Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Polaris Prize Pick in Pretty Perfect Shocker

The Polaris Prize would be easily describable to an alien as "Canada's answer to the Mercury Prize", only two out of three winners have been splendid (Patrick Watson might be two, only I've not heard it [and was too obsessed with another Patrick W last year to pay attention]).

The Guardian, sadly, seem to think this tastefulness is some kind of shortcoming, a lack of drama that, if continued with, might starve the Polaris Prize of a decent enough profile to actually improve an artist's career. I hope this isn't the case; partly because I'd love to see Dan Snaith receive the kind of sales and opportunities that Elbow are now rejoicing in, but mainly because, well, the Polaris Prize seems to be voted for by people who care. So what if it's undramatic? If you want drama, watch X Factor (which I must confess to having become vaguely addicted to this year, having never watched it previously; the sob stories!); if you want 40 minutes of beatific, shimmering, inventive, emotive, retro-progressive, psychedelic laptop pop, then buy Andorra.

For reference, I got quite inspired by Andorra on my old blog: "Dan Snaith’s always been good on the textural front, but this is his best, I feel; the dynamic shifts in “Desiree” and the subtlety in the arrangements to “Eli” and “Sandy” suggest that he was pushing to make this even more intricate and beautiful than usual, as if he was making a statement. The drum tones are amazing; the layering more so. It’s like Andorra has sonic mezzanines that intersect and allow differing views across the whole song. It’s absolutely breathtaking on headphones," and also "Dan Snaith’s fourth album, the second since his litigious name-change, gets close to being that thing; the Holy Grail of what I’m looking for in music, that record I can play again and again and again and never tire of, that makes everything else redundant. Poppy, psychedelic, groovey, jazzy, electronic… it’s all hear. The sound of summer. Every day."

In other news, I'm surprisingly finding myself enjoying the Oasis album. That must be the rocktimism.

1 comment:

Ian said...

I still don't like Caribou, but other than that you have a point.