You what? If Laura Marling, with her peddling of Dylan (‘Tap at My Window’ / ‘Lay Lady Lay’) and Ryan Adams covers, with different lyrics, wins, we’ll be stunned. She didn’t even put her best song (‘London Town’) on it. Ditto Last Shadow Puppets’ rubbish Coral doing third hand Beatles tributism and it’s only a fucking side-project. Then there’s Burial, (‘Archangel’) with their bumbling dance muzak that not even the most pilled-up white van man can dance to, safely put on the list as tokenistic broadsheet urban slop for people who still cling to former glories (see Massive Attack and Roni Size). There are people who actually care about this list, they’re called journalists. These people also think that less than 0.02% of the population buying a single within the space of a week, putting it at the top of a chart, is a sign of populism AND quality.
British Sea Power? Who? Exactly. They make indier-than-thou reincarnations of other indier-than-thou music and have made the list so that fans of The Fall and Morrissey stop moaning about the tip-for-January-2008 Adele also making the list. Yeah, she has a passable voice and a one-hit-single wot sounds a lot like the Top Shop imitation of Wino but an album worthy of attention, oh please…
In Rainbows has the most moaning so will probably win. What’s more British than a good ol’ whine in a historical storm of drizzle? Giving a record away in a time when records are free to the vast majority of the record listening populace, is neither brave, nor historic.
That phone call between Eno’s manager and Coldplay’s A&R man that’s occurring right now won’t be pleasant.
No-one even begins to understand why things are nominated or why they will win but the bulk of these records will now have their biggest selling week ever and then they’ll all trundle off, back to obscurity, after some tokenistic media spunk’n’spittle pebble-dashes their faces.
Wasn’t the Mercury meant to be about groundbreaking, era-defining records which didn’t garner the attention of a wider populace? And isn’t the nomination a second chance to give the opportunity, to said wider audience might genuinely love them? None of these records are genuine crossovers waiting to happen, nor are they of much interest to anyone outside of the glass-ceilinged ghettos within which they exist.
Moreso, the worry here is: will any of these records inspire future generations to make groundbreaking music? You gotta ask yourself, with falling record sales, how do so many rushed, half-arsed, one almost-hit buzz debut albums make it into these lists (maybe even moreso last year) to make them seem like relevant talking points and ultimately, does anyone really benefit from this, whilst a heap of other records fail to gain the hook for the media to hang justification to feature acts like this year in, year out?
The full list.
And one more spot the difference…
Yann Tiersen – ‘Comptine D’un Autre Ete L’Apre’ from the Amelie soundtrack
Adele – Hometown Glory