Everything Is Nice

Beating the nice nice nice thing to death (with fluffy pillows)

Can I Make Things Better

with 5 comments

The shortlist for the Mercury Music Prize was announced yesterday and it was a bit of a damp squib. Not that it doesn’t contain a lot of good music but I can’t remember a more conservative list. As coincidence would have it, I have been absolutely rinsing the xx album (one of the shortlisted twelve) this week. It is the most immediate album I’ve heard in some time, an accessibility that isn’t at the expense of depth. It is also one of the most sensual. I remember someone telling be that Soulvaki by Slowdive was their favourite make out album at college and this is an album very much in that mold. You picture half-closed blinds, tiger-striping a room with morning light, full ashtrays, lethagy and lust. Regardless of this – and the fact the xx are bookies’ favourite – I will be sticking a fiver on Laura Marling.

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Written by Martin

21 July 2010 at 09:53

5 Responses

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  1. Corinne Bailey Rae will win.

    I listened to the xx a lot when I first got it; but latterly I haven’t felt the urge to put it on at all. From this I deduce that it’s a No Actual Nutrition album, like a bag of exotic flavour crisps. Alternatively, it may be because my life has moved a very long way from half-closed blinds, full ashtrays, lethargy and lust. Except the lethargy, that is.

    I haven’t heard all the music shortlisted. Of the stuff I have heard, Mumford and Sons is probably my favourite.

    Adam Roberts

    21 July 2010 at 18:36

  2. Of the stuff I have heard, Mumford and Sons is probably my favourite.

    Boo! Hiss! Something about those guys just winds me up. What was it Hartland said, beware the hipster banjo?

    Similarly, I suspect I would like the Foals album but something about them just puts me off. It might be Yannis’s moustache.

    AS for the longevity of the xx, yeah, who knows. Even now I wonder whether I am viewing it with temporally displaced nostalgia. My life has moved a long way from those days too…

    Martin

    22 July 2010 at 10:08

  3. That Mumford and Sons is probably my favourite says more about the shortlist than Mumford and Sons, I think. A;though, I do confess me, I like a bit of folk.

    I’ve just bought I Am Kloot.

    Adam Roberts

    22 July 2010 at 15:35

  4. Although, I do confess me, I like a bit of folk.

    Me too. But is it folk? Or is it some sort of folk pastiche? I’m not really one for the importance of authenticity in music but I would prefer something a little less false.

    Martin

    22 July 2010 at 16:28

  5. Well, I’ll make another confession: I love pastiche, if its done well. Pastiche is the dominant aesthetic idiom of our age, after all.

    I agree with you, though, that ‘authenticity’ will likely sway the judges. It’s a rare enough thing in modern music. And Corinne Bailey Rae really and actually did lose her husband. Of course it’s possible that I Am Kloot really and actually do love The Sky At Night, but that doesn’t really have the same heft, now, does it.

    Adam Roberts

    22 July 2010 at 19:32


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