On 21 February the BRIT awards will be taking place again. You might remember last year when Adele gave her first performance of Someone Like You, you know, the one that had everyone captivated and started her along the road of extraordinary success that she’s enjoyed this past year.
There’s one award that we know the result of before the ceremony airs on TV and that’s the Critic’s Choice Award. It has a habit of choosing the next big thing in British music. I mean look at its history: Florence and the Machine, Adele, Jessie J and Ellie Goulding (actually to be fair I’m not a fan of the last one).
Florence is absolutely amazing, anyone who has heard her can’t deny that she has the voice of an angel and the poetic talent of Shakespeare. She puts her all into every single note of every single song.
Adele, well to be honest I think she got lucky. Yeah her voice is good and she has three decent songs that have spurred on her album sales but the tracks that she hasn’t released are dull. She’s broken records and picked up numerous awards but none of that can hide the fact that 19 and 21 sound very similar to one another. She’s good, but I don’t think she’s great despite how big she has become (although my iTunes is telling me that I’ve listened to Rolling in the Deep 743 times…).
Jessie J was last year’s winner. She’s not usually my cup of tea but her lyrics are brilliant, I wouldn’t buy her album but I would happily listen to it occasionally on Spotify. I know I say it a lot but I do think in a world of Lindsay Lohans and the reality TV disease that is The Only Way is Essex (spawning even more deadly and vile hybrid illnesses such as Made in Chelsea and Desperate Scousewives) it’s refreshing to have her wading her way through the music industry.
Ellie Goulding, while I find her boring and lifeless, has made a positive impression on the charts here. She hasn’t had anything out for a while, in fact I haven’t heard from her since she butchered Elton John’s Your Song. My problem with her is that she sings, she sings and doesn’t do anything else. She doesn’t invest in her songs. It’s as if they don’t mean anything to her, she’s just going through the motions hoping for a hit.
But my point here is that they have all had chart success, they’ve proven the critics right and this year’s recipient is going to be feeling that pressure. Emeli Sande (also called Adele but as you know that name has been taken already) is 2012’s critics choice. She’s collaborated with the likes of Professor Green (not actually a real professor, the liar) and as I’m writing this her debut album Our Version of Events is topping the iTunes Album Chart.
Heaven has had quite a bit of radio play and you can also find her on the front cover of The Hype magazine (formally known as Hype). And you know, those darn critics have done it again. She’s a good singer and a good songwriter. The first part of the album is undoubtedly the best, she displays her range, if they’re released I expect Mountains and My Kind of Love to be popular. But the second half seems kind of lacking. Apart from Next to Me it’s all a bit dreary. On some of the songs she suffers the Ellie Goulding syndrome but for the most part her soulful voice conveys emotion.
I read a review of the album in a newspaper over the weekend and it said that it lacks character and I think I agree. Yeah she has a few hits there and she’s got a promising career ahead of her but I come away feeling that I still don’t know who Emeli Sande is.
If I were to recommend a song to you it would be Next to Me: