So, ladies and gentlemen, just to clarify, in case there was any confusion, these are the ‘best’ twelve albums of the last twelve months.
Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not
Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan – Ballad of the Broken Seas
Editors – The Back Room
Guillemots – Through the Windowpane
Richard Hawley – Coles Corner
Hot Chip – The Warning
Muse – Black Holes & Revelations
Zoe Rahman – Melting Pot
Lou Rhodes – Beloved One
Scritti Politti- White Bread Black Beer
Sway – This is My Demo
Thom Yorke – The Eraser
And there was me thinking the best album of the last twelve months was Infadels’ ‘We Are Not The Infadels’. Yep, the judging panel of the Mercury Music Prize yesterday fulfilled their main role in the UK music calendar – that is to make everyone working in music utter the line, “oh for fucks sake, what about [insert your favourite album of the year]”.
Despite criticism from some music types that the list was pretty poor, and not representative of the great British music that has been released in the last twelve months, judging panel chair Simon Frith defended the shortlist, telling reporters: “I think it does reflect a good year in music. We could probably have come up with three different lists, which would equally have been credible. One of the criteria we do have is that these are records you could say quite honestly to all your friends that these are really worth listening to”.
Needless to say, more or less immediately the bookies declared Arctic Monkeys’ ‘Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not’ the 7/2 favourite to win the ï¿½20,000 prize. But then, Mercury judges rarely go with the favourite, so all eyes are probably on the less high profile releases in the list – from the likes of Isobel Campbell, Richard Hawley, Zoe Rahman and Lou Rhodes. Then again, it would be so obvious for the Arctic Monkeys to be declared album of the year, it isn’t the obvious candidate to win the Mercury Music Prize, so that probably means it will win – if you follow.
By that logic, Alex Turner et al will be banking their twenty grand on 5 Sep (well, they’ll win it on the evening of the 5 September, I’m guessing the banks will be shut by then, so it will have to be banked on the 6 September).