Music Critics Snub the Public's Taste in Poll of Polls

Article excerpt

This year's best-selling singer, Adele, is absent from HMV album of the year list

Poor Adele. Not a phrase you hear often, as she had been having such a good year: grabbing every award going, conquering America and selling millions of records.

But she is not even a contender for the prize that money can't buy - the critics' choice of album of the year. Instead, the anointed arbiters of good music have proclaimed P J Harvey's Let England Shake as the best album of the year.

The only trouble is that hardly anyone would agree with the sentiment, even though Harvey has already picked up the 2011 Mercury Prize. For the latest album from the gloomy indie songstress has managed to sell barely 130,000 copies - a fraction of the 3.5 million-plus that Adele has managed with her latest album, 21.

No matter, for the result is from the annual HMV Poll of Polls, officially announced tomorrow - a ranking drawn from 35 polls by magazines, national newspapers and websites.

Don't expect to see any big names, let alone ones you might recognise. For Britain's music critics have outdone themselves in finding some bands so obscure they wouldn't even be famous in their own homes.

One, tUnE-yArDs (sic), has sold just a few thousand copies of its Whokill album. And the back catalogues of acts such as Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, Wild Beasts, Kurt Vile, James Blake and the Horrors are not exactly troubling the bestseller charts.

It's a slap in the face for such music juggernauts as Coldplay, Lady Gaga and Rihanna, who are conspicuous by their absence. …