9 October 2013

Mercury round up



So all the blogs are in - we have all looked at the albums on offer and made up our own minds.  On the whole I will have to say it is a disappointing list this year.  So what I'm going to do here is put up the results with a link to the blog, a summation of the album and the mark and then show you who we think should win (which will no doubtfully be the album that will NOT win - Mercury do like their curve balls). Mercury winners in the past have been a strange bunch; when they pick the obvious, it is really obvious such as when Primal Scream won the first award from Screamadellica (what a bag of shite that album is).  Then they go for the out there, you would never this of picking that one ever, never record; such as M People winning for Elegant Slumming or Speech Therapy by Speech Debelle.  They might be decent albums but they were never the right album (at least for me).  When you look at the list of some of the losers along the way, you have some really classic albums such as Music For The Jilted Generation by The Prodigy, The Help Album by various groups for the charity WARCHILD, Therapy - Troublegum, Lemon Jelly - Lost Horizons; there is many an album which deserved this award, but there can only be one ala Highlander.  So here is out look at the picks of this year:

David Bowie - The Next Day - 10 out of ten 

I hope that Bowie does more (even some shows would be good), but if this is the last wave goodbye then whilst I would be sad to see him go, it would be on such a perfect moment.  Perfection from the perfectionist. - Eddie

Villagers - Awayland - 4 out of ten 

This is only the band's second album and both have been nominated for awards, but I am struggling to see how this can be the case.  Either the British music scene is awfully short of original bands (I know this is not the case), the band or their management know friends in high places (probably the case) or the sheep are leading the pack.  Confusing, slightly dull but produced well enough. - Eddie

Foals - Holy Fire - 4 out of ten 

I listened to Holy Fire four times in a row and it just washed over me in a forgettable wave of inoffensiveness. It’s not particularly unpleasant or anything it’s just unremarkable and doesn’t do enough to stand out of the growing throng of ponderous 80’s influenced guitar pop bands that sound just like Foals.  - Luke

Disclosure - Settle - 7 out of ten 

Ok, I'll be brutally honest. Settle has for me bursed some surprises, none of them unpleasant, and while some songs from this piece haven't completely endeared to me, the important thing that shines out to the world is its maturity and confidence. And with one or two critics heralding the dawn of "Disclosuremania", it's a big shout but from my perspective, they're a quiet revelation and certainly able to rub shoulders with Daft Punk and David Guetta comfortably. - Marc

James Blake - Overgrown - 5 out of ten

So yeah, sometimes, when Overgrown isn’t sounding like Antony & The Johnsons it sounds like the music that was on MTV specifically for folk who like hallucinogens in the early hours. - Luke

Laura Marling - Once I Was An Eagle - 8 out of ten

Overall, this is a greatly successful album and one that I feel is actually worthy of the praise that is being thrown at its feet; but because of that it is obvious that it will probably not win the overall prize.  But for me, it has won my heart and my mind. - Eddie

Rudimental - Home - 6 out of ten

I guess this album could be cut from the 16-track deluxe versionto about 8 or 9 good tracks.  This isn't bad.  I reckon this album will please both Drum & Bass aficionados and casual bandwagon jumpers like me.  And this is probably the effect the was hoped for. Pete

Jon Hopkins - Immunity - 6 out of ten 

Many critics have lauded it to dizzy heights and maintain its accolade is richly deserved. I suppose so in a way, some tracks I have enjoyed, but some equally I feel don't feel adept to what could be an enlightening record if Jon Hopkins kept faith with some of the beats. It might age well and bring some much needed publicity to his fieldcraft but for now, like its peers, some albums right now are in the lap of the gods and the hands of the judges. - Marc

Jake Bugg - Jake Bugg - 3 out of ten

Some of the songs are ok; "Lighting Bolt" is a quirkily little number, "Two Fingers" is ok and "Taste It" is a little bit of a foot stomper.  But these are the first three songs out of a fourteen track album, and it get more monotone as the album goes on; there is no pick up and this is one of the albums that is being hailed as a forerunner for the Mercury Prize.  If that is the case, then the British music scene needs a drip and some medical attention, as it has just over dosed.  There is better stuff that this out there, a lot of it was not nominated and as much as I don't want to sound negative, this is a case of a creative management team doing wonders with the dull and lifeless. - Eddie

Laura Mvula - Sing To The Moon - 3 out of ten

It's great to have a decent lady singer who doesn't rely on shaking her money-maker who is doing music that doesn't require major surgery but a bit more variety wouldn't have gone amiss. - Chris


Artic Monkeys - AM - 7 out of ten 

This album, to me, who has more or less ignored the career of the band, is the sound of a band experimenting with a few different sounds, and doing whatever it is they want.  I'm reminded of Bowie in parts, Queens of the Stone Age in others (Josh Homme appears on here as payback for Turner appearing on Like Clockwork.)  Thing is, it seems that no matter who or what they sound like, they are unmistakeably Arctic Monkeys.  And I almost hate to say it.  No, I'm proud.  I kinda like this album. - Pete

Savages - Silence Yourself - 7 out of ten 

This is really unlike anything I've ever heard before, although I reckon that's more down to the fact I have a narrow scope for music (Hey, I tried to branch out but I got the first Duffy album - enough said). The only band I can think about comparing these with is probably Joy Division but I think that's more to do with them being a similar style, a similar genre. Hopefully, Savages will become as popular but not release a song as crap as "Love Will Tear Us Apart". Yes, I said it. - Chris

So, as you can see the results work as follows -

12th - Jake Bugg - Jake Bugg - 3 out of ten (will probably win)

11th - Laura Mvula - Sing To The Moon - 3 out of ten
10th - Villagers - Awayland - 4 out of ten
09th - Foals - Holy Fire - 4 out of ten

08th - James Blake - Overgrown - 5 out of ten
07th - Jon Hopkins - Immunity - 6 out of ten
06th - Rudimental - Home - 6 out of ten
05th - Artic Monkeys - AM - 7 out of ten
04th - Disclosure - Settle - 7 out of ten
03th - Savages - Silence Yourself - 7 out of ten
02th - Laura Marling - Once I Was An Eagle - 8 out of ten
01th - David Bowie - The Next Day - 10 out of ten (will probably not win)

So there you have it, I would do our own version but that is not the point of this blog.  We are just here to review.  Good luck to all involved and please for the love of the deity make sure Jake Bugg does not win!!!!

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