Tonight sees the awarding of the sixth annual Choice Music Prize, with a live event at Vicar St (also broadcast on Today FM) featuring performances from nine of the ten nominees. At around 10.45pm we’ll discover the winner but in the meantime State’s editorial team offer their thoughts on this year’s list.
In alphabetical order:
Adebesi Shank – This This Is The Second Album Of A Band Called Adebisi Shank (Richter Collective)
Quite simply the most exciting, left field record on the list, 2010 was the year that saw Adebesi Shank develop into a world class outfit. Picked up by the right people from the US to Japan, their second record saw them take their original template and build on it. And then some. And then some more.
Why it might not win: This could be just too much for some, a record that it’s as easy to hate as it is to love. (Anna Forbes)
Cast Of Cheers – Chariot (Self Release)
The first and only ‘download-only’ nominee ever to make the Choice list, Chariot came from nowhere to stratospheric acclaim last year. The album’s rammed full of jagged guitar, wrought vocals and an underlying tension that makes it compulsively danceable. Inspired, infectious and free. What more do you want?
Why it might not win: While Two Door and Villagers are already headlining the city’s bigger venues, The Cast Of Cheers are still in Whelan’s. A touch too ‘cult’, perhaps? (James Hendicott)
Cathy Davey – The Nameless (Hammer Toe)
This is Cathy Davey’s second time to be in contention for the Choice Music Prize (Tales of Silversleeve made the 2007 shortlist) – and rightly so, because The Nameless displays her finest work to date. The Nameless topped the album charts upon its release last May, finally bringing the commercial success to match Davey’s widespread critical acclaim. Across the 13 tracks Davey portrays astounding diversity – from the eerie haunting nature of the album’s title track, to the militant brilliance of ‘Army of Tears’, and the beautifully crafted refrains of ‘Universe Tipping’. Vocally, lyrically and musically – The Nameless is difficult to fault.
Why it might not win: All-conquering single ‘Little Red’ attracted a lot of attention – but in turn may have distracted from the album as a body of work. (Elaine Buckley)
Fight Like Apes – The Body of Christ and the Legs of Tina Turner (Model Citizen)
Shattering the notion of the ‘difficult second album’, The Body of Christ and the Legs of Tina Turner exudes all of the original charm which led many to fall for FLApes’ debut offering (the 2008 Choice Music Prize shortlisted Fight Like Apes and the Mystery of the Golden Medallion) – but this time around, everything is that bit more refined. From the epic arrangement of ‘Poached Eggs’, to the bittersweet lyrical poignancy of ‘Waking Up With Robocop’, to the sublime vocal performance on ‘Thank God You Weren’t Thirsty (Lightbulb)’, and the continuing innovative use of quirky samples throughout – this album has been hugely progressive for Fight Like Apes in every way.
Why it might not win: The Body of Christ… is most definitely a grower – it does take a few listens before the realisation of its brilliance sets in, a point which may incite mixed feelings towards it. (Elaine Buckley)
Halves – It Goes, It Goes (Forever & Ever) (Hite Records)
Arguably the most mature Irish release of 2010, It Goes, It Goes (Forever & Ever), by Halves was a debut worth the wait. Fantastically constructed and lovingly produced, it was a testament to musical accomplishment and hard work. Although it will have to fend off stiff competition, this should win the Choice award simply for its impeccable sound and daring innovation.
Why it might not win: With a number of more mainstream judges on the panel, the expansive sound of the record may prove a little too rich for some. (Patrick Fennelly)