THE winners of this year’s Ivor Novello awards are worthy and woolly but not really anything to get terribly excited about.
I think it was obvious that Emeli Sandé was going to win in the two categories in which she was nominated. Next To Me is praised for being popular in one category and for being a well crafted song in another, which is fair enough. It doesn’t surprise me that they would go for something old fashioned.
As for “best contemporary song” which was won by Pelican, written by the Maccabees and “Best Album” which was won by An Awesome Wave by Alt-J, I think both bands fall into the same category of nebulous indie. Both are vaguely anthemic but, ironically, I don’t think either of those bands are good examples of strong song-writing.
I’m bemused by the appeal of Alt-J and I think there is something self conscious about the way both of those bands compose their music and I just can’t really get behind it.
Songwriter of the Year went to Calvin Harris and he can certainly write a hook, in fact he’s great at fashioning a hooky refrain which weaves through a song but I would still say he’s not a great songwriter as the songs don’t feel like a single thought from start to finish.
By comparison Calvin Harris writes popular radio tracks, its tuneful and catchy but I don’t think we’ll be listening in decades to come.
Noel Gallagher for “Outstanding Song Collection” was a good choice. Here is a man who understands melody, even if he is a poor lyricist. He has written a handful of standards, most people can’t even write one.