Mercury Prize 2011: Opinions and Streams

 So with July comes the announcement of the Mercury Prize. The once very prestigious awards ceremony sponsored by Barclaycard. Here’s my take on the nominees for this year’s grand prize of album of the year. Plus, I’ve tracked down some streams of my favourites for you.

Adele – 21
I’d really like her to go away for a while and moan about her life somewhere else but after her Brits success and supposedly phenomenal appeal, she’ll probably be favourite. Record sales don’t tend to favour you in the Mercury’s though.

Anna Calvi – Anna Calvi
I don’t get the appeal of Anna Calvi. Her sound doesn’t really go anywhere with me. It’s like listening to something beige want to be bright red. I just don’t get it. Which of course is good if you’re in the Mercury’s.

Elbow – Build a Rocket Boys!
They can’t win. They won with their last album and frankly this one isn’t as good. It’s as soaring and lovely, but there’s just not the hook of Grounds for Divorce or perfection of One Day Like this. Sorry Guy, kudos on the second nod from the judges though for another great record.
Listen here


Everything Everything – Man Alive
One of the top 5 albums of last year for me SEE HERE! and possibly my favourite from the batch, although it’s not aged as well as I had hoped it’s stil full of what the last 12 months should have sounded like for me. I hope they’re serious contenders.
Listen here

Ghostpoet – Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jam
One of the stars of 2011’s underground and coming up through the ranks quickly, Ghostpoet is my dark horse in this. Solid album and a man dedicated to his art. One of the best rap albums I’ve heard in a long time.
Listen here

Gwilym Simcock – Good Days at Schloss Elmau
Not heard of the guy before simply because he’s not my thing. A talented Jazz influenced pianist with great reviews across the board.

James Blake – James Blake
No surprise that Mr Blake has been nominated but the guy’s got a habbit of leaving it there. Solid album to contend with his own hype but you have to fear that one or two tracks got this nominated rather than the whole record. I’d happily see James win, and I’m quite excited to see his Mercury session.
Listen here


Katy B – On A Mission
Brit school, critical acclaim, solid support. I just can’t fathom why. She’s been credited with some accolade of bringing dubstep to the mainstream, but her album is a pop disaster for me, which is a shame considering everything. Please no.

King Creosote & Jon Hopkins – Diamond Mine
On the minimal listening I’ve done to this duo in order to enable me to make this post, I understand why it’s been nominated. Strong folk songs with potential for sales given the recognition of, say, the Mercury judges. But I’d much rather not see this win due to it’s monotony.

Metronomy – The English Riviera
I let off a little cheer for this one as I’m certain that Metronomy, whilst slowly becoming a big band, still don’t get anywhere near thr recognition they deserve. The English Riviera is one of the few albums here that’s not got a bad track on it. That said, the good tracks still miss something for me. Another record I’d be more than happy if it won, plus, Metronomy are cool. Stuff said so!
Listen here

PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
I’ve tried and tried, but I just can’t love this album. It’s well written and has such character, but I just can’t seem to really enjoy listening to it. Needless to say though, a worthy nominee for a fantastic songwriter in PJ Harvey.

Tinie Tempah – Disc-overy
To say I don’t like this record is an understatement and to that means, should this album win, I’ll buy a big box of donuts from Krispy Kreme and share them with anyone who’s willing to use a copy of the cd/a picture of his face, as a plate.
Prize not eligible in Scunthorpe. Sorry
Dear Krispy Kreme, should you wish to sponsor this blog, I’d much appreciate your help. Cheers guys 🙂

It’s a shame Jamie XX can’t be nominated for his album with Gil Scott Heron due to Scot-Heron’s nationality, but them’s the rules. Wild Beasts deserved a nomination as did Little Comets. Oh well, it’s not an awful list.

5 album streams in one post. I’m giving myself some credit for that one.

Take care of each other


One thought on “Mercury Prize 2011: Opinions and Streams

  1. Pingback: The Mercury Prize: It’s On, Sort Of « Braden In Fireworks

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