The Mercury Prize

Whilst I was on holiday the Mercury Music Prize nominations were announced.

I always keep a keen eye out for these, largely because it’s the music award that has the most credibility in my book, as the extended judging panel by and large usually know what they’re doing.

This year I’m a bit behind the curve on it, so apologies if it’s old news for you but I thought I’d put my two penneth in.

Here’s the shortlist with my thoughts. I’m sticking my neck out this year!

Biffy Clyro “Only Revolutions” – Scottish rockers mellow and get more melodic and, shock horror, even get played on Radio 2.

Corinne Bailey Rae “The Sea” – Local Leeds girl’s return to form with achingly sad but beautiful album

Dizzee Rascal “Tongue N’ Cheek” – London rude boy kicks it off all over the place, you need to be 19 to fully appreciate this album

Kit Downes Trio “Golden’ – token unheard of jazz album

Foals “Total Life Forever” – textured melodies with nothing much new happening compared to previous album

I Am Kloot “Sky At Night – long in the tooth Manchester shoe gazers could have their Elbow year in 2010

Laura Marling “I Speak Because I Can” – just lovely, but very folky. Nothing massively new here but a big talent

Mumford And Sons “Sigh No More” – boisterous, rollicking album that’s dominated the year. My personal favourite and tip for the Prize.

Paul Weller “Wake Up The Nation” – I’m afraid it’s same old, same old from the Modfather

Villagers “Becoming A Jackal” – quirky and mysterious prog folk, could be the curve ball outsider as it is very different

Wild Beasts “Two Dancers” – a bit pretentious, to be honest

The XX “xx” – moody, melodic, ambient electro indie. It’s between this and Mumford for me.

Based on the above, it’s not been a bad year for music and as usual there’s a few glaring omissions. I thought Gorillaz’ Plastic Beach might have caught the eye of the judges given it’s cool factor being through the roof. Also surprised new indie boys Delphic didn’t make the cut or this year’s Florence – Marina and the Diamonds.

It;s good to see the diversification from guitar based bands and the new folk movement is gathering pace. There seems to be a lot more interesting stuff coming out of the States right now and this is something I think will shift our scene too.

Anyway, here’s hoping the curse of the Mercury doesn’t strike again and cast the winner adrift in the one successful wilderness.

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