Robert Plant (left) and Alison Krauss hold their album of the year and best pop collaboration with vocals awards backstage at the 51st Annual Grammy Awards on February 8. (Agencies)
In the end, Grammy voters came to their senses.
While they zigged in a commercial direction, towards Lil' Wayne, in their nominations, they zagged back to the creativity of Alison Krauss and Robert Plant for the final, top prizes.
True, the starry pair's album, "Raising Sand," might not have been a career-defining work - for either of them.
But it had daring and a fine mood on its side. Before they twinned their voices for these rare songs, few listeners would have imagined bluegrass chanteuse Krauss and post-Zeppelin yowler Plant in the same city, let alone in the same studio. Yet they found a bracing mean in their mutual love of spooky folk.
Going back to such Zep songs as 1971's "Gallow's Pole," Plant showed a keen interest in acoustic roots music.
Obviously, Krauss has long worked her way around that territory.
Never, though, had she mined the particular, spectral sound the two forged together, with key help from longtime Americana producer T-Bone Burnette. If "Raising Sand," and its shadowy songs, fully deserved to steal the headlines at last night's show, the precise categories it snagged weren't always on point.
The album cut "Please Read the Letter" won for Record of the Year (a prize awarded for the sound and production of the piece), while Coldplay's "Viva La Vida" took the trinket for Song of the Year (a prize keyed to the composition).
It should have been reversed. "Letter" has greater strength as a piece of songwriting, "Vida" more power as a shimmering production. Voters did themselves proud, however, in their choice of Best New Artist.
The pleading vocals of Adele mine more emotion than any of the other candidates, with the possible exception of roiling R&B singer Jazmine Sullivan. Certainly, the one-named British star deserved the nod over the country slickness of Lady Antebellum, the retro-fitted pop of Duffy, and the teen dream goofiness of the Jonas Brothers.
Adele's song "Chasing Pavements" also richly deserved its place in the Best Female Pop Vocal slot. Another gratifying moment came with the Best Hard Rock Performance nod going to The Mars Volta.
They're guitar-oriented music's most forward thinking band. Satisfying as well was Kings of Leon nabbing the gold in one of the wordiest categories: Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.
You could quibble that the Kings' album actually rated as last year's best. But that's a minor carp.
Considering the goofy list of nominations this year (with particular head-scratchers crowding the Song of the Year slot), it looks like, once again, the Grammys dodged their own bullet.
List of key Grammy Award winners