Thursday, April 21, 2011

The 2010 Platinum Vinyl Awards: Best Pop Album of the Year

When WOW isn't enough. That could be the subtitle of this post. In picking the winners for the inaugural edition of the Platinum Vinyl Awards my major aim has been to pick an album with the WOW Factor. Something that musically knocks my socks off. That is usually enough to knock the list of nominees from seven down to two or three, where a brief second round can ferret out a winner. Not so this time around with pop. Once the wow factor was factored in this time, the field of seven became...six. On to other methods of elimination.

I guess I should begin at the beginning, with the list of nominees:
  • Addison Road - Stories
  • Charmaine - Love Reality
  • Sara Groves - Fireflies and Songs
  • Sarah Kelly - Midnight Sun
  • Newsboys - Born Again
  • Poema - Sing it Now
  • Michael W. Smith - Wonder
The WOW Factor only knocked out one album, and that just barely. To all you Sara Groves fans, Fireflies and Songs is a good song, but ultimately it did fail to make the grade. That left six albums, and time for another hair splitting. Now we have to distinguish between shades of wow. That task can be as difficult as picking the best looking Victoria's Secret model, but it had to be done. Stories by Addison Road had to hit the road. Now we were down to five.

This was turning out to be a very difficult task, but I got a little help from an unexpected source. The Newsboys graciously allowed me to punt their album into this year with the release of Born Again: Miracles Edition. Since 11 of the 12 Original Songs are on the album, it qualifies as a punt. Since there are 9 remixes and/or new material it also qualifies as a new album. Either way it aloud me to pass on the album without too much controversy. Down to four. To see how things turned out, continue reading after the break.
Even Solomon didn't have to split the baby this many times. Actually Solomon never actually had to split the baby. Just the threat of doing so was enough to draw out the truth. But since we're talking about musicians, we had to continue on.

Four albums were left after three rounds
  • Charmaine - Love Reality
  • Sarah Kelly - Midnight Sun
  • Poema - Sing it Now
  • Michael W. Smith - Wonder
All four albums had the WOW, and all were worthy. All of them also had a different version of pop, from the dance pop of Charmaine, the teen pop of Poema, the synth pop of Michael W. Smith and the Pop-Rock of Sarah Kelly. I really didn't want to issue multiple awards again. My final question was this. Of the four outstanding entries, which one really stands out, and the answer was:

The 2010 Platinum Vinyl Award Best Pop Album goes to Poema for Sing it Now

In the end it wasn't age and experience but youth and inexperience that carried the day. Both Michael W. Smith and Sarah Kelly are veterans in the industry (though one longer than the other. Expectations are high in that regard, and they certainly met them. Charmaine is still somewhat of an unknown, but she also has a previous album to her credit, so there were expectations. Poema is fresh, and while the expectations were low, they shattered expectations. Girl Pop has a tendency to become syrupy sweet, but these girls have avoided that. I predict great things for these two sisters. Plus they are under the wing of Tooth and Nail, and that itself is a vote of confidence. If you would rather get the CD click here. Once again, congratulations girls on your win.

We are in the homestretch now for the Album of the Year  Awards with seven of ten genres awarded. Next up is Hip Hop and Rap at 8:45, Hard Rock at 9:00 and finishing up the Album of the Year Awards, Rock at 9:15. Then the General Field Awards Begin. Chat it up on Twitter using the #PVA hashtag. And to the Bands and Artists following the awards, feel free to use the comments to post your acceptance speeches.