The Mercury Music Prize 2011

Well well, its now more or less the same time of year as it was when I started up this blog; it must be, because the Mercury Prize nominees from 2010 were what I started off writing about. (In fact, I took the Mercury albums and compared them to the albums from Drowned in Sound’s alternative ‘Neptune’ list, generally favouring the Neptune selections). It was an interesting process, as it led me to listen to quite a few ‘mainstream’ albums I probably wouldn’t have otherwise done. I seem to recall that I mostly didn’t think that much of them, but at least it enabled me to be informed in my criticism!

Drowned in Sound don’t appear to be doing their alternative list this year, which is a shame, so i instead intend to just do straight reviews of the Mercury albums. Its been said by many (as always) that the list looks uninspiring and is missing some of the best albums of the last 12 months, and there is a lot of truth in those statements. But to actually listen to the albums seems like a better response than just grumbling about the ones you do know and dismissing the ones you don’t, or how ‘relevant’ the whole concept is. Some of the shortlisted albums I know already, some I don’t. but I’ll try to listen to them all with an impartial ear.

Still expect half of them to turn out shite though… Here’s the list:

Anna Calvi – Anna Calvi
Elbow – Build A Rocket, Boys
James Blake – James Blake
Katy B – On A Mission
Metronomy – The English Riviera
PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
Tinie Tempah – Discovery
Gwilym Simcock – Good Days At Schloss Elmau
Everything Everything – Man Alive
Ghostpoet – Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam
King Creosote & Jon Hopkins – Diamond Mine
Adele – 21

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