Mercury Prize Shortlist

Adele – 19
British Sea Power – Do You Like Rock Music?
Burial – Untrue
Elbow – The Seldom Seen Kid
Estelle – Shine
Laura Marling – Alas I Cannot Swim
Neon Neon – Stainless Style
Portico Quartet – Knee-Deep In The North Sea
Rachel Unthank & The Winterset – The Bairns
Radiohead – In Rainbows
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss – Raising Sand
The Last Shadow Puppets – The Age Of The Understatement

Music’s answer to the Nobel Prize trundles in for another year. As ever, it has that “something for everyone” look that seems to emphasize balance over quality. Rachel Unthank and the Portico Quartet take the token folk and jazz spots, and half of the rest constitute a ticklist of prevalent styles. Pop? Adele (tick). Hip Hop? Estelle (tick). Waif with guitar? Laura Marling (tick). Etc etc.

There are really only two serious contenders. Radiohead have never won it before, and that must be regarded as an oversight by the committee. And Percy Plant’s album will appeal to the Mojo set. Burial won’t turn up, so that probably scuppers his chances, and Alex Turner’s already got one which will damage his. Indie bands have won three of the last four which means BSP and Elbow needn’t book holidays. Of the two contenders, my money’s on Raising Sand.

As to whether the thing has any meaning or value (apart from the money and the publicity of course), is still a matter for debate. Having an honours board populated with the likes of the Klaxons, M People, Gomez and Badly Drawn Boy hardly boosts credibility. But compared to the onanistic Brits and the completely arbitrary and pointless Mojo Awards, it does have some class. I doubt whether I’ll bother tuning in, though.

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2 responses to “Mercury Prize Shortlist

  1. Gomez were a great band for about 2 albums then mysteriously fucked off somewhere. But, yeah, M People what were the Mercury people thinking?

  2. I never really liked Gomez that much. They did have one brilliant video (and the song was pretty good too). No idea what it was called, but it featured a bloke getting more and more hysterical as he handed out leaflets about the forthcoming end of the world to disinteretsed and hostile passers by. And then it happened. At least that’s how I remember it – it’s been years since I saw it.

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