I use it as an alarm clock to remind me mid-year that I don't want to turn into one of those clueless middle-aged men who thinks The Smiths might still be making albums, so I'd better check that I've listened to a shed-load of new music.
But it's a pretty poor line-up this year :-
- Paul Weller and Corinne Bailey Rae have made better albums
- Dizzee Rascal is over-rated, over-exposed and under-good.
- Two lots of insipid folky Irish bollox.
- Laura Marling is very good, but Ellie Goulding is much, much better and she didn't get a nomination
- The xx, Foals, I am Kloot, Biffy Clyro are the kind of bands supported by "students with too many posters of Betty Blue, The Blues Brothers, Big Blue and Blue Velvet on their blue bloody walls!" (ref: Spaced), so I'm never likely to approve.
In addition to the Ellie Goulding snub, there's another absentee I can't understand - Gorillaz's "Plastic Beach".
This is exactly the kind of album I expect the Mercury Prize to tip me off about - what's not to like about an album with tracks featuring collaborations between Mos Def and Bobby Womack, and between Mick Jones and Paul Simonon (my favourite bass guitarist - "Guns of Brixton" - goosebumps) ?
Oh well, there's always next year.