The nominations for the 2005 Mercury Music Prize are out and, as you would expect, it's a mixed bag (all quotes are from the Mercury judges):
The Magic Numbers – The Magic Numbers
"The Magic Numbers celebrate the joy of singing pop harmonies so fervently that it’s impossible not to cheer along."
M.I.A. – Arular
"Hip-hop, ragga, dancehall, pop and electro never sounded such perfect soulmates."
Polar Bear – Held On The Tips Of Fingers
"Held On The Tips Of Fingers reaches across musical boundaries – adventurous, unexpected and engaging."
Kaiser Chiefs – Employment
"Employment bristles with wit, melodies and eloquence."
Maximo Park – A Certain Trigger
"Spiky, smart and frenetic – welcome to Maximo Park."
Hard-Fi – Stars Of CCTV
"Streetwise guitar music fuelled by ska-inflected songs of suburban frustration and ambition.”
KT Tunstall – Eye To The Telescope
"A wonderfully assured exhibition of the art of the singer-songwriter – an enticing musical journey."
Bloc Party – Silent Alarm
"Edgy, exciting and assertive – compelling rock songs performed with swagger."
Seth Lakeman – Kitty Jay
"Drawing on the dramatic songs and tales of his native Dartmoor, Seth Lakeman makes music that is urgent, thrilling and haunting."
Coldplay – X&Y
"Coldplay take on the world...and win."
Antony And The Johnsons – I Am A Bird Now
"Pianist and torch singer Antony has a voice to pin you to the wall – and songs that send shivers down the spine."
The Go! Team – Thunder, Lightning, Strike
"A joyous carnival of sound – exuberant and vital."
Right now the clever money seems to be on the Kaiser Chiefs (currently at 4/1 with the bookies), while Coldplay and Bloc Party are next in line at 6/1.
Feel free to use the comments section to argue with the Londonist music reviewers about who should win.