HYPE is a dangerous thing. On one hand, the year's plucky music debutantes have the benefits of additional exposure; on the other hand, once thrust into the spotlight, they can be sure some will try their darnedest to rip them down.
Remember last year when Little Boots burst on to the scene and could do no wrong?
Having topped the BBC's Sound Of 2009 poll, the platinum blonde from Blackpool had been officially anointed pop princess, without releasing an album. As a result, most folks expected her to make our jaws drop and impress us something rotten, but she didn't.
After a few singles failed to hit the heights, debut album Hands briefly reached the Top Five before plummeting to the lower regions of the charts, and her expected Mercury Prize nomination failed to materialise. Not a complete failure by any means, but compared to the success of similar new female electropop artists like La Roux and Lady Gaga, she was seen as a flop. But it's not just Little Boots who has fallen foul of hype. The weight of expectation has crushed so many acts over the years. As such, we knew that 2010 would be no different; the only question was who this year's victim would likely be. Step forward Ellie Goulding, named the gal most likely by BBC's Sound Of 2010 poll and winner of the Critics Choice Award at the 2010 Brits, before this week's release of her debut album, Lights.
Despite her double-whammy of accolades – or because of them – the 23-year-old has received lukewarm reviews, to say the least.
Truth told, there's nothing especially original about either the singer or her so-called 'folktronica', but if there wasn't the hype caused by the media in the first place, no-one would be puzzling as to how this could be the work of one tipped for greatness.
Clearly, the blame lies with a trend-hungry music press, who, jumping the gun as ever, told the world she was something very special in the first place, only to shoot her to pieces. It's laughable that these same journalists are now asking 'why all the fuss?' Er, hello! You created it!
As a result, she's been so ridiculously hyped up that some people don't want to like her. We see this all time when artists are overexposed. Young people like to think they've discovered new music rather than having it forced down their throats.
Don't get me wrong, she will enjoy chart success (all publicity is good, etc), but there isn't a snowball's chance she'll be hailed as 2010's biggest breakthrough female artist come the year's end.
No, the smart money says it will be Marina Diamandis, aka Marina and the Diamonds.
The Welsh indie-pop songstress lost out at both the BBC's Sound of 2010 poll and the Brits Critics' Choice Award to Goulding, and being kind of the underdog will have helped her a lot.
Hype is a dangerous thing all right.