Let’s Get Cynical About: The Brit Awards 2013

Brit Awards 2013Oh Brit Awards, every year you’re the same. It’s so easy to look at your nomination list and tear it to shreds, thinking that you bring it on yourself. But let’s be honest, it’s not you, it’s me. Clearly, your ceremony has never been designed for anyone who might have the audacity to hold their musical opinions higher than anyone else’s – it’s a celebration of the popular, the world beaters, those who’ve made their mark on the largest number of people possible. And when you look at it like that, sometimes you do an alright job of it. …but really, that’s not going to stop me from continuing this post – this year’s list is too good an opportunity to pass up.

British Male Solo Artist

Ben Howard
Calvin Harris
Olly Murs
Plan B
Richard Hawley

Richard Hawley isn’t gonna win, let’s be honest – his nomination is a tokenistic nod to the Mercury Prize at best. Ben Howard and Olly Murs look like the most likely candidates to me, so I’m going to predict an Olly Murs victory.

British Female Solo Artist

Amy Winehouse
Bat For Lashes
Emeli Sandé
Jessie Ware
Paloma Faith

See, you’ve kind of boxed yourselves into a corner here guys. You can’t really give Amy Winehouse the first ever posthumous nomination* and then not go through with giving her the award. It would just look cheap and attention-grabbing. Admittedly it might still look cheap and attention-grabbing even if she does win, but anyway. It’s probably either her or Emeli Sandé, whose glut of nominations look like the work of people with a point to prove… maybe the same people who awarded her the Critic’s Choice prize last year?

*with the exception of the Outstanding Contribution award, which has been posthumously won by both John Lennon and Freddie Mercury.

British Group

Mumford & Sons
One Direction
The XX

I’m really not sure about this one – there’s the off chance that this’ll be the point in the ceremony that the judges decide they should at least make some sort of effort to look cool and therefore give the award to Alt-J or The XX, but if I’m honest I don’t see that happening. And unlike last year, this doesn’t seem to be down to a public vote – which is probably just as well, as if it was then One Direction would probably storm it. As it stands, I think they’re still in with a pretty good shot thanks to their USA-conquering ways – and by that line of thinking, Mumford & Sons are their closest competition. Whoever wins, we lose.

British Live Act

Mumford & Sons
The Rolling Stones
The Vaccines

It’s amazing how little effort The Rolling Stones have had to put in to get nominated for this award – I mean, they played, what, half a dozen shows last year? Guess that’s one of the perks of being a legendary band. To be honest, they seem pretty likely to win – I mean, who else on the shortlist can get away with charging £95 (as a bare minimum) for their live show? The Brits love a good money-maker, after all.

British Breakthrough Act

Ben Howard
Jake Bugg
Jessie Ware
Rita Ora

Despite the fact that it’s a public-voted award, this is a deceptively open-looking list. However, doing some cursory, unscientific research into the popularity of these artists (i.e. looking at how many likes they have on Facebook) reveals that Rita Ora probably aught to blow the whole field away. Shame, but I’ll still hold out hope for the near-impossible Alt-J victory.

International Group

Alabama Shakes
The Black Keys
The Killers
The Script

Fun. It’s going to be fucking Fun. That’s basically all I have to say on the matter, except that this is a fucking awful representation of international music in 2012.

International Male Solo Artist

Bruce Springsteen
Frank Ocean
Michael Buble
Jack White

I’m starting to think that the inclusion of Bruce Springsteen in this category is little more than a running joke among the voting panel, as he seems to have cropped up at least once every two or three years over the past decade (and never won). Frank Ocean and Jack White are too cool to win, so I reckon the bazillion-selling Gotye will be victorious here.

International Female Solo Artist

Alicia Keys
Cat Power
Lana Del Rey
Taylor Swift

I’m sorry, but if Rhianna wins for the third year in a row then we may as well just re-name this category “the Rhianna award” and have done with it. However, Taylor Swift has had some pretty massive hits this year, so I think she might get the nod.

British Single

Adele – ‘Skyfall’
Alex Clare – ‘Too Close’
Coldplay & Rihanna – ‘Princess of China’
DJ Fresh ft Rita Ora – ‘Hot Right Now’
Emeli Sandé – ‘Next To Me’
Florence & The Machine – ‘Spectrum’
James Arthur – ‘Impossible’
Jessie J – ‘Domino’
Labrinth ft Emeli Sandé – ‘Beneath Your Beautiful’
Olly Murs ft Flo Rida – ‘Troublemaker’
Rita Ora ft Tinie Tempah – ‘R.I.P.’
Rizzle Kicks – ‘Mama Do The Hump’
Robbie Williams – ‘Candy’
Rudimental ft John Newman – ‘Feel The Love’
Stooshe – ‘Black Heart’

Say what you will about the Brits, at least they’re unafraid to show their true colours, proudly touting the nominees for this award as being “based on the biggest sales success in 2012” – artistic integrity be damned! The result here is down to another public vote, which means my prediction will just be a wild guess at which artist has the most rabid, fanatical fanbase – I’ll hazard a guess at Olly Murs.

EDIT: Apparently this isn’t actually a publicly voted category this year after all. So, on the basis that a) only one of these songs has won a Golden Globe award and b) the Brits academy never shies away from awarding one of its own, I’m changing my prediction to Adele.

Mastercard British Album Of The Year

Alt-J – An Awesome Wave
Emeli Sandé – Our Version Of Events
Mumford & Sons – Babel
Paloma Faith – Fall To Grace
Plan B – Ill Manors

Ok, I know you might not like Alt-J, but if you can tell me with a straight face that you’d rather listen to any of the other albums on this list, then I’ll just laugh at you. Seriously, Paloma Faith? Paloma fucking Faith? I didn’t even know what her album was called before now. Ill Manors is an admirable achievement for Plan B, but unfortunately it’s absolutely zero fun to listen to. Sitting through an entire Emeli Sandé record would probably send me to sleep, and the less said about fucking Mumford & Sons, the better. They’ll probably win though, unless Emeli Sandé’s PR department can give her that one final push…


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