Mercury Prize 2013 – An Evaluation

It’s pretty difficult to say as always who will be the winner of the 2013 Mercury Prize and I’m not about to make any definitive predictions about it either. However, personally I’d be pretty happy to see Savages win the prize this time around. They may not be the popular or the obvious choice but they made a very bold and prominent statement both musically and lyrically and stylistically with Silence Yourself which I thoroughly enjoyed when I looked at it earlier in the year. I find it hard to see Rudimental winning it while Disclosure and Jon Hopkins are in the contest too. Between the three, the latter two are far more imaginative and creative while Rudimental fall more into basic song structures and vocals that do work but look primitive next to Disclosure and Hopkins. The same can be said when comparing Jake Bugg and Arctic Monkeys. Jakes debut was fantastic but The Monkeys are at the peak of their career and have produced an album in AM that has been refined at it’s core and much more considered in musical structure and textures, even if they may be a populist vote. But they have won it before of course so that may work against them. If Jake is a folk musician then Laura Marling would also be a step ahead for the basic reasons of being more knowledgeable and experienced and producing more thought provoking work with Once I Was An Eagle.  James Blake has produced such a soulful album with a raw atmospheric quality to it but Laura Mvula has created a much more novel and unusual album in comparison to him and she is being hailed as a possible favourite. Using this train of thought then Villages would also be pushed back. Foals have done well with Holy Fire to create an interesting and developed sound while keeping it catchy and rhythmic too. They can certainly by-pass some nominees without a problem. Then that just leaves Bowie. Though his shock comeback was a massive and very welcome surprise, it doesn’t hold up against McCartney’s efforts and therefore shouldn’t do so against most of the nominees. Nothing Bowie does is ever of a poor standard but it does seem that he has been placed there on the circumstances of his album rather than its content.