “generational” band that will defy what the Grammys are usually about. Of course, there is no way to know if this was pre-planned. It could have been spontaneous. But given how hard the band has been campaigning this past year, I couldn’t shrug off the feeling this wasn’t some finely crafted event.

On to my next point. Musically, Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs actually fits right in with what the Grammys like. It’s Americana – Neil Young meets Bruce Springsteen. So in many ways, their win tonight was parallel to Alison Krauss and Robert Plant winning over Radiohead, Coldplay and Lil Wayne in 2009, except this time critics and music snobs actually happened to like the band. But the same way we all asked “What the fuck?” when Radiohead lost, I’m guessing a lot of Eminem and Lady Gaga fans are saying the same thing tonight. So in some ways, this was a self-serving pick by the Grammys, one that just happened to be relevant to the industry (at least critically speaking). While it might seem shocking to all us indie folks that never thought they would see the day, it actually makes sense why the Grammys picked them. Especially when you consider the band has the backing of the likes of David Bowie and Bruce Springsteen. Really, it was only a matter of time.

In a way it was a vindication for artists like Kanye, who have strived for years to be competitive on an artistic level. I mean, can you imagine being a serious artist who works hard, and then losing to Taylor Swift, or The Dixie Chicks? I imagine some artists (and even music fans) have become disillusioned with the process and been left cold. Ultimately, in that sense this was the first time in a long time that the Grammys got something right. But if you look at the awards ceremony as a whole this year, it was pretty bland. The picks overall were generally terrible. So don’t get your hopes up yet. It seems to me that Arcade Fire winning had more to do with their music just being perfect for the Committee, not to mention the way the band managed themselves this year.

Plus when you get right down to it, doesn’t the Album of the Year award feel like it’s lost its worth? I mean, when Katy Perry can get nominated for best album, and your peers are now Taylor Swift, Dixie Chicks, Celine Dion, it’s kind of an empty gesture. Personally I would love for the Grammys to change overall in the coming years. But it still seems like the old guard clasping desperately to their ways, and I don’t see it. I don’t see Arcade Fire being that band that is going to save us all.

But for tonight, we can be happy. Let’s face it, Arcade Fire winning was awesome. But when you actually look past what it was, it’s not all that it looks to be on the surface. 90% of the Grammy Picks today were predictable and questionable at best. But that’s okay, because the Grammys are best viewed as entertainment anyway. And for once, we could honestly say: the best in the category for Grammys album of the year actually won. A rare moment, so savor it (if you even care). And really, despite all of this, it was a great victory for Arcade Fire fans – and that is really what matters the most.