December 20, 2009
Favorites 2009: Paul Epworth, producer
this is what Paul Epworth looks like
Producer of the Year. I don't necessarily care much about this as a category unless I feel that one music producer has truly affected the quality of pop music in a particular year with some influential, unique projects. In 2009, Paul Epworth really took it to the next level with his work on three albums.
Florence + The Machine's Lungs, for which he co-wrote and produced Rabbit Heart, Howl and Blinding. He also produced the gorgeous Cosmic Love, which Florence wrote with Isabella Summers. These songs form the (beating) heart of Lungs, bringing the same kind of crazy passion to pop music that Sinéad O'Connor brought in 1987 with the perfect The Lion And The Cobra.
Florence + The Machine Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up):
Jack Peñate's surprising leap forward on Everything Is New, on which Epworth co-wrote six of the tracks and brought to Peñate a massive, airy sound again heavy on percussion. It's a pleasingly concise 9 tracks and one of the most under-appreciated albums of 2009. My favorite? The exhilarating Be The One...
Jack Peñate Be The One:
Finally, it was Paul who leapt in to aid Annie with three topnotch new songs for her long delayed Don't Stop. The title track was the poppiest, but it's on I Don't Like Your Band that I think Annie's sound and style is best presented via a witty lyric ("your latest 7 inch sounds obscene") and a squizzy arrangement that caters to the PopJustice and Pitchfork crowds with equal aplomb.
Annie I Don't Like Your Band:
It doesn't hurt that Epworth looks like a pop idol...
UPDATE: "Countpopula" reminds me in the comments that Epworth produced Friendly Fire's thrilling single Kiss Of Life. Friendly Fires are from St. Albans, an awesome town I spent a fair amount of time in during my 90's visits to the UK. Viva Verulamium...