The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


Speech Debelle has just been announced as the winner of the 2009 Mercury Prize.  Unfortunately, this means that Ireland's Lisa Hannigan didn't win, keeping Ireland's 100% record of not winning the competition in tact.  Hopefully it didn't lose because, as one of the guests interviewed by Lauren Laverne on tonight's show stated, it was 'too sweet' and 'just nice to listen to when making a vegetable curry' and not suitable for winning the Mercury Prize.  What a terrible indictment of a record and one that is, in this blogs' opinion, totally undeserved.  Sea Sew is, in places, perhaps a little twee, but it is beautiful in parts and contains some very interesting arrangements.  It was, in short, very deserving of its nomination.

Key Notes would like to congratulate Speech Debelle on winning this year's prize.  To be honest though, I have managed to listen to approx. 75% of this year's albums, and Speech Therapy was one of two records I thought didn't deserve to win (the other being Glasvegas) but might.  For me, it's very much hip hop for people who aren't really that keen on hip hop but who like having a diverse record collection.  For those of you not familiar with the record, Speech Therapy has quite a jazz tinge to it, relying less on artificial production and more on a natural LoFi feel.

Key Notes' own personal favourite was Bat For Lashes' Two Suns and, while it is sad to see this record overlooked, that's the way these competitions work.  People have different opinons than I do.  This is probably a good thing most of the time!

To be honest, there are no real losers when it comes to the Mercury Prize (most bands see a massive increase in sales) but some acts win more than others.  This year's winningest (it's a word!) winner was Speech Debelle and so here's a video to celebrate:

Speech Debelle: The Key

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Nuggets from our archive

2007 - REM live in the Olympia, by Michael O'Hara. Possibly the definitive review of any of REM's performances during their 2007 Olympia residency. Even the official REM website linked to it.