Mercury Music Awards reveal nominations

This years nominations follow the current craze for female electro pop with the inclusion of La Roux, Florence and former contender Bat for Lashes – with the likelihood of Florence winning because of her slightly more oeuvre – eccentric sound –  we are definitely not short on eclectic female singers at the moment!  Though why they have to be all included (apart from the mediocre Little boots)  is beyond me!   Isn’t it just a little formulaic? Shouldn’t the prize represent British music across the board? Where are the Doves – after making the album of their career they’ve been completely ignored!

The Mercury music awards also prides itself on innovation and the cutting edge – so why do we always have a traditional folk band in the nominations (Sweet Billy Pilgrim)? Are many of the bands really cutting edge or are they just recycling old sounds – Kasabian?
If the award is for the best British album then surely the Manic Street Preachers should be in the mix with their brilliant return to form in ‘The Journal of the Plague Lovers’ – Glasvegas’ album sounds good on the first few listens but will it stand the test of time – probably not?

Always controversial and polemic the Mercury has again divided opinion.  Should it just feature independent artists? – essentially this is it’s strongest asset – instead of following current trends, tastes and fashions, should it judge on musical merit alone?  It tries to be all things to all people and quite often fails to define the years musical benchmark. 

Although highly respected as an award it can often appear slightly confused in its objectives – is it designed to publicise and award the best new talent in Britain?  Or should it just carry on picking random nominations of both established acts and new artists, some of which are based on popularity rather than musical scope?  Until it defines its musical mandate it will continue to excite, baffle and annoy in equal measure.

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