James Blake & Mercury Prize

And the prize went to one of the revelations of the year, James Blake, whose ability to synthesize subtle electronic textures with the sheer strength of his voice proved irresistible.

In a year dominated by female stars of “nu soul” Blake imposed a sweet presence, bringing together innocence and sensuality, his album ‘Overgrown’ grabbing the Mercury Prize, the gold standard of UK music. To do so Blake had to defeat an impressive field including the likes of Arctic Monkeys and David Bowie, and now this 25-year-old classical pianist turned pop sensation holds the key to international success.

His victory also signals a move away from strictly traditional songwriting and producing. One of the guests of the album was Brian Eno, alongside rapper RZA of Wu Tang Clan fame – quite a combination, but it says much for the avant garde essence of this worthy Mercury Award winner.

 

Pierfrancesco Pacoda

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