Mercury On The Ear

La Roux may win this year's Mercury. For those not based in Britain, the Mercury prize is a bit like a Grammy for indie musical artists. While a recent Eyewear post teased La Roux, it is true that her album has a number of catchy pop tunes, and, among all the recent acts paying pastiche-based homage to their more famous peers and earlier styles, she's actually very good. It seems a shame the White Lies album isn't included; as for the news that Florence and the Machine is a tipped favourite - well, it hasn't grown on me, yet, has Lungs. Both Lungs, and the new Bats for Lashes sound very much like Sarah McLachlan, who was one of the most influential indie acts of the 90s - and whose emotive portentous style has become deeply embedded in the DNA of so many acts since. McLachlan was great, but it's becoming a tired style. Or am I just really getting too old to maintain enthusiasm for pop? Today on the BBC, I listened to a very good programme on Eliot. At the end, when he read from The Four Quartets, the austere serious beauty of the words seemed more lasting, and more potent, and more genuinely good, than much music.
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