The 2013 BRIT Awards – The Nominees

By on Friday, 11th January 2013 at 4:37 pm
 

Is there any point to the BRITs? Granted, it gives a certain demographic of London teenager the opportunity to sting Daddy for the eye-watering £70 ticket price, no doubt getting stuffed with half-term pizza and fructose syrup before spending three hours squealing loudly at microscopic effigies of their latest tabloid-endorsed musical crushes. But beyond that, does any vestige of musical credibility remain within the unhallowed, chart-obsessed recesses of the BRIT Award psyche?

A swift perusal of the nominations, released yesterday, would indicate: maybe, actually. The usual mega-selling suspects are there: Emeli Sandé, Mumford and Sons, Robbie Williams, Olly Murs. But look a little deeper and could there just be enough respect for the breakthrough, even the underground, so that beyond the face paint and lasers, there’s a bedrock of credibility?

Step forward Richard Hawley, the most unlikely of the entire nomination list, proving that the BRITs aren’t immune to a decent bit of ‘70s-throwback guitar action and heart-on-the-sleeve balladry from a bequiffed Yorkshireman. Plan B also deserves a shout for his unflinching portrayal of council estate life in ‘Ill Manors’, which still deserves to make more of an impact than it has.

Jessie Ware gathers two nods, a fine result for her this early in her career, single-handedly making 2011’s Critic’s Choice Award for her namesake Jessie J look ever more ridiculous. The more listeners turned on to her coolly urban soul, the better. Paloma Faith is also up for two gongs – British Female Solo is fair enough, but British Album of the Year for ‘Fall to Grace’, for a collection significantly worse than her début, is deeply suspect. British Group unoriginally throws up two previous Mercury Prize winners: unlikely media darlings alt-J, and minimalist electro-songsters the xx; Muse are nominated for the ninth (and tenth) time, with Mumford and One Direction predictably making up the numbers. A rum collection, if ever there was one, and despite the disparate yet singular talents of each, hardly a state-of-the-nation statement.

The British Single category is too depressing to analyse deeply. Suffice to say a more turgid collection of middle-of-the-road dross it’s difficult to conceive. Any list containing the execrable ‘Mama Do the Hump’ by Rizzle Kicks deserves to be encased in concrete and dropped into a very deep hole. Thankfully each of the British Breakthrough nominees have something to commend them, though surely Jake Bugg is the most extraordinary of the lot; his compellingly grizzled, world-weary, yet uplifting take on vintage blues in his debut album means he should have no problem in lifting the spotted statue next month.

Ironically, there’s far less to complain about the International (read: American) nominees. Perhaps it’s because we expect the USA to do bigness well, it’s difficult to complain about someone like Bruce Springsteen being nominated, although one wonders just how much pride of place a BRIT award would take on the dashboard of his pickup truck.

As always, it’s good to see producers, the guys behind the desk who really make the music, getting their opportunity to shine, although it seems somewhat unfair that Damon Albarn should be sharing their limelight – hasn’t he had enough of it by now? If the Albarn effect can be resisted, Paul Epworth should walk away with this one, although personally I prefer listening to his sister’s output to his. And what of Amy Winehouse and The Rolling Stones, both nominated, neither deservedly? Stop it, BRITs! Pick people who are more alive!

The 2013 BRITs take place on Wednesday the 20th of February at London’s O2 Arena. TGTF will be reporting, either from the event itself, or from somewhere else in London more interesting. Watch this space.

Who should win the British Brits, I reckon?

Male Solo: Richard Hawley
Female Solo: Jessie Ware
Breakthrough: Jake Bugg
Group: One Direction
Single: Alex Clare – ‘Too Close’
Album: Plan B – ‘Ill Manors’
Live: Coldplay
Producer: Paul Epworth

Full list of nominees after the jump.

The 2013 BRIT Awards Nominees

British Breakthrough Act
alt-J
Ben Howard
Jake Bugg
Jessie Ware
Rita Ora

British Female
Amy Winehouse (posthumous)
Bat for Lashes
Emeli Sandé
Jessie Ware
Paloma Faith

British Group
alt-J
Mumford and Sons
Muse
One Direction
The xx

British Live Act
Rolling Stones
Coldplay
Mumford and Sons
Muse
Vaccines

British Male
Ben Howard
Calvin Harris
Olly Murs
Richard Hawley
Plan B

Global Success
Mumford and Sons
Adele
One Direction

British Producer
Damon Albarn
Jake Gosling
Paul Epworth

British Single
Adele, ‘Skyfall’
Alex Clare, ‘Too Close’
Coldplay + Rihanna, ‘Princess of China’
Rita Ora/DJ Fresh, ‘Hot Right Now’
Emile Sandé, ‘Next To Me’
Florence+ the Machine, ‘Spectrum’
James Arthur, ‘Impossible’
Jessie J, ‘Domino’
Labrinth ft. Emeli Sandé, ‘Beneath Your Beautiful’
Ollie Murs, ‘Troublemaker’
Rita Ora, ‘RIP’
Rizzle Kicks, ‘Mama Do the Hump’
Robbie Williams, ‘Candy’
Rudimental, ‘Feel the Love’
Stooshe, ‘Black Heart’

British Album
alt-J
Emeli Sandé
Mumford and Sons
Paloma Faith
Plan B

International Female
Rihanna
Alicia Keys
Cat Power
Lana del Ray
Taylor Swift

International Group

Alabama Shakes
Black Keys
fun.
Killers
Script

International Male
Bruce Springsteen
Frank Ocean
Gotye
Jack White
Michael Buble

Special Prize
War Child

Critics’ Choice

Tom Odell

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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