Jigsaw Falling Into Place
2008 looks like it's going to be a very eventful year. And is it just me or does it seem like there's lots of things going on already? I've always thought that the new year takes a week or two to get back in gear after the holidays, but this year seems like the exception to prove the rule.
Anyway, the true purpose of this blog entry is to bring you news of a podcast featuring the Listeners' Picks from Maltese music released in 2007. The songs selected to top each of the five categories are but a sample of the excellent releases from last year. I've already shared my observations about the smorgasbord on offer in 2007 elsewhere. I would not have been surprised if the final results on the poll for 2007 was different than what we've actually ended up with. In some cases the number of votes was very close.
Scream Daisy had Ira Losco hot on their tail for weeks in the 2007 Top Albums category. The band managed to outdo the former Eurovision singer with just 4 votes. On the other hand, Scream Daisy's Pretty was voted the 2007 Top Online Music Video garnering more than twice the votes of the next contenders on the list, who were Winter Moods with their video for Marigold beautifully shot at the Manoel Theatre. Scream Daisy were the runner-up in last year's Singles/EPs category, so I'm not surprised that they've swept the board in two categories this year.
Two bands managed to get an equal number of votes at the top of the 2007 Singles/EPs list. Xtruppaw undoubtedly delighted thousands with their Forza Malta (B'Għajta Waħda) while The Rifffs more than made up for last year's position with Jack the Ripper, the follow-up single their comeback release Life of Crime from 2006.
The top place in the 2007 Internet Releases category was also equally conquered by two acts. Ray Mercieca's other band, The Characters, hit the spot with their power track One In A Million, the second of their releases for 2007. Yet the great and pleasant surprise is to see newcomer Dean Saviour receive as many votes as the behemoth band. His Marshmallow Girl is a delightful song indeed. I always expect newcomers to do well in this category but now that established acts are also using the Internet to release new material it stands to reason that its not as much a foregone clear win for newcomers. The Areola Treat would have certainly picked up more votes had their been fewer well known names on this list. I have great expectations for this band in 2008.
Mathematikal came out the clear victors in the 2007 Overseas-based Releases. Their Electrophant EP clearly shows why not everybody with a computer can produce electronic music worth listening to. Jon and Jay have a broad musical sensibility, which is something that can't escape any discerning listener. No other overseas-based released managed to receive more than half the votes they got. I'm very pleased that the 2007 list of overseas-based artists is much broader than the one we had the previous year.
All in all, I'd have liked to seen Danjeli's outstanding Kakofonija album receive more votes, but I have a feeling that most people's taste in music is more conservative than mine. This poll is not about my personal picks but you can say that to some degree my choice of nominations flavors the whole process. We'll see what this year brings...but I'm pretty sure we'll find a number of releases to admire and rave about before this time next year. As that famous line for the old Bette Davis movie goes: "don't let's ask for the moon...we have the stars!"
I'm quite satisfied with the way the voting worked out on Facebook. I'm forever grateful to my friend James Attard who developed the app that has enabled everyone to vote on Facebook this year. I'm sure we'll enhance it some more next year, whether we keep it on Facebook or not.
Speaking of enhancements, this edition of the Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast is a special edition in that it presents the results of the Listeners' Picks from 2007. In keeping with a tradition I started last year in an attempt make it even more special by presenting it in an enhanced version. I'll be working on that over the next day and I'll post some more information about it as soon as it is available.
The RSS feed for the Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast is available here or you can simply click here to subscribe directly with iTunes. You can also add the latest episodes to your My Yahoo! page. If you have no idea what any of this means, just click here.