Friday, 22 July 2011

Mercury Prize Nominees: My Musings

Hi Everyone,

I’ve had a listen to all the entries for the Barclaycard Mecury Prize. As I was listening I realised I was listening for two things, what I like and who do I think will win. Regular readers will now that I enjoy a bit of Adele but I think the commercial success of the album may be held her against her. I think the same can be said of Tinie Tempah, great album but I just don’t get the feeling that the judges will go for it.

On a personal level some of the albums are a bit maudlin I understand that a lot of people like to show emotion through lyrics and the music but it is exhausting listening to sometimes. It meant that Katy B and Tinie Tempah stand out due to the up-tempo nature of the music. The level of production is also notable with Elbow’s orchestral and choral arrangements adding to Guy Garvey’s haunting voice and beautiful lyrics. However, Seldom Seen Kid won in 2008 so I can’t see them winning.

The counterpoint to the mainstream albums is Gwilym Simcock and Ghostpoet, both offering something different from each other and the other nominees. Personally I struggled with Ghostpoet but I don’t think it’s really the type of music that you listen to in the middle of the day. I find myself having to listen really hard to marry the lyrics to the music and in the end I was exhausted as opposed to enjoying the music. Gwilym Simcock hits a soft spot for me because I love a bit of piano action but it may be a little too leftfield for the judges.

I really don’t want to do Metronomy a disservice but I can’t help but hear Mystery Jets when I listen to them, this sullied my enjoyment a wee bit. I would be very surprised if they win.

Everything Everything have produced a good, fun album which I don’t think will win but it’s well worth a listen.

I think my favourite track that I listened too was by Anna Calvi and it’s called Desire. The other tracks were strong too so I think she is in with a good shout.

The collaboration between King Creosote and Jon Hopkins is interesting as I didn’t dislike it I just couldn’t see when I would ever listen to it. The fact there were only seven tracks on the album did make me feel a bit for the artists who had the more traditional number. I think that this has an outside chance purely on the basis I don’t think it has a chance.

James Blake and PJ Harvey are the final contenders. PJ Harvey has won once and been runner up a few times too, so there is no doubt that she writes some quality music. I think that as well written and beautiful the music is I can’t see it winning and I’m afraid it’s not for me. James Blake has had a good year performing at Glastonbury (Jimmy enjoyed it) and releasing his first studio album. Limit to Your Love is standout and his voice betrays his 21years. I can see this winning but again it is not an album that you want to stick on if you want to get your housework done or power through a load of work in the office.

So, where does that leave us… I think the winner will be Anna Calvi!!

I shall leave you with a video that we will be attempting to replicate at an upcoming Original team members wedding!

Have a good weekend!



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