Mercury Music Prize 2008 – The Shortlist

It’s that time of the year again! Below are the 12 nominees for 2008’s Mercury Music Prize. And the latest odds as of the 22nd of July.

* Adele – 19 8/1
* British Sea Power – Do You Like Rock Music? 8/1
* Burial – Untrue 6/1
* Elbow – The Seldom Seen Kid 6/1
* Estelle – Shine 8/1
* Laura Marling – Alas I Cannot Swim 8/1
* Neon Neon – Stainless Style 10/1
* Portico Quartet – Knee-Deep In The North Sea 10/1
* Rachel Unthank & The Winterset – The Bairns 10/1
* Radiohead – In Rainbows 5/1
* Robert Plant & Alison Krauss – Raising Sand 6/1
* The Last Shadow Puppets – The Age Of The Understatement 5/1

For the most part the choices are quite predictable. And the odds don’t really seem to favour any obvious favourite, which is wise as the judging panel rarely picks any ‘favourite’.

Radiohead are always a dead cert to be nominated whenever they can be. The list has the typical rock/’indie’ slant to it with the usual, slightly patronising, ‘Token Jazz’ (Portico Quartet), ‘Token Folk’ (Rachel Unthank) and the ‘Token Black’ (Estelle) choices.

The only really suprising absences are, in my opinion, Portishead, for returning with a fresh and imaginiative return that is easily up there with their previous peak. And Coldplay, for being generally popular and not as shit as they used to be.

The smart money would be on Radiohead, the general consensus even by casual Radiohead fans, is that it’s the strongest album they’ve done since the masterpeice that is Ok Computer. But as is common with the Mercury Music Prize, a complete outsider and relative unknown will probably win. So perhaps a speculative fiver on Laura Marling or Burial might be wise?

Overall, it’s a strong list. I shall be buying the few albums on the list that I haven’t heard or have been meaning to get around to buying, just so I can be justifably outraged when the judges commit another Klaxonesque blunder like last year.

When I’ve listened to all the albums and when I’ve got more time I’ll do a more indepth analysis of the nominees with lots of samples and downloads too.


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