Sunday, 24 January 2010

BRIT Nominations 2010

It was bound to happen sometime and this year it has. The judges for the annual British Record Industry Trust (BRIT) awards 2010 have found themselves between a rock and a hard place over the singing phenomenon that is Susan Boyle. Subo has clearly been pointedly ignored and does not feature in the nominations which were posted recently.

Whilst their fellow judges at the rival Mercury Music Awards have always steered a somewhat self-consciously elitist course and voted for acts that are, in their opinion, esoteric rather than populist, the same cannot be said for the BRIT’s who have tended to root for the popular (read ‘good at making money’). So here is the BRIT dilemma: whilst it would like to champion genuine talent in the hope that it will repay them over time, they cannot ignore the fact that Subo has shifted shedloads of ‘units’ and the public loves her. The difficulty is that she is a product of a Simon Cowell TV talent show which somehow diminishes her worth within the music industry.

Oh dear! You can’t help feeling sorry for them, can you? Apparently the official reason why she was left off the nomination list was that she was merely a singer doing cover versions of others’ material and that winners of a BRIT award should show a more rounded musical talent (you mean like the Arctic Monkeys? Haha!) This is all very well and works for most of the BRIT history, except last year when Welsh chanteuse, Duffy, picked up a couple of gongs. I have the greatest respect for Duffy but she does fall rather uncomfortably into the ‘merely a singer’ category. Hmm.

Nevertheless, this year’s ceremony should be packed with interest as we have a veritable plethora of artists nominated in up to three separate awards, those being Lady Gaga, Florence and the Machine, Pixie Lott, Lily Allen and JLS (who are also a product of the ‘X’ Factor – help!). JLS are up against Doves, Kasabian, Muse and Friendly Fires in the Best Band category so there is a good excuse to ensure they don’t win anything. Personally I hope Lady Gaga and Florence sweep the board as they have both, in their own way, livened up a pop world which is in grave danger of taking itself too seriously of late.

Last and probably least, Robbie Williams is in line for the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Music’ award and I’m sure that the irony will not be lost on him as he has been comprehensively outperformed by his erstwhile bandmates, Take That, for at least the last two years. Perhaps Subo should get it?


Anonymous said...

Duffy "merely a singer?" You do know she writes her own material? The vboney arsed Goldfrapp got that wrong too.

musicobsessive said...

Anonymous - hmm...I'm a big fan of Duffy, as mentioned several times in this blog, but I don't think 'writing her own material' is the same as 'collaborating' with established writers like Bernard Butler. But let's not get hung up about that, the point I am making is that the BRIT panal have tarred Susan Boyle with a brush that could equally be applied to others who have not been left off the nomination list and indeed have won awards.

Jayne said...

It certainly doesn't seem fair that Susan Boyle has been left out when JLS were included. It sounds awfully shallow, but I wonder if it is to do with the 'image' the Brits want to promote - JLS being a pretty boyband after all. But then that isn't what music and awards should be about... I'd also think that a lot of musical acts fall into the 'merely a singer' category - in fact I dread to think how many that do! As for Lady Gaga, totally agree.

musicobsessive said...

Hi Jayne. I'm sure you are right in that image has everything to do with it. The Brits really don't want to be seen to be promoting 'Easy Listening' style artists if they are to have any credibility with their core youth audience. However this may be misguided as I reckon the demographic for music is steadily getting older - especially those with money to spend.

Don't worry, Lady Gaga will win everything (if there's any justice).

drewzepmeister said...

Of all the bands you have mentioned, only Muse I am familiar with.

musicobsessive said...

Hi Drew - that's because it's the BRITs. We like to keep our talent hidden over here in case they are stolen away to places like the US with offers of large amounts of money :)

Or to put it another way, don't worry, you're not missing much!

bearockr said...

I've heard Lady gaga a lot of times on VH1, though I'm not a fan of such type of music a lot, and other bands that I've heard are Duffy, and Muse only, and I would admit that Muse is a great one.

Susan boyle being left out is quite a shock, since she is really an impressive vocal talent, and I would have nominated her for sure, due to her awesome vocal range and ability.

musicobsessive said...

Bearockr - My spider sense tells me that Muse could well walk off with 'best band' this year but you never quite know with the BRITS, they like being contrary.

Difficult to know what to think about the Subo problem. There has always been criticism that the awards go to those who have made masses of money for the coporates - clearly not in this case!

YourZ said...

Subo shifted massive units here in Australia, much to my dismay. I mean, good on her and all, but... However, I agree with you. How can the Brits make a distinction like this when it is obvious she is very popular. Seems as elitist as the Mercury Awards.

But then, aren't all awards an exercise in subjectivity?


musicobsessive said...

Youz - dead right! Awards are less about rewarding talent and more about projecting a 'brand' so as to maximise turnover and subo doesn't really fit the brand.