UK's BRIT Awards slammed as celebration of bland

Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:42pm EST
 
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By Mike Collett-White

LONDON (Reuters) - "Sensible" and "sober" are words not normally associated with rock and roll, but they summed up how music critics viewed Wednesday night's BRIT Awards ceremony at the London O2 Arena.

Viewing figures for commercial broadcaster ITV1, which aired British pop's biggest night live, were the highest for a decade, so organizers, advertisers and the acts who performed were unlikely to care too much about what experts thought.

Gordon Smart, showbusiness editor at the Sun tabloid, summed up the mood, writing: "Well, rock'n'roll is officially dead. Where have all the rock stars gone?"

The big winner on the night, one that was widely predicted, was Scottish singer-songwriter Emeli Sande, who picked up the coveted British album award for "Our Version of Events", her debut which was the UK's top seller of 2012.

She also won the best British female honor, and English singer Ben Howard was the only other multiple winner, claiming the male solo artist and breakthrough categories.

"Welcome to the new boring," said Daily Telegraph music critic Neil McCormick, describing Howard, Sande and other winners Mumford & Sons (best group) and One Direction (BRITs Global Success Award).

"All - to different degrees - extremely talented, vibrant, emotional, committed, entertaining musical performers beloved of enormous audiences," he wrote. "And all as dull as dishwater."

He concluded his review with a rallying cry: "I just hope there is some young punk out there, watching that, thinking the music business needs a right royal kick up the posterior."   Continued...

 
Pop group One Direction performs during the BRIT Awards, celebrating British pop music, at the O2 Arena in London February 20, 2013. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez