Experimental Music Love

January 8, 2008

Mercury Music Prize 07

Filed under: Features — by Free Edinburgh Podcast @ 9:54 pm

Though probably still the most respected of music awards in the UK, it seems the Mercurys get more ridiculous year by year. There have been some eyebrows raised in the past, mainly at the lack of nominations for Up the Bracket, The Lost Riots, The Bends and Ladies and Gentlemen…, and its odd decision to have included Athlete, The Thrills, M People, Spice Girls and Take That over the years, but this year’s awards look like being the weakest, most commercial yet.

The Mercurys used to pride itself on being an alternative to the other big awards out there, recognising less well known, but just as talented acts, and awarding the prize purely on musical merit rather than any fad going around or image that was cultivated. But just look at the nominees this year.

 It’s sickening. It really, really is. Where’s the innovation? Where’s the originality? For God’s sake, where the fuck is the best British album of the last year? Well, it’s in your record stores, probably in the rock/pop section under ‘T’ for Twilight Sad and entitled Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters. The judges disregard for this album, along with a whole host of others (Cherry Ghost, Jarvis Cocker, Little Man Tate, The Hours, Candie Payne etc) is just shameful, and even more so when you see who’s below.

Amy Winehouse: ‘Back To Black’
Certainly the ‘in’ artist at the moment, and favourite to pick up the prize. But why? She certainly doesn’t need the press or the money, and nobody can surely say that her album is the greatest album of the last 12 months. Still, she might be entertaining at the awards ceremony

Arctic Monkeys: ‘Favourite Worst Nightmare’
Similar to Winehouse in that they really don’t need the attention nor money, and their (deserved) win last year shall certainly make a win this year even less likely. But they do have a trick up their sleeves – their album is actually very good.

Bat For Lashes: ‘Fur And Gold’
The latest ‘wow, OMGZ SO KOOKY!?!?!?’ artist to be picked up by liberal art students (see Anthony and his Johnson, Patrick Wolf, Regina Spektor), but Natasha Khan remains an artist that bores more than bewitches. Bjork she is certainly most not.

Dizzee Rascal: ‘Maths And English’
Certainly nothing compared to his stunning debut, that startling voice remains however, even if the lyrics have now turned into your standard poorly spelled rap fare, i.e. ‘Suk my Dick’. Oh dear.

Maps: ‘We Can Create’
Pseudoelectro dullards. This year’s Hot Chip.

Jamie T: ‘Panic Prevention’
Gained somewhat of a following over the last year, but it’s hard to see why. A couple of nice singles aside, there’s nothing special here to make this the greatest album of any month, let alone year.

Klaxons: ‘Myths Of The Near Future’
Klaxons have still not crossed the threshold of annoyance yet, and their songs still sound fairly intuitive and fresh. Certainly my tip for the win, though maybe not a deserved one.

The View: ‘Hats Off To The Buskers’
Inarticulate Libertines tribute band. Nobody asked for you to form, so go back to whatever it was you were before you started irritating the nation.

New Young Pony Club: ‘Fantastic Playroom’
Oh for fuck’s sake, are these judges deaf?

Basquiat Strings: ‘Basquiat Strings With Seb Rochford’
Only one token jazz entry this year. Not heard, but shall endeavour to ‘check out’ as it were.

Fionn Regan: ‘The End Of History’
Again not heard. Like Dylan apparently. Could be interesting.

The Young Knives ‘Voices Of Animals And Men’
My liking of this trio has been recorded before on The Patch, and I’m not ashamed to say it, I really, really like The Young Knives. From these nominees, they certainly have more integrity and reason to win than anyone else, and with an album full of edgy punk pop hooks akin to Gang of Four, they are certainly worthy nominees. So balls to you if you don’t like them.


1 Comment »

  1. […] (not music anymore) Prize 2008 Filed under: Uncategorized — by poppycocteau @ 11:01 pm It only seems like last week I was moaning over the shocking quality of the 2007 Mercury Prize, finding myself absolutely bemused by the judges’ decision to overlook quality albums by […]

    Pingback by Mercury (not music anymore) Prize 2008 « Experimental Music Love — July 26, 2008 @ 11:02 pm |Reply

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