|Ooh, look, Elbow got a nomi-- SUDDEN URGE|
TO GET A BARCLAYCARD.
OK, first off I have a big confession to make, which might shock most of you. As out of the loop as it makes me feel, I have to admit that I have no bloody idea who Gwilym Simcock is. All jokes aside, this is obviously the 'token' out-there classical/world/jazz entry and has very little chance of winning, but check out the snippet of 'These Are The Good Days' on the Mercury website and - well, it sounds quite nice doesn't it?
|Adele - turning up out of the blue,|
uninvited as usual
Adele - Rolling In The Deep (Radio Edit) by MMMusic
Anna Calvi is another one I confess I know little about - her debut garnered split opinions, with many favouring her skew on the female singer/songwriter genre, but not everyone was taken in by the hype (yes, I'm talking about Drowned In Sound's write-up). However, it's an album I'm certainly intrigued to check out - if it really grabs me, you're likely to hear about it here on Quiff Pro 'Fro.
|Elbow - the right choice|
for a nomination?
Elbow - Lippy Kids by ListenBeforeYouBuy
It was nice to see Everything Everything get a nod, especially what with Man Alive being such a genuinely new and inventive album unlike pretty much anything else out there. In fact, I'd kind of forgotten that this album a) existed, and b) was within the eligible time period - however, almost a year later it still holds up as a thrilling listen, even after most of the hype has passed, and after having not heard it for a while it's innovative spirit is startling all over again. Read our top 10 albums of last year for more on Man Alive.
Everything Everything - Final Form by EverythingEverything
|James Blake - not a surprise|
but a worthy nominee
James Blake - I Never Learnt To Share by kisstiger
On the poppier end of the spectrum, we have Katy B and Tinie Tempah - yet again, little surprise on the Tinie front, and it's easy to see why these two have been recognised. As mindless fun, Tinie Tempah is easy enough to like, and he's had great success in bringing his blend of rap, dance and pop to mainstream success, however it's hard to argue that the Mercury Prize is edging ever further into disappointingly commercial BRIT Award territory. However, Katy B does a decent job of injecting some originality into her pop music - the dubstep influence isn't over-done, and the melodies are a little darker than the bubblegum shine of other contemporary chart music, giving her a more distinctive voice. Also, 'Easy Please Me' is a bit of a guilty pleasure - thank god Radio 1 have stopped playing it though, it was in urgent danger of being overplayed.
Tinie Tempah - Pass Out by kbmusic
|Metronomy - Devonshire bliss...|
Metronomy - Everything Goes My Way by PeaceBlind
Metronomy - She Wants by Jackplug
|No nomination for Wild Beasts? Really?!|
"In the words of Alex Turner 'somebody call the police @WildBeasts have been robbed' #mercuryprize"@Dan_Bonnington
"Stunned, no heartbroken, by the lack of Mercury nomination for Wild Beasts. A wonderful, unique band who could really benefit from the prize"@Alex_Berwick
"Wait, so no Wild Beasts at all?! Mercury are on crack..."@QuiffProFro... wait a sec, that was us...
Wild Beasts - Bed Of Nails by DominoRecordCo
Otherwise sorely overlooked are Radiohead. Sure, The King Of Limbs (review) isn't a powerhouse of an album, but it's a gorgeous record with a hauntingly delicate texture, and without a doubt one of the best British releases in the past year. Similarly, there's been no nod for Noah and the Whale's Last Night on Earth (review) or the Leisure Society's Into The Murky Water (review), despite both being examples of brilliant British pop music. When UK bands are making pop records with as much brains and heart as these two, it really is a shame that the fun-but-shallow Tinie Tempah album is getting yet more attention.
So, all in all a mixed bag. My fingers are crossed for either Metronomy or Everything Everything this year, but the real winners should have been Wild Beasts. I think the only people who haven't realised this are those on the panel - so do yourself a favour, and if you decide to indulge in some new purchases on the back of this year's nominations, I urge you to buy a copy of Smother and see what all the fuss is about.
Get Metronomy - The English Riviera on vinyl for £10 (bargain!) at HMV online / Get Wild Beasts - Smother on CD for £9 / Get Everything Everything - Man Alive on CD for less than a fiver