Jul 21, 2006
They say you can't keep a good tune down. This is a lie. Tip a lorry-load of bricks onto it, that should do it
It is that time of year the Mercury Music Prize nominations are foisted upon an unsuspecting public.
Critics love Mercury time, despite the fact the short-list is chosen by a bunch of beered up old men with bellies poking out of their bermuda shirts and tofu caught in the straggly bristles of their their jazz beards, whose net contribution to world music is the noise emitting from their farty bumholes, and whose critical faculties have long since been pensioned off due the fact that every single one of them has a fading poster of Avril Lavigne in their rancid toilet.
Call me a cynical old fruit, but Sway should be favourite to win the 2006 Prize because we are due an 'urban' soloist - failing that it will be Zoe Rahman.
However, my suspicion is the current glut of singer songwriters will hold, um, sway with this year's judges, boosting the chances of strum-smiths Richard Hawley, Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan, but not Thom Yorke because he is too kooky and pretends to have a wonky eye.
The Observer Music Monthly has been bigging up singer-songwriters, including King Creosote, James Morrison (oh what a rip off, I mean, really!) and Jim Noir. The newspaper argues today's singer-songwriters have wild and eclectic record collections, but it still leaves me with the creeping feeling that you have to be able to warble a good tune in order to surf the heady waves of fame.
I think this misses the point of Good Music, and yes I mean to write that with a capital G and a capital M, just like Genito and Medicine. J*m*s Bl*nt can carry a memorable tune but he lacks charisma, emotion and, well, humanity. Being able to whistle someone's song just isn't enough; like toothpaste in a cake, the Tune is just one ingredient of a tasty whole.
We have to think in terms of "tracks" and not "tunes". Sometimes you can get a really catchy "track" in the world of electronica or IDM, especially when they include vocals. Think of Orbital's Halcyon, Cosmic Baby's Loop Of Infinity, or Aphex Twin's Milkman with the classic lyric "I would like some milk from the milkman's wife's tits."
So while the judges ruminate through their farty bumholes, let me thrust aloft my megaphone and announce to the world that Lou Rhodes should win this year's Mercury Music Prize.
She has eschewed electronica for acoustica, thereby bridging the gap between both, and produces mellow, haunting music that is every bit as mystical as her former band Lamb.
Almost as cruically, she is everything J*m*s Bl*nt is not, and I hope the judges choke on their tofu before they get the chance to hear anything else.