According to the Mercury Music Prize website, the nominations for the 2007 award are being announced tomorrow morning. Does anyone actually care this year? The publicity campaign seems to have been almost non-existent.
I'm going to stick my neck out and predict a nomination, and probable victory for Amy Winehouse and 'Back to Black'. I just can't see the award going to yet another tedious and derivative indie record this year, but I usually get these things hopelessly wrong - and Klaxons would also be a highly predictable winner.
It's highly unlikely that Arctic Monkeys will win two years in a row, but I can't see 'Favourite Worst Nightmare' not at least scoring a nomination. I'd also suggest that Dizzee Rascal is likely to get another nomination for the patchy, but occasionally brilliant 'Maths and English'. I'd be surprised if The Long Blondes and Cinematic Orchestra's slow burning triumph 'Ma Fleur' weren't nominated too, the latter being a strong outsider's bet to win.
The real competition this year is for the token jazz nomination, British jazz being in particularly good health at the moment. John Surman, Abram Wilson, Soweto Kinch, Ingrid Laubrock and Tom Cawley's Curios must all be possible contenders. Even more plausible, however, are the superficially skronky Led Bib and the genuinely superb Fraud. I'd like to see the latter win the prize.
Other artists I'd like to see nominated - The Twilight Sad, Jeremy Warmsley, Kode 9 and Spaceape, Skream!, Wiley, Flipron, Broken Family Band (did Track and Field put up the cash for 'Hello Love' to make the longlist?), Basquiat Strings, Fridge, Dani Siciliano, Alasdair Roberts.
Bloc Party's 'A Weekend In The City' took a pretty harsh critical lambasting - will the Mercury Judges see any merit in it?
It's all pointless anyway, how often does the best British album of the year actually win this award?