Looking back on 2011’s Brits nominations lists, my rampant cynicism and uneducated guesses proved to be largely incorrect – a welcome change from 2010, when I adopted the same policy and correctly predicted two thirds of the winners. Time for a little humble pie perhaps? A re-assessment of my opinion of the awards?
…nah, cynicism and uneducated guesses it is!
British Male Solo Artist
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
James Blake = token ‘cool’ choice, James Morrison = token ‘oh he still exists?’ choice, Noel Gallagher = token ‘legendary’ choice, Professor Green = token ‘urban’ choice. Which leaves us with Ed Sheeran, our probable winner. Sigh.
British Female Solo Artist
Florence and the Machine
In its end of year pop roundup, Drowned In Sound awarded Adele with ‘The Adele award for being Adele’ – and to be honest, I think that would be an accurate way to re-name this year’s British Female Solo Artist award. There is the slimmest of chances that the award could go to Jessie ‘MANDEM MANDEM!’ J, but I’m almost certain that Adele’s ridiculous level of sales and global recognition make her a shoe-in here.
British Breakthrough Act
This category is once again open to the vagaries of the general public, almost guaranteeing that none of the following will win: Anna Calvi (too credible/not a big enough following), The Vaccines (they’re a guitar band and guitar bands aren’t ‘popular’ any more), or Emeli Sandé (hasn’t yet had enough time to establish herself). This probably means it’s a straight fight between Jessie J and Ed Sheeran, so I’ll hazard a guess that Jessie J will take it.
Chase & Status
Apparently nothing is sacred at the Brits any more, so for the first time (I think, correct me if I’m wrong), the British Group category has been thrown open to the public as well. In terms of sheer popularity, Coldplay strike me as front-runners here – but Arctic Monkeys (my vote, for what it’s worth) and Kasabian could be contenders if they can harness their own not-insignificant fanbases. I’m going to stick with Coldplay as my prediction though, and take any other result as a surprise (a somewhat unpleasant one if Chase & Status win).
Adele – ‘Someone Like You’
Ed Sheeran – ‘The A Team’
Example – ‘Changed the Way You Kiss Me’
Jessie J featuring B.o.B – ‘Price Tag’
JLS featuring Dev – ‘She Makes Me Wanna’
Military Wives/Gareth Malone – ‘Wherever You Are’
Olly Murs featuring Rizzle Kicks – ‘Heart Skips a Beat’
One Direction – ‘What Makes You Beautiful’
Pixie Lott – ‘All About Tonight’
The Wanted – ‘Glad You Came’
While there are still three X-Factor related artists in this list, it’s worth noting that Little Mix aren’t one of them – but the Military Wives choir that usurped their Christmas number one throne does make an appearance. This category is always a bit of a crapshoot, with many groups of hysterical fangirls block-voting to outdo each other – God knows who the eventual winner will be, but given that Adele is also in this category, let’s go for her.
Mastercard British Album of the Year
Adele – 21
Coldplay – Mylo Xyloto
Ed Sheeran – +
Florence and The Machine – Ceremonials
PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
Much like last year, the Brits ‘Album of the Year’ shortlist does its fair share of Mercury Prize aping – but at least the two albums they’ve taken from that shortlist were actually released in the right year (2011) this time round, so congratulations on that, Brits judges. To be honest, the other three records on this list are just blandly pleasant/mildly offensive window-dressing (delete as appropriate) – it’s all about Adele vs. PJ Harvey. Will its seemingly universal critical acclaim and Mercury Prize-winning status allow Let England Shake to triumph over the gargantuan sales and not-quite-so-universal critical acclaim of 21? My gut instinct says that the answer is no – but come on Mastercard, you’ve got appearances to keep up. You don’t want Barclaycard to look better than you, do you? DO YOU?
P.S. I’m well aware that you can have a Barclaycard that is also a Mastercard, shush.
International Male Solo Artist
If the results of last year’s Brits taught me anything, it’s that the judges aren’t entirely against backing a credible/critically acclaimed artist (hello, Arcade Fire and Laura Marling!). Of all the artists in the International categories, Bon Iver strikes me as the most likely recipient of this particular brand of generosity (particularly with his multiple Grammy nods this year). Consider this my small display of faith in the judges – that and an admission that I don’t actually have a clue who’s going to win this one.
International Female Solo Artist
Right, back to your regularly scheduled cynicism. Let’s see… Björk and Feist are too alternative/cool to win, and Rihanna won last year. That leaves Beyoncé and Lady Gaga, which is tough to call – but I reckon that Gaga has probably made more of an impact this year despite Beyoncé’s Glastonbury headline slot.
Jay-Z & Kanye West
Lady Antebellum’s nomination seems like an incredibly belated nod to their success at 2010’s Grammy awards, so they probably won’t win. I have this nagging feeling that Maroon 5 are going to take this one – it’s probably them or Jay-Z & Kanye West, who count as a group now thanks to Watch The Throne, I guess.
International Breakthrough Act
Foster The People
Lana Del Rey
The judges giveth, and the judges taketh away – this category is no longer public-voted as it has been in the past two years, although there’s no-one in this shortlist who would be anywhere near as hideous a winner as Justin Beiber was in 2011. Anyway, this looks like a straight fight between the chin-stroking critical acclaim of Bon Iver and the NEXT HYPE! of Lana Del Rey. There’s always the chance that Aloe Blacc could sneak in with a ‘hey, I had one really popular single!’ win (a la Cee-Lo Green last year). My hunch, however, is that Lana Del Ray will take it.
To find out more about the awards and to vote in the relevant categories, visit the Brits website.