The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


One of the more interesting of the music prizes on offer is the ShortList.

The list this year is remarkable in that it's virtually a distillation of the past 12 months of our CLUAS discussion board faves!... Band of Horses, Beirut, Joanna Newsom, Cat Power. All CLUAS discussion topics over the past months and all very much in with a shout of winning.

For those of you unfamiliar with the "rules" of Shortlist, any album released in the U.S. in 2006 is eligible for nomination as long as it had not been certified gold for domestic US sales of 500,000 or more. The list is chosen by a random selection of musicians - this year that selection really is a fascinating combo. We will have a winning album chosen by Franz Ferdinand, KT Tunstall, Gary Lightbody (Snow Patrol), last year's winner Sufjan Steven and Wayne Coyne (Flaming Lips front man) amongst other luminaries. A long list of 61 has been whittled down to the following:-

1.     Band of Horses - Everything All the Time
2.     Beirut - Gulag Orkestar
3.     Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - The Letting Go
6.     Hot Chip - The Warning
9.     Spank Rock – YoYoYoYoYo
10.   Tom Waits - Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards

For me, the standout is the Tom Waits magnum opus which is rewarding me every time I play it. But if we assume that a living legend really doesn't need another award, then it becomes a quite tricky decision. I'm disappointed that Midlake and Beck didn't make it from the long list as they made, in my opinion, the best albums of their careers. I love the Bonnie Prince record, but it's not the best he's made (you need to go back to 2002's I See A Darkness for that). Cat Power is a little one-paced... Band of Horses have a long way to go. Regina Spektor's Begin To Hope is wildly uneven as the CLUAS review pointed out.

I reckon it will boil down to a straight choice between Hot Chip and (the wildly over-rated?) Joanna Newsom. And Newsom will win. 

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Nuggets from our archive

2000 - 'Rock Criticism: Getting it Right', written by Mark Godfrey. A thought provoking reflection on the art of rock criticism.