Wednesday, 18 February 2009

The Annual Brits Blog

It is the time of year where I get to moan about that “national institution” known as the Brits, and the frankly appalling choice of nominees which… well whoever votes for these awards make’s.

Yet this year, the Brits have got it right on a number of fronts. 2008 was the worst year in British music since 1992, and the list of nominees reflects exactly how formulaic British Pop, Rock and Dance has become. Conversely there is more invention and interesting music coming from overseas, and this is reflected in the nominations for the overseas awards.

So ladies and gentlemen, the nominations are…

Best international album AC/DC - Black Ice, Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes, Killers - Day & Age, Kings of Leon - Only By The Night & MGMT - Oracular Spectacular
A fascinating list, with arguably Metallica’s Death Magnetic missing from the list. The winner will be King’s of Leon, to cap a fantastic 2008 for them.

Best international male
Beck, Neil Diamond, Jay-Z, Kanye West & Seasick Steve
Another strong list, with both Neil Diamond and Jay-Z making stellar performances at Glastonbury. I have a sneaking suspicion that Jay-Z will win here though

Best international female Beyonce, Gabriella Cilmi, Katy Perry. Pink, Santogold
While Beyonce, Gabriella Cilmi, Katy Perry and Pink have sold the records, Santogold has garnered the critical acclaim and I suspect this prize.

Best International Group AC/DC, Fleet Foxes, Killers, Kings of Leon & MGMT
Can’t really see beyond King’s of Leon making it a double here.

Best British breakthrough act
Adele, Duffy, Last Shadow Puppets, Scouting For Girls & The Ting Tings
Should The Ting Ting’s, but will either be Duffy (even if she sound’s like a chipmonk) or Scouting for Girls…

Best British male Ian Brown, James Morrison, The Streets, Paul Weller & Will Young
Bit of a strange list, with the exception of James Morrison, all the nominees have had better years and I’m sure there are better candidates. James Morrison will win here.

Best British female
Adele, Beth Rowley, Duffy, Estelle & MIA
A very strong list here. I’d love to see either Estelle or MIA win, as their records are inventive and great, but I suspect that Duffy will win because she seams to be something of a media darling just now.

Best British group Coldplay, Elbow, Girls Aloud, Radiohead, Take That
Given a list like this, ideally Elbow should walk away with this award. However it will probably go to Coldplay or GirlsR2skinny…

Best British live act
Coldplay, Elbow, Iron Maiden, Scouting For Girls, The Verve
Best British Live act – Scouting For Girls??!!!??? Again one that Coldplay will win, even if Elbow deserve it.

Best British single Adele - Chasing Pavements, Alexandra Burke – Hallelujah, Coldplay - Viva La Vida,Dizzee Rascal/Calvin Harris/Chrome - Dance Wiv Me, Duffy – Mercy, Estelle Ft Kanye West - American Boy, Girls Aloud - The Promise, Leona Lewis - Better in Time, Scouting for Girls – Heartbeat & X Factor Finalists – Hero
Bit mystified at the exclusion of “Great DJ” by the Ting Ting’s, or “Grounds For Divorce” by Elbow. Ideally either Dizzee Rascal/Calvin Harris or Estelle with Kanye West should walk away with this. Both “Dance Wiv Me” and “American Boy” are by some distance the best records on this list. However the Brit’s has form in choosing the rank outsider. Best British single of 2004 was not “Dry Your Eyes” or “Take Me Out” but a Will Young record that wasn’t “Leave Right Now”. It’ll be the track Charlie Brooker described as a record “that will be played at thick people’s funeral’s” – Hallelujah. Let's hope it isn't Girls Aloud's cover of the Blankety Blank theme tune.

Best British Album
Coldplay - Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends, Duffy – Rockferry, Elbow - The Seldom Seen Kid, Radiohead - In Rainbows
& The Ting Tings - We Started Nothing

Ideally this should be won by Elbow, but it will either be Coldplay or Duffy

Critics' Choice: Florence and the Machine

Outstanding Contribution To Music: Pet Shop Boys
The best decision the Brits organisers have made in years, and considering that the likes of Oasis and the Spice Girls have picked up this gong, long overdue too. Best described, by Gary Mullholland in his “This is Uncool: The 500 Greatest Singles Since Punk and Disco” as having the ability to “… be part of the pop parade and somehow separate, some kind of midway point between the differing ambitions of The Smiths, New Order and Duran Duran”
They brought an intelligence to the normal humdrum I love you you love me kind of songs, yet they remain kind of first person. It’s long overdue that the BPI should choose the right band, and in particular this band for this award.

Oh and Neil Tennent is so spot on about X-Factor.

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