David Bowie, Disclosure, Laura Marling make Mercury Prize shortlist
David Bowie, Laura Marling, Discolsure, James Blake, Arctic Monkeys and seven other artists have been named to Britain's 2013 Mercury Prize shortlist.
Y'know who's not on there? Mumford & Sons. Now that we've taken a moment to recognize that, lets focus on the contenders, which leans overwhelmingly, again, toward rock and some toward electronica.
Bowie may be top dog here, with his extraordinary comeback "The Next Day," and because it's Bowie and, jeez guys, he's only been nominated one other time. Veterans Arctic Monkeys and Foals put out fine efforts, too, but can't compare to the Thin White Duke.
Newcomer Jake Bugg, Marling and Laura Mvula are certainly safer, folk and singer-songwriterly choices, though Marling has arguable dropped the album of her career with "Once I Was an Eagle," after already having made her way onto the shortlist with two other efforts in her minute time on this blessed earth. (Villagers are the dark, dirty little interlopers that could fit with the folk-rockers too.)
Blake's "Overgrown" may not be his best effort, but it's among these other dance/electronic groups that he'd be most recognizable. That, Hopkins' techno nightmare "Immunity" and Rudimental's lesser-known "Home" can't compare to Disclosure's exceptional "Settle," an album so emotionally sprawling and technically proficient, I hope the judges live and breathe it for this contest.
But 2013 didn't yield a big amount of diversity on this list. Mvula, Marling and all-women rockers Savages rep for the ladies. Mvula is the only lead who is a person of color; and besides her, Disclosure's samplings and Blake's sullen-soul/R&B, there's little music of color, with traditional R&B, jazz and rap shut out in this final tally. That doesn't mean the Merucury Prize hasn't been inventive in its choices in previous years, it's just particularly monochrome this year. Perhaps the Hopkins lobotomy will jog everyone's mind for next year.
The nominees were drawn from 220 albums submitted for the album of the year battle, and £20,000 will be awarded to the winner, announced on Oct. 30.
Here are the nominees and their albums:
Arctic Monkeys - AM
David Bowie - The Next Day
Disclosure - Settle
Foals - Holy Fire
Jake Bugg - Jake Bugg
James Blake - Overgrown
Jon Hopkins - Immunity
Laura Marling - Once I Was An Eagle
Laura Mvula - Sing to the Moon
Rudimental - Home
Savages - Silence Yourself
Villagers - Awayland
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
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