Experimental Music Love

January 16, 2008

Brit Awards 2008 – A point of view

Filed under: Features — by Free Edinburgh Podcast @ 2:21 am

Unlike my last take on this particular high/lowlight of the music calendar, I feel like I should probably write something relevant to the actual awards show rather than just displaying my vehemence of one the most loathsome men on British television (don’t tell anyone, but he’s actually growing on me!). So here is a collection of those all important nominees, as well as some useful insight from my very good self. Take care. (the ones in bold are the ones I think, not hope, will win).






British Male Solo Artist
Jamie T
Mark Ronson
Mika
Newton Faulkner
Richard Hawley

For Brit Awards standards, by no means a poor list of folk to choose from. Hawley is of course the most respected and generally well intentioned, so stands no chance, but his nomination is recognition enough for a quality songwriter. Jamie T may annoy some, but he’s certainly an artist of some worth who has connected with a large section of the population. If only all chavs had his articulation and standards. Mark Ronson has drawn many, many critics, and much of Version is indeed lacking in charm or point. But he’s undeniably talented, and a couple of efforts he’s been involved with weren’t too bad. Mika divides opinion like few others. Love him or loathe him, he’s had a huge impact this year and who’d deny him some recognition for how he’s shaped 2008? Newton Faulkner is awful. James Blunt is a surprising, though thankful omission. No sign of Calvin Harris and his annoying take on disco is surely a good thing. Not too many other British male stars have done anything worthwhile this year, though Ian Brown could have been up there with his best solo work in ages. Dizzee Rascal too could have been in with a shout of a nomination, even if his third album didn’t quite come up to the high standards of previous efforts. Overall, not many complaints with the artists nominated here. Brits 1 – 0 My Cynicism.






British Female Solo Artist
Bat For Lashes
Kate Nash
KT Tunstall
Leona Lewis
PJ Harvey

I was lucky enough to be in New York for much of Leona Lewis’ reign on the charts, so still thankfully have not heard anything she has recorded at all ever. I don’t want to. Kate Nash divides in much the same way as Mika, but I do have something of a soft spot for here. Though this is probably down to underexposure, with America again getting in the way of my ears and much of the second half of the year in British music. Her mockney stylings are indeed beginning to grate a little, even if her boyfriend is one of the nicest men I’ve ever met. Definitely no arguments about her nomination though. Bat For Lashes annoys me in a similar way to Patrick Wolf, in that all these ignorant art school fops with their floppy fringes inevitably find something so ‘amazing’ and ‘original’ in work that is tired and relies far too much on image to be of any lasting merit. Meh for Lashes more like. KT Tunstall seems like a lovely girl, and, though devoid of anything truely spectacular, her songs are strummed along well enough, lacking in the irritation factor of many of here peers. PJ Harvey is great and should win. Well, from the nominees at least. The biggest disappointment of this year is of course the lack of any M.I.A action in this category. The most fun and inventive pop artist all year was sadly overlooked in a category she would have walked. In my head. Amy Winehouse too is not in the list, though for different reasons other than poor taste. Candie Payne too should have been in with a serious shout after a brilliant album that harked back to classic 60s songstresses like Dusty and Sandie. Sophie Ellis Bextor came back too with some brilliant pop songs that should have been far bigger than they were. Good marks for Polly Jean getting in there, but I’m afraid the lack of such a brilliant and potentially important artist as M.I.A gives my cynicism the edge. And of course, no Charlotte Hatherly who created a better pop album than most this year. Brits 1 – 1 My Cynicism.






British Group
Arctic Monkeys
Editors
Girls Aloud
Kaiser Chiefs
Take That

My admiration of the Arctic Monkeys in the face of much criticism has been recounted before, and no questions should be asked about their quality or merit in terms of winning this award. Editors too have faced many harsh words from my cohort, but I love them like few others currently performing, and they remain the only band from that whole bull shit angular guitar music phase from 2-3 years ago with any lasting ambition (thank god Bloc Party and Maximo Park didn’t make the list). Girls Aloud make fantastic pop for the whole family and it’d have been a travesty if they were omitted. Kaiser Chiefs still annoy me somewhat, and their latest offerings have been nowhere near as good as what was found on their debut. Take That have come back and taken over again. Everyone will have forgotten them by this time next year though, so don’t worry. Not too many arguments with those nominated. My beloved Twilight Sad were never going to make an appearance, nor indeed The hours. The brilliant Cherry Ghost was a real possibility though, and indeed the legendary Radiohead, even if the best music this year certainly came from outside the UK. Fair enough nominations, with me especially glad Editors made it, so Brits 2 -1 My Cynicism.






British Album
Arctic Monkeys – ‘Favourite Worst Nightmare’
Leona Lewis – ‘Spirit’
Mark Ronson – ‘Version’
Mika – ‘Life In Cartoon Motion’
Take That – ‘Beautiful World’

Again, I have not heard a thing Leona Lewis has done, so shouldn’t really comment on her work. I will do anyway, and say I probably wouldn’t have liked it much. ‘Version’ is patchy, if with a couple of better than average moments. ‘Life in Cartoon Motion’ was the best party album all year, and one I very much enjoyed. Yeah! And ‘Favourite Worst Nightmare’ certainly kept up the Monkey momentum. But a lack of M.I.A with the incredible Kala in this category has again made me irked, so Brits 2 – 2 My Cynicism






British Breakthrough Act
Bat For Lashes
Kate Nash
Klaxons
Leona Lewis
Mika

Again, no real surprises either who’s in and who’s out. They’ve all done something to merit their existence in such a list, even if not many have created music’s that as good as it is new. Bit of a disappointment for no Cherry Ghost again – good enough for Radio 2 but not 1 it seems. This is probably a good thing actually. Candie Payne was also somewhat of a contender, but appears to have been glossed over as well. It’d be petty to complain though. Brits 3 – 2 My Cynicism






British Live Act
Arctic Monkeys
Kaiser Chiefs
Klaxons
Muse
Take That

My live habits were rather restricted last year due to finances, time and habitation, and American acts dominated what few gigs I witnessed. So I saw none of these artists live, but have seen Arctic Monkeys and Kaiser Chiefs in previous years. The former were outstanding, the latter were somewhat tedious. Muse look a good bet though. Should probably have seen them live when I had the chance. Oh well. Brits 4 – 2 My Cynicism






British Single
The Hoosiers – ‘Worried About Ray’
James Blunt – ‘1973’
Kaiser Chiefs – ‘Ruby’
Kate Nash – ‘Foundations’
Leona Lewis – ‘Bleeding Love’
Mark Ronson – ‘Valerie’ (featuring Amy Winehouse)
Mika – ‘Grace Kelly’
Mutya Buena – ‘Real Girl’
Sugababes – ‘About You Now’
Take That – ‘Shine’

Again, America ruins everything. Not heard 4 of these, and dislike 2 of the ones I have heard. Unlike pretty much everyone else I know, I think The Hoosiers aren’t all that awful in a fun pop way. Again, underexposure may be the cause of this. I’ll wait a couple of months. Ruby was alright if uninspired and sticking too close to a tried formula and Foundations hasn’t irked me yet enough to take offence to the Nash’s charm. I do love Grace Kelly though in an unashamed way so that would always get my vote. No M.I.A again, but no surprise. Dan Le Sac and Candie Payne both had marvellous efforts that seem to have been overlooked as well. And don’t forget Sonny J. That should have been huge. I think I’ll take this one. Brits 4 – 3 My Cynicism.






International Male Solo Artist
Bruce Springsteen
Kanye West
Rufus Wainwright
Timbaland
Michael Buble

There’s always a varied bunch in the international lists, and this year is no exception. There’s undeniable quality in this bunch though. I’m rather the fan of West’s confidence, and he does have the talent to back it up. Rufus Wainwright is a similarly skilled in creating excellent music, and would be my hope for the award. Timbaland, though over-rated, did work on Kala, so no shame in that. And Springsteen is a bit of a legend isn’t he? Not heard Buble at all. Cullum comparisons have put me right off. Disappointment in the lack of Prince whose shows electrified London. Brits 5 – 3 My Cynicism






International Female Solo Artist
Alicia Keys
Bjork
Feist
Kylie Minogue
Rihanna

Feist! Sweet. Even if it took an iPod advert to get her here, she’s here. And she’s awfully good and should win. She won’t though. Like Cat Power last year, true quality rarely wins through in these things. Bjork has a welcome chance though, and Umbrella was quite fantastic so no dissing of Rihanna either. I’m not sure of what either Alicia Keys or Kylie did to be nominated. Patti Smith may have been a better option, what with her coming back and all. And of course the rather excellent Robyn who made pop cool again with a fantastic collection of songs. No Robyn makes me riled. Brits 5 – 4 My Cynicism.






International Group
Arcade Fire
Eagles
Foo Fighters
Kings Of Leon
The White Stripes

I hate The Eagles. I really do. This alone means Brits 5 -5 My Cynicism. Also, no Justice, Levy, Modest Mouse and Bright Eyes does similar things. White Stripes latest was woeful too.






International Album
Arcade Fire – ‘Neon Bible’
Eagles – ‘Long Road Out Of Eden’
Foo Fighters – ‘Echoes, Silence, Patience, Grace’
Kings Of Leon ‘Because Of The Times’
Kylie Minogue – ‘X’

My dislike of Neon Bible has been heard before. It’s just really not very good. Nothing else on the list really merits it either. Boo! Brits 5 – 6 My Cynicism.






Outstanding Contribution Award
Paul McCartney

He’s a member of Wings!

Brits 6 – 6 My Cynicism.






So, a draw overall. No surprise. A decent enough list, but, as always, with a few rather notable exceptions. Particular umbridge coming from the lack of a genuine superstar of original and fantastic pop that is M.I.A. Robyn too is also a big miss, and Justice as well. And Modest Mouse. Their time will come one day though. I’d hope. Anyway, go an watch it in February on ITV being hosted by The Osbournes. It may prove to be fun. And I do love Kelly in a big way. No, I don’t know why either.






Here are the Experimental Music Love winners for you all to chew over.

British Male Solo Artist
Richard Hawley

British Female Solo Artist
MIA

British Group
Arctic Monkeys

British Album
Twilight Sad – Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters

British Breakthrough Act
Twilight Sad

British Live Act
Arctic Monkeys

British Single
Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip – Thou Shalt Always Kill

International Male Solo Artist
Rufus Wainwright

International Female Solo Artist
Robyn
International Group
The National

International Album
The National – Boxer

Word.

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1 Comment »

  1. Well… umm.. like do you know how I could view the BRIT awards in Ohio? Does it come on here? I’ve never known much about it but Sir Ozzy and Miss Sharon are to be hosting and I’d love to view.

    Comment by brandon — February 14, 2008 @ 2:23 am |Reply


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