Annal: 2003 Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album

Results of the Grammy Award in the year 2003.

Album:Elephant

Elephant

The White Stripes

Jokingly referred to as the White Stripes’ British album, Elephant is scattered with cultural references that give away the fact it was recorded far from home. Just listen to the lyrics on “Seven Nation Army” (“From the Queen of England to the hounds of Hell”) or the album outro, in which someone chips in, “Jolly good, cup of tea?” But while there are new twists here, from Meg White discovering her voice to a tongue-in-cheek threesome with Holly Golightly, Elephant is no great departure for Jack and Meg White. They still push their creativity (and…

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Sigur Rós

Are Iceland’s Sigur Rós the saviors of 21st-century rock or true heirs to the silk-robed-and-platform-booted, pompous progressive rock of the ‘70s? On their third album (first for a major label), they are a little bit of both. The group continues to mix the most interesting aspects of U2 (the anthem), Low (the maximalist slow-mo thing), Radiohead (the utter lack of irony in the quest to make meaningful art for stadium crowds), and My Bloody Valentine (guitar as texture), while not sounding like anyone else on this planet. The average song length on the eight…

Album:Fever To Tell

Fever To Tell

Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Well before the release of this solid but slender debut, the Brooklyn-based Yeah Yeah Yeahs were the subject of so much international press hype that the White Stripes were probably taking quick, nervous peeks over their shoulders. But while Fever to Tell captures a lot of what’s good about the trio—mostly the caterwauling energy of their club shows—it also exposes the band’s limitations. Singer Karen O is the undeniable star here, contorting her voice from a primal P.J. Harvey growl to the pre-orgasmic purr of Chrissie Hynde. Nick Zinner chops, slashes,…

Album:Fight Test

Fight Test

The Flaming Lips

Album:Hail To The Thief

Hail To The Thief

Radiohead

Filling the gulf between OK Computer’s epic progressive rock and Kid A’s skittering electronic theatrics, Hail to the Thief borrows equally from each. Its title implies that this will be a collection filled with songs of anger and dissent, but Radiohead no longer howl at the moon like they did on 1995’s The Bends. Instead, they use eloquent metaphors and complicated arrangements to express the uncertainty, fear and anger arising from the 2000 U.S. presidential election and a post-9/11 world. There’s no doubt about where Thom Yorke and…

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