Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Mercury Music Prize 2008

Adele, 19
British Sea Power, Do You Like Rock Music?
Burial, Untrue
Elbow, The Seldom Seen Kid
Estelle, Shine
The Last Shadow Puppets, The Age of the Understatement
Laura Marling, Alas I Cannot Swim
Neon Neon, Stainless Style
Portico Quartet, Knee Deep in the North Sea
Radiohead, In Rainbows
Rachel Unthank & The Winterset, The Bairns
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, Raising Sand

It’s really hard to tell what the hell the Mercury Music Prize is for. You look at the list every year and see a few good albums and think to yourself, oh wow this might be celebrating quality music? Then you look again and it’s full of that years over hyped chart fodder that sure has been picked up by loads and loads of people but seems to be their just to get publicity for the awards. What are they doing with the Mercury? They try to come off looking like it’s all for the music and nothing else, but I don’t buy it…

Is it a cunning marketing plan by the industry and journalists? Get loads more hype and sales going, so they have something to write about? I don’t know. Last year I was happy when Klaxons won I enjoyed the album a lot that year. I haven’t gone back to it since though, it just doesn’t stand the test of time. It smacks of hype and the in thing, which is what the prize gives the impression it’s not about.

Plus there always seems to be token acts to try and prop up the list to give it a little credibility. They look like tokens anyway, I’m sure a lot of them are excellent albums and I’m not denying that. This year for example if you take out Burial, Rachel Unthank & The Winterset and Portico Quartet you have a really average run of the mill, middle of the road list. That could be on any Q magazine or Sunday supplement music article.

Maybe the Mercury Music Prize just isn’t for me anymore, it seems to be looking to sell more records to people who don’t follow music very much. It’s probably not aimed at the geeks who spaff off on a blog everyday about music they love and look out for.

If I had to choose a top three it looks pretty easy Laura Marling has made a pretty little album that is a joy to listen to and it’s nice it’s getting recognition as I think it has probably been over looked since it came out at the beginning of the year. I know I haven’t listened to it in a long time. Radiohead seem to get nominated every year, I mean even Thome York’s side project did, and they pretty much always look like a good shout to be on the list. The thing is with Radiohead they have a lot of fans and make really good records but I struggle to love them. But hey they look good again on this list. The winner for me though is Burial…

Burial’s Untrue is a beautiful record that I am very attached to and have been ever since it got released at the end of last year. I went and picked it up on the day of release and haven’t stopped playing it since. Burial would be a worthy winner that is making some truly brilliant underground music that looks back at the past UK underground urban dance scene and brings it back to life as a new and spooky beast.

There are so many records that could have made this list a hell of a lot more interesting, just off the top of my head: Youthmovies, Johnny Foreigner, M.I.A., Trim, The Bug, Mystery Jets, Down I Go, Portishead, Fuck Buttons, hell even bands I’m not keen on Wild Beasts, who I think are terrible would be a nice little addition, Foals could have made it they are going own a storm with the kids, or was it their turn last year with the Nu-Rave theme? Spiritualized, who in my opinion made a rubbish album that sounded like Embrace are more worthy than some on the list. I can’t be arsed to go on anymore. So yeah, what the hell is this prize?…
Is the Mercury Retrograde? (I hate my self now for that Bloc Party joke)

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails