Okay, Anglophiles, time to place your bets. The coveted Mercury Music Prize has announced its list of 2007 nominees. The award goes to a U.K. music act in recognition of an album released this year. It’s sort of a “Album of the Year”/”Artist of the Year” award, and in the hype-heavy U.K. music world, it’s a big damn deal. So who are the 12 nominees this year? Both old, new, and former Mercury winners, they are: Arctic Monkeys, Fionn Regan, Klaxons, Bat for Lashes, New Young Pony Club, The View, Dizzee Rascal, Jamie T, The Young Knives, Maps, Basquiat Strings, and Amy Winehouse.
Who will win? Tradition indicates that the winner is often a new act with a load of critical and commercial support. Though, it’s also worth noting that acts like Blur, Radiohead (Roni Size’s New Forms beat OK Computer!), Oasis, Coldplay, Beth Orton, and The Streets, have never won despite multiple nominations.The best example of a crossover breakthrough from this year’s list, would be Amy Winehouse (she was nominated in 2003 for her album Frank). Arctic Monkeys and Dizzee Rascal have each already won the prize for their debut records, and no act has ever won the Mercury twice. Don’t count out dark horse possibilities like Jamie T, Bat for Lashes, or The Young Knives. In the end, it’s anyone’s guess. The winner will be announced September 4, and it will mean absolutely nothing to most of America (isn’t that right, Ms. Dynamite and Badly Drawn Boy?). Oh, and Mark Ronson would probably have been a shoo-in this year, except he hasn’t been a Brit for a long time.