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July 22, 2008 12:46 PM   Subscribe

The Mercury Prize shortlist for 2008 is: Adele - 19 | British Sea Power - Do You Like Rock Music? | Burial - Untrue | Elbow - The Seldom Seen Kid | Estelle - Shine | Laura Marling - Alas I Cannot Swim | Neon Neon - Stainless Style | Portico Quartet - Knee-Deep in the North Sea | Rachel Unthank & The Winterset - The Bairns | Radiohead - In Rainbows | Robert Plant & Alison Krauss - Raising Sand | The Last Shadow Puppets - The Age of the Understatement posted by chuckdarwin (45 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
Go British Sea Power, SIS BOOM BAH!
posted by carsonb at 12:49 PM on July 22, 2008


That Burial record rocked my world. One of my favorite records of the last year or so.
posted by chupacabra at 12:54 PM on July 22, 2008 [3 favorites]


I'm a huge fan of Marling's. Her record is fantastic, and the songbox idea is great. Burial has managed to make the only album of its type that I actually like (and own). Rachel Unthank was awe-inspiring on the Culture Show recently. Plant and Krauss are simply astounding live with Burnett... I don't think we should get into radiohead again in this thread; every hater on this site already had their say recently. Elbow's album is strong... and The Last Shadow Puppets could easily win.

Coldplay are notably absent, as is Duffy.
posted by chuckdarwin at 12:54 PM on July 22, 2008


chupacabra, I adore it, and have actually bought it for people... people I knew would normally hate that sort of thing.
posted by chuckdarwin at 12:55 PM on July 22, 2008


So they're just getting around to making a best-of list of 2007 in JULY of 2008?
posted by rooftop secrets at 1:08 PM on July 22, 2008


And you're going to leave off Neon Bible, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, Boxer, Person Pitch AND Sound of Silver??
posted by rooftop secrets at 1:09 PM on July 22, 2008


After unashamedly browsing youtube having not heard of some of these artists, I can say that I don't disagree with their selections.

Here are a couple of the vids I liked after preliminary research...

The Last Shadow Puppets - The Age of the Understatement
kinda has a They Might Be Giants/Muse - Knights of Cydonia feel to it. My favorite part: 1:41

Elbow - Grounds For Divorce
has that twangy/distorted Beck thing going for it, and going for it well. Plus, the bar setting reminds me of Tombstone
posted by clearly at 1:11 PM on July 22, 2008


Oh I see, these are British awards.... still a bit late.
posted by rooftop secrets at 1:12 PM on July 22, 2008


rooftop secrets,

from wikipedia: "The Mercury Prize, formerly the Mercury Music Prize and currently known as the Nationwide Mercury Prize for sponsorship reasons, is an annual music prize awarded for the best album from the United Kingdom or Ireland."
posted by clearly at 1:14 PM on July 22, 2008


rooftop secrets, they always do it in July:

The Mercury Prize, formerly the Mercury Music Prize and currently known as the Nationwide Mercury Prize for sponsorship reasons, is an annual music prize awarded for the best album from the United Kingdom or Ireland. It was established by the BPI and BARD (the British Association of Record Dealers) in 1992 as an alternative to the industry-dominated BRIT Awards. It was originally sponsored by the now-defunct telecoms company Mercury, followed in 1998 by Technics and starting in 2004 the Nationwide Building Society. It is often observed that bands who are nominated for, or indeed win the prize experience a large increase in album sales, particularly for the lesser known nominees. Nominations are chosen by a selected panel of music executives in the music industry in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. The Mercury Prize also has a reputation for being awarded to outside chances rather than the favourites.

The awards usually take place in September but nominated albums are announced in July. In 2008 the shortlist was announced on July 22, with the awards ceremony scheduled for September 9.


In 2007 the shortlist was announced on July 17 at The Hospital in London's Covent Garden. The awards ceremony took place on September 4. The winners were Klaxons with their album Myths Of The Near Future. The list of nominees for 2007 included two previous winners. The Arctic Monkeys were victorious in 2006, winning with their album Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not. Dizzee Rascal took home the prize in 2003 for his album Boy in Da Corner.

Less well known were the nine bands and artists that fielded debut albums: Basquiat Strings with Seb Rochford, Bat for Lashes, Jamie T, Klaxons, Maps, New Young Pony Club, Fionn Regan, Young Knives and The View. The other nominee was Amy Winehouse, who was nominated for her debut album Frank in 2004.

posted by chuckdarwin at 1:16 PM on July 22, 2008


damnit, I effed up that Elbow link... Here it is
posted by clearly at 1:16 PM on July 22, 2008


After unashamedly browsing (both) youtube (and the awards page, and last years FPP as linked to, and) having not heard of some most of these artists, I can say that I don't understand what all the fuss is about. Sorry to be all bah humbug and shit, but I routinely have the same reaction when I browse Pitchfork or myspace for bands I've read about but never heard (something I do every so often and for long stretches of time). I'm a real music nut with diverse taste, but 99% of what I hear today leaves me cold. Although, every once and a while I will hear something that catches my fancy (today for instance I first heard this band and liked them quite a bit).
posted by ornate insect at 1:22 PM on July 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


past winners:

1992 Primal Scream – Screamadelica
1993 Suede – Suede
94 M People – Elegant Slumming
95Portishead – Dummy
96 Pulp – Different Class
97 Roni Size/Reprazent – New Forms
98 Gomez – Bring It On
99 Talvin Singh – Ok
00 Badly Drawn Boy – The Hour of Bewilderbeast
01 PJ Harvey – Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea
02 Ms. Dynamite – A Little Deeper
03 Dizzee Rascal – Boy in Da Corner
04 Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand
05 Antony and the Johnsons – I Am a Bird Now
06 Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not
07 Klaxons – Myths of the Near Future
posted by chuckdarwin at 1:22 PM on July 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


Wow, hard to believe Suede won this before.
posted by Anderson_Localized at 1:30 PM on July 22, 2008


It seems like the Robert Plant / Alison Krauss album is a weird fit. Sure, he's English, but she's American, the producer is American, the label is American, and it was recorded in America.
posted by Paid In Full at 1:32 PM on July 22, 2008


Poor England. I can only hope the few that I haven't heard are really good, as the ones that I have are boring crit-rock (or, in Burial's case, boring crit-IDM).
posted by klangklangston at 1:37 PM on July 22, 2008


the only thing wrong with the robert plant/alison krauss nomination is robert plant.
posted by msconduct at 1:47 PM on July 22, 2008


This list needs more Foals.
posted by afx237vi at 2:05 PM on July 22, 2008


The Burial album was alright, but I don't think it holds up under this summer heat. I haven't listened to it in a while; I don't dislike it, I just don't understand it's high regard. Someone should tell me why it's so awesome. Is it all AM radio or street recordings or something? Is it because big space reverbs are the new black?
posted by fuq at 2:12 PM on July 22, 2008


Although I'm not sappy enough to listen to Elbow any more, I'm very happy to see that they're still around. I haven't had a chance yet to listen to this new stuff, but as a moody teenager I was known to blast Cast of Thousands like some pre-Polyphonic Spree hippie-ster. While weeping.

msconduct: Hey, man. Just, like, cool it.
posted by cmoj at 2:13 PM on July 22, 2008


If you like this stuff, a lot is available on emusic.com:

Adele/19

British Sea Power/Do you like...

Burial/Untrue

Elbow (no SSK, though)

Estelle (no Shine)

Neon Neon (no Stainless Style)

Portico Quartet/Knee-Deep...


Radiohead/In Rainbows

posted by tractorfeed at 2:32 PM on July 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


Eh, it's all British. I suppose that's the point. If you like this stuff, you likely already found it all a while back... /snark snark.

I don't like music awards much, but I do like The Last Shadow Puppets and Elbow too. And yeah, I liked the Foals much better than most of those. I like The Plants too... but they're not BRITISH!!

Bloc Party is conspicuously absent. (Curious new song name...)
posted by mrgrimm at 2:45 PM on July 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Nice to see British Sea Power get the nod, and I'm an Elbow fan myself-- there's always room in my heart for unabashed romanticism and big melodic landscapes. They are who Coldplay fans should be listening to, and maybe will when they grow up.

I guess my fantasy that Burial will turn out to be the pseudonym for a middle-aged white housewife in Essex is likely to remain that, though. Too bad-- I think that would be excellent.
posted by jokeefe at 2:50 PM on July 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


And was Portishead eligible? Because that's the only way they didn't get on this list...
posted by jokeefe at 2:51 PM on July 22, 2008


Also, the Elbow b-sides are a joy. And there's a lot of them (I put together a playlist this weekend). Just saying.
posted by jokeefe at 2:53 PM on July 22, 2008


Yeah, missing Portishead is the glaring error for me, but the rest of the list is not too bad. In particular, Rachael Unthank is a good choice as token folkie.

Alas, much as I like British Sea Power, their album is not up to company like Elbow and Radiohead - still, they got wrestlers into Jools Holland.
posted by patricio at 2:57 PM on July 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


I've tried Elbow again and again—they feel like Seal for Radiohead fans, and I mean that in a bad way.
posted by klangklangston at 3:16 PM on July 22, 2008


I'm a real music nut with diverse taste, but 99% of what I hear today leaves me cold.

Heh. Don't worry, happens to everyone eventually.
posted by Leon at 3:20 PM on July 22, 2008 [2 favorites]




Since it came out, I think I've heard In Rainbows in its entirety over 50 times. Going by that alone, I think it should win.

Then again, I have no say in the matter.
posted by flippant at 3:47 PM on July 22, 2008




The opening four songs on Do You Like Rock Music? are the first third of a great album, but the rest of it, while not bad, is not that great album.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 3:54 PM on July 22, 2008


Also, I highly approve of British Sea Power's track Waving Flags being a commentary on and rejection of racial and nationalist tensions but at the same time an unabashed ode to intoxicated revelry.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 4:11 PM on July 22, 2008


Thanks for the clip page. Astonishing, though. With the exception of the Burial, not one of these pieces would have sounded out-of-place 20 years ago.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 4:12 PM on July 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think Laura Marling is very talented, but winning the UK's top music prize at 18 would not, perhaps, be such a good thing.

And I'm really having a wtf moment over Portishead not being nominated. There has to be some rational explanation, right?
posted by jokeefe at 4:37 PM on July 22, 2008


jokeefe, no one has ever won the prize twice, and Portishead won it for Dummy in 95. It could be that it was not nominated because of that. Radiohead has been nominated four times.
posted by chuckdarwin at 4:46 PM on July 22, 2008


There was strong betting on the Arctic Monkeys winning twice in a row last year, wasn't there?

I seem to recall so, anyway.

Not to nitpick, but RH's been nominated three times, Thom Yorke once.
posted by jokeefe at 4:55 PM on July 22, 2008


97, 01, 03, 08 = four nominations, surely? I was counting this newest nom as one of the four...
posted by chuckdarwin at 4:59 PM on July 22, 2008


Wow, hard to believe Suede won this before.
posted by Anderson_Localized at 1:30 PM on July 22 [+] [!]


Why? Hard to believe they won it for "Suede" not "Dog Man Star", or hard to believe they won it rather than The Auteurs that year?
posted by debord at 5:06 PM on July 22, 2008


97, 01, 03, 08 = four nominations, surely? I was counting this newest nom as one of the four...

D'oh! Apologies.
posted by jokeefe at 5:36 PM on July 22, 2008


And I'm really having a wtf moment over Portishead not being nominated. There has to be some rational explanation, right?

Simple, really: The music industry's ability to make dull, worthy, joyless pap has moved on by leaps and bounds in the last 10 years, and now Portishead is considered too much like fun to be allowed on the list.
posted by cillit bang at 1:32 AM on July 23, 2008


M People won?!? And they still claim to have some respectability? Last time I heard M People was on the opening credits of The Biggest Loser.
posted by PenDevil at 2:34 AM on July 23, 2008


I love the strong insularity of the British Music scene. I don't care for much of what they produce but it at least means I can see North American acts in small venues when they tour on this side of the pond. I saw the Long Winters with maybe 10-15 other people. Broken Social Scene, the Stars and Fiest with around 200 at each show. The National with about 400. I'd never get that close in Toronto.
posted by srboisvert at 3:50 AM on July 23, 2008


It seems like the Robert Plant / Alison Krauss album is a weird fit. Sure, he's English, but she's American, the producer is American, the label is American, and it was recorded in America.


Indeed. It's the best record of the bunch (YMMV) but it is totally American in every which way. The musical style, the execution and production, the supporting players, etc. Plant is the only thing British about the project.

Now if the Mercury Prize is intending to reward Plant they should have just given the 2003 award to How the West Was Won.
posted by Ber at 6:29 AM on July 23, 2008


Am I the only person who finds Burial.... boring?

(oh lord they will take away all my indie cred for this)
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 9:49 PM on July 23, 2008


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