Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Brits 2009: The nominees

It says a lot about the BPI and the Brits organisers that they're foolish enough to hold their nominations bash right at the same time as the inauguration. Even had Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd made it through to the cheese board, it was always going to be like trying to raise interest in a hand-held fan during a tornado.

Perhaps, though, the idea was to sneak out the shortlists at a time when it would do least shame to Britain's reputation:

Best British male
Ian Brown
James Morrison
Paul Weller
Will Young

Best British female
Beth Rowley

Best British group
Girls Aloud
Take That

Best British live act
Iron Maiden
Scouting For Girls
The Verve

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

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

Best British breakthrough act
Last Shadow Puppets
Scouting For Girls
The Ting Tings

Best international album
AC/DC - Black Ice
Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes
Killers - Day & Age
Kings of Leon - Only By The Night
MGMT - Oracular Spectacular

Best international male
Neil Diamond
Kanye West
Seasick Steve

Best international female
Gabriella Cilmi
Katy Perry

Best international group
Fleet Foxes
Kings of Leon

Critics' Choice: Florence and the Machine

Outstanding Contribution To Music: Pet Shop Boys

The slim interest here is in the international sections - the surprise of Seasick Steve making a shortlist, and the inclusion of MGMT and Fleet Foxes alongside old, clumping stadium acts for best international group. It might, perhaps, have been more exciting had the 'best international band' and 'best international album' lists not been identical, mind.

It's certainly more interesting than the UK album choices. I love the Ting Tings album, but it's hardly a great, flawless work. Elbow and Radiohead both feel like they're albums that are as old as Jimmy Saville - but you suspect that Elbow will pick up the prize in the end.

The constant applause for Duffy sounds more and more like a music industry trying to convince itself that it the 'y' isn't misplaced in her name. But - in a reverse of the old days, when Annie Lennox was always needed to top up the Best British Female category regardless of if she'd even been seen outdoors during the previous twelve months, the Best British Male listing this year seems like it's desperately in need of a rest. Ian Brown? James Morrison? Weller? Will Young? If that really was the best British male solo talent we could muster, you'd put a bet on Eggon Quim from the X Factor making the list next year. Actually, he probably will be there, won't he?

Coldplay. Coldplay are the stick with which you can calibrate the judges. Four nominations for Coldplay. The ears are cloth, but the fingers can still weigh the earning power.


Jim W said...

Have they really only managed to find four nominees for 'Best Male'? Oh dear.

Anonymous said...

No I think The Streets are nominated as well, though god knows why. It is a shocking line up though, no Dizzee Rascal despite having a number one single, no Roots Manuvre, no Wiley. If I was a suspicious man I'd suggest the Brits have something against British rap music.

Anonymous said...

Did Ian Brown release something in the last year? I know he must've - or else he wouldn't be there - but it seems a bit desperate

Chris Brown said...

A pedant writes: Ian Brown's last release was the massive Number 87 single 'Sister Rose' in December 2007.

Mind you, Dizzee Rascal's Number One single last year was literally the only song he released (there's not even a B-side) and Roots Manuva is technically eligible but hasn't really walked all over 2008 like a collossus.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't it last year that Brown told Mani he'd never agree to a Stone Roses tour? That's a better contribution to British Music than the other lot managed in 2008.

Samfrancis said...

Will Young should win this award and deserves it.....he as done Glastonbury, V Festival, Isle Of Wight plus others....he just finished a sellout tour to over 50,000 and his album is the highest charter than any of the nominees....just because he is not everyones cup of tea and not "rock and roll" enough for some people surely they still have the decency to recognise his success ...he won Pop Idol 7 years ago and as more than proved himself as an artist..and why should Dizzee be nominated for Best Male? He is up for Best Single and rightly so but not Best Male for 1 song....I agree the Male talent at the moment is scarce but to knock Will Young is unfair...

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