Mercury vs Neptune

One of the ideas I’d thought would be interesting to do on a blog was to listen to, and make short reviews of, all of the albums nominated for this year’s Mercury music prize. On first glance, it didn’t look like a particularly inspiring list, with mediocrity springing to mind in a few cases. Too many cases. But its quite easy to make assumptions about music, and although I’m all for writing off most of the Mercury nominations, I thought it would be better to be able to justify these writings off.

To make things more interesting however, I thought I’d also do the same thing with Drowned in Sound’s alternative list, the Neptune Music prize. So I’m going to; each post will feature a sort of review of each, and some comparisons. Then I’ll probably come to some conclusions. Presumably at the end of the process I’ll decide who I think should win each, but I haven’t thought that far ahead in any detail. Here are the lists:

The 2010 Mercury Prize shortlist is:

Biffy Clyro – ‘Only Revolutions’
Corinne Bailey Rae – ‘The Sea’
Dizzee Rascal – ‘Tongue N’ Cheek’
Kit Downes Trio – ‘Golden’
Foals – ‘Total Life Forever’
I Am Kloot – ‘Sky At Night’
Laura Marling – ‘I Speak Because I Can’
Mumford And Sons – ‘Sigh No More’
Paul Weller – ‘Wake Up The Nation’
Villagers – ‘Becoming A Jackal’
Wild Beasts – ‘Two Dancers’
The XX – ‘XX’

The 2010 Neptune Music prize shortlist is:

Fuck Buttons – Tarot Sport
Mount Kimbie – Crooks & Lovers
Arctic Monkeys – Humbug
Ikonika – Contact, Love, Want, Have
These New Puritans – Hidden
The Fall – Your Future Our Clutter
Blood Red Shoes – Fire Like This
Four Tet – There Is Love in You
65daysofstatic – We Were Exploding Anyway
Kate Nash – My Best Friend Is You
Errors – Come Down With Me
Rolo Tomassi – Cosmology

I’m going to pair up the albums, even though that will create totally arbitrary comparisons; more fun that way. So tune in shortly to see who will take my preference in Part one: Fuck Buttons or Biffy Clyro?

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