I like the Mercury prize. I'm lazy and I rely on the annual compilation album to point me towards my roughly-one-CD-per-year that I'll pay full-price for.
This year's was quite a mixture - well, a mixture of the incandescently talented Amy Winehouse, a disappointing Arctic Monkeys album, the token Classical act (Basquiat Strings), the token Jazz act (also Basquiat Strings - I'll explain later) and the usual Halls-of-Residence/Festival fodder.
Was it really a surprise that the blandest act of all won the day ? Good job McFly broke up or they might have scooped the prize this year ...
The best song from the Klaxon's album "Myths of the Near Future" is "Goldens Skans" which is at best a moderately distracting piece of guitar pop with chord progressions that are pure Coldplay (and how un-credible is that !). There is nothing fresh, new or at all interesting about their sound.
Let's compare with Basquiat Strings, a classical string quartet (two violins, viola and cello) with a jazz rhythm section (double bass and drums). There is more invention in one bar of their music than in whole tracks by Klaxons. Listen here if you don't believe me.
So, I would have chosen Amy Winehouse to win the Mercury Prize, for her all-round brilliance (sorry, gushing again) but since I already have a copy of "Back to Black", I'm off to buy the Basquiat Strings album.