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The Mercury Music Prize 2009 – The nominations are in…

GlasfuckingvegasScantregard gives her considered (read vicious) opinion on this year’s hopefuls…

Ah, the Mercury Music prize is here again – a chance for the discerning music buying public (by which I mean me – oh, okay then, and you too) to deride the choices of a panel of middle aged men who drive sports cars and still think they are cutting edge. Let’s face it, if it was the 80s they’d all have ponytails and massive coke habits.

This year’s list reads like a who’s who of ELM’s shit list, with a  few unknowns thrown in to make everyone think these people actually listen to new music. Surprise! However, with no Elbow or Radiohead vying for the title in a ‘lifetime achievement award’ way, this year looks likely to be the year for the unknown winner. After all, for every Elbow, there is a Roni Size.

Let’s break it down (everyone else has, so we might as well):

The predictables:

Glasvegas – really, there is nothing more I can write about these fuckers. No offence, Mercury panel, but this is so 2008. Yes, yes, they sing in Glaswegian accents about how shit it is to be Scottish. If you want to award someone for making this sort of album, give it to the Jesus and Mary Chain for Psychocandy, at least that was original, unpretentious and not condescending in anyway.

Kasabian – Now, I liked Gary Glitter as much as the next man, before all the kiddy diddling took the shine off his platforms, but come on. Another album full of songs Alvin Stardust would have rejected.

The Horrors – Not my bag, but apparently much better than their debut, which was roundly considered to be utter shite round these parts. Maybe they’ll win, if the prize is for most improved band.

Friendly Fires – Unfairly lumped in with  the current 80s synth revival, I think these have a decent chance. Just indie enough to sell, just dance enough to be edgy.

Florence and the Machine, La Roux, Bat for Lashes – These 3 “girl with synth” acts from the current supertrend probably cancel each other out here, making it difficult for any of them to have a chance of winning. The problem here is picking out who is actually the innovator, and which two jumped on the bandwagon. My money is on Bat for Lashes, because she’s the only one I actually like, and this is her second album. Plus, the other two are ginger. One question: if La Roux is so sure she is bulletproof, does that mean I am free to take a few potshots, just to check?

The “interesting” unknowns

Lisa Hannigan – This girl should probably win, if only for swimming against the tide of ethereal synth being pumped out by female singers everywhere. Beautiful vocals delivered over beautiful guitar and strings.

The Invisible – Meh. Will probably win because it’s quirky (that’s code for pish).

Led Bib – Would someone turn down the jazz? PLEASE??!!!!

Sweet Billy Pilgram – See The Invisible.

Speech Debelle – The obligatory hip hop album, which always has half a chance. Ms Dynamite this is not though. Which is a good thing.

As for a winner, that really is anyone’s guess.  I’d put my money on an unknown this year, after the last few years populist winners, the time is ripe for a surprise. If it was up to me, that would be Lisa Hannigan, but as it’s not, I’d put my money on the jazz.


One Response

  1. Great article…I agree Lisa Hannigan is fantastic, the invisible are truly dire, and i am yet to discover what all the fuss about florence and the machine is…her voice grates on me. Will have to agree to differ on Glasvegas though 😉 i have a wee soft spot for them. Never heard Led Bib but you havent sold them to me 🙂

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