The shortlist for this year's Mercury Music Prize has flopped out into the world, for all the world almost impossible to tell from a 'two new albums for a tenner' list you'd see in HMV, with a non-rock album tacked on as a treat:
Dizzee Rascal - Maths and English
The View - Hats Off to the Buskers
Maps - We Can Create
Bat For Lashes - Fur and Gold
Klaxons - Myths of the Near Future
Jamie T - Panic Prevention
The Young Knives - Voices of Animals and Men
Fionn Regan - The End of History
Basquiat Strings with Seb Rochford - Basquiat Strings
Amy Winehouse - Back to Black
New Young Pony Club - Fantastic Playroom
Dizzee Rascal? Again? I suspect that he now only releases albums so the Mercury panel can feel they're doing right by young black music. There are some acts we love on the list, but can't help but feel they're diminished by being lobbed into this lumpen mix.
The Guardian blogged live from the announcement of the list. It's interesting that Nationwide make much in their ads about how they don't take cash from customers to buy stuff for shareholders, yet quite happily sponsor the Mercurys, taking cash that could have been spent on savers to buy musicians and music journalists booze.