Sunday, September 21, 2003


Much publicity surrounded the launch of OMM (Observer Music Monthly), "the first British magazine published by a British newspaper." Why, even NFE gave it an anticipatory plug. In the actual product, which landed on my mat this morning, editor Caspar Llewellyn Smith wasted little time (and a whole column) telling us all how ab fab it all is: "the best in music from around the world", "the sharpest, funniest writers", "a magazine reflecting such diversity with style and authority is long overdue."

You can boast, Welly. You did in fact. But the content is dismal in its total predictability. Oooh, here's Britney! And Blur! And Bowie! and Dizzee Rascal! And a bit of hip hop! And "African pygmies" making weird noises in "the world's scariest place"! Still awake? Well, how about a bit of tokenism towards 'special interests'? Billie Holiday for yer dad. Arvo Part tacked at the end of a 'best albums' list, 'cos he's classical but kinda laid back, right? And tiny bits on Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (exotic!) and the Esbjorn Svennson Trio (jazz!).

Next, I suppose, they'll be telling us that The Darkness are post-ironic and having a daring pop at proggies in the highly innovative 'Lost Tribes of Pop' column.

Meanwhile... what did Saddam have on his Walkman when the bombs began to fall? Why does Carole Caplin find Andy Williams "simply inspirational"? Is John Tavener the new Marc Bolan? Just what did Paul Morley throw up twice at breakfast? Will Norah Jones ever play with the Beatles like her dad? OMM looks the sure-fire place to find out. Just don't mention "music". Except in the title. 'Cos it sells well, apparently.

(OK CD, though.)

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