As the award season swings into gear and the nominees are announced, the 2015 Brit Awards have a very familiar look and feel. In a week when Ed Sheeran, George Ezra, and Sam Smith were branded the kings of bland pop, they have once again defied the critics. The trio have secured no fewer that 13 Brit Award nominations between them, with Smith being nominated for five awards and Sheeran and Ezra having four each.
Perhaps predictably, Guardian writer Alexis Petridis says that surprises are thin on the ground in what he describes as pop music’s dullest office party. Petridis explains that the Brit awards exist only to reward commercial success, and as a result, the nominations should hold no surprises to anyone with even a passing interest in the UK music scene.
After all, Smith is the only artist to sell one million albums on both sides of the Atlantic. Sheeran’s sophomore album, X, has sold over 2.7 million copies, and has been streamed 430 million times. Ezra has been streamed almost 100 million times. Unsurprisingly, the trio’s albums took the 1, 2 and 3 slots in UK album sales in 2014. The biggest surprise the Brit Awards could have sprung would have been seeing any of the three missing from the nominations list.
The Daily Mail reports that all three artists are nominated in the most important Brit Award categories that they are eligible for: British male solo artist and British album of the year. In the male solo artist category, the trio are also up against Paolo Nutini and Damon Albarn, who collects his first Brit Award nomination in his own right after years of acclaim for his output with acts such as Blur and Gorillaz
Smith and Ezra are also nominated for the best British breakthrough act. This award is to be decided by a public vote, and early indications are that Sam Smith, who collected the Critics’ Choice title last year, is the favorite.
Although many of the British award categories were dominated by male artists, FKA Twigs and Ella Henderson were among the female performers who picked up two nominations. They are both up for solo British female along with Jessie Ware, Lily Allen, and Paloma Faith.
The British Band award category looks to be one of the most interesting with One Direction, Coldplay, Alt-J, Clean Bandit, and Royal Blood competing for the award.
The Independent suggests that the British artists are defined by good-natured politeness which often stretches into the music. As such they may be overshadowed on the night by U.S. nominees, such as St. Vincent and Lana Del Rey, whose music arguably has a greater depth and a touch more personality. Beyonce, Taylor Swift, and Jack White also feature in the international categories. The Brit Awards take place at London’s O2 Arena on February 25.
I wonder what Inquisitr readers make of the nominations? Are Sheeran, Ezra, and Smith genuinely exciting and deserving Brit Award nominees, or did they win nominations because they are the best of a bad lot? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
[image – MTV.co.uk]