Brit Awards 2014

Hosted by an intoxicated James Corden for just shy of two and a half hours, the entirety of the Brit Awards event evolved into a painful endurance of television. Hosted in London two weeks ago, the occasion acted as a showcase of all the best in British music. Apparently.
With the Artic Monkeys picking up ‘Album of the Year’ and ‘Best British Group’, it inspired frontman for the band, Alex Turner, to congratulate himself and peer review his work as ‘saving rock and roll’ as a contrast to the usual ‘sludge’. However, the modest singer seems to have forgotten about changing his accent on the Monkeys’ newest album –AM – just to reach an American audience. Selling out, though, would probably be most unfavourable among many of the greats of rock and roll – accidentally casting him into the defamed ‘sludge’ isle.
Human zombie David Bowie picked up the ‘Best British Male Artist’ award – 30 years since last receiving the title, and featured an interesting debacle for his acceptance speech. Adding a final nib at the end of his swift diction – ‘And Scotland, stay with us.’ Like he thinks his own voice carries that much gospel, and would be single-handedly saving the UK. Either that or the 67 year old is outstandingly arrogant.
brits2014-statues-pianoOn another note, and moving away from the pretentions of the event; some good awards were given away to deserving artists. A small party-bag of independent and new artists were cherry-picked for nominations, supporting small-gone-big artists – just like the Brit’s are meant too. Bastille, Rudimental and Lorde all swept up an accolade at the night, despite only recently entering public eye.
However, the Brits have evolved into a festival of morbid pretensions where watching singers and celebs pat each other on the back is an excruciating challenge of viewership. Although quite cute in its original ideas of rivalling the AMA’s or Grammy’s, the event still has a while to travel.

I Dream Of Debuts Gone By – 4 Original Albums You Might’ve Missed.

The past few years have held host to a brevity of interesting and exciting album releases in the pop genre. Sets such as Lady GaGa and Miley have all heightened the standard demanded from new releases today. However, some of the biggest names in popular music have a large portion of their original albums ignored or forgotten. Works that originated many years and decades ago lost in the collective minds of today’s music-lover.

Lights (2010)
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Now, not taking too far back of a step to start with – Ellie Goulding’s debut ‘Lights’ threw the young, British singer into the limelight almost immediately. Released at the start of this decade, the carefully composed set list does herald many well remembered favourites – including ‘Starry Eyed’, ‘Guns and Horses’ along with Elton John cover; ‘Your Song’. Despite only making it to 26th in the UK Albums Chart – it was enough to propel her into the consciousness of the British public – compelling her to write and release her more popular second studio album – ‘Halcyon’ in 2012.

Take That and Party (1992)
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Okay, okay – admittedly considered a ‘dad-band’, the boys’ development and contribution to pop is undeniable. Their first album released in the early nineties showcased the abilities of British groups with their two stand out singles – ‘It Only Takes a Minute’ and ‘A Million Love Songs’. The resulting effects of their twenty plus year reign in pop is the string of boy band popularity in the UK, influencing groups such as Blue and Westlife. With a new album due later this year, their long-standing popularity still stands the test of time.

Homework (1997)
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Not normally considered a pop group – Daft Punk’s new foray into the genre with ‘Random Access Memories’ marked a new stage in the French-duo’s constantly evolving sound. After receiving accolade after accolade last year (and also notably at this years’ Brits) the band have gained more sterling international recognition. If ‘Get Lucky’ and ‘Lose Yourself to Dance’ introduced you Daft Punk – the evolution of the group’s attitude towards a spectrum of genres; (house, electro, funk and pop) is never more present in their debut.

Taylor Swift (2006)
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Although it’s only been a brief five-year gap between ‘RED’ and her debut, Taylor Swift’s self-titled album highlights the rapid adaption of a solo artist’s music genre. Originally combing standard pop sounds with her own home-grown taste of banjo string and accordion, the country-style twist is well received. Also, the singer of ‘22’ sounds fresher in her early days, straying from the confines of a multitude of different styles but still pleasing; if anything – more so. Impressive especially for a girl who was 16 at the time.

A Show Taylored For Fans

Taylor

 

(Big Machine Records)

Following up the ‘RED’ album from 2012, the RED tour that hit London earlier this February proved why Taylor Swift could produce sell-out shows around the world. Fireworks, bright lights and big name special guests – all moulded together with a touch of sheer flamboyance, all culminated to give the tour that feeling of expectations being exceeded.

Highlights included a swing rendition of the her own, ‘You Belong With Me’, a brief visit from ‘The Script’ front man Danny Donoghue and a full, on stage party for her finale song – ‘We Are Never Getting Back Together’.

However, sometimes the 24 year-olds’ lust for exuberance transformed into a degree of self-indulgence. Granted, with 7 Grammy’s under her belt – she’s entitled to flaunt, but the constant rotation of costume change made the music standstill on more than a few occasions. It brings about the chilling echo of 15,000 impatient fans around the arena – all anticipating the next performance from yonder stage, smothered in black.

Yet when the lights spark up again, basking viewers in a familiar red glow, and the screams begin again – attention is drawn at a newly redressed stage of dancers, props and of course Taylor herself, suited in new gladrags. And when the act resumes, it makes it feel kinda worth the wait.

The bulk of her song choices revolved around the album, not too surprising as both tour and release share the same name. But what came as a disappointment was the show only featured a small handful of ‘old’ Swift. It was felt, as snippets of film were played showing the singer’s career development through family video, that the originals were still missed.  A snippet of ‘Our Song’ was played to much fanfare from the crowd, showing that these favourites were still loved – but, instead of ‘Picture to Burn’ and ‘Cold As You Are’, we were clumped with ‘State of Grace’ and ‘Holy Ground’. Yet, this wasn’t too major of a sacrifice  – as both were brilliantly performed, and still excited the crowd as much as an original ever could.

Sadly, though, after almost a year of touring worldwide, the RED tour has come to an end. Yet while disappointing, with the announcement of a fifth studio album on the horizon, it’s safe to look forward to another Swift entry into the charts from Taylor.