And here are our tips for who will walk away with the prize on September 8. Join in by posting a comment below.
Tim Chester: It should be The Horrors or Speech Debelle, but it will probably be Led Bib, considering we’ve had two populist years in a row.
Paul Stokes: Friendly Fires: this has been the slow build all year, but with ‘Kiss Of Life’ coming out the week before the announcement (September 8) it looks set to explode. The timing feels right, and as the slow burn LP of the last 12 months I reckon it would be a worthy winner.
Luke Lewis: Friendly Fires deserve to win. And they’d really benefit from the exposure. But I have a feeling Bat For Lashes might win, if only as penance for 2007, when she was overlooked in favour of Klaxons.
David Moynihan: This will be the first year that I don’t bother placing a bet with the bookies, having lost cash on The Streets, won a tidy sum on Klaxons at 11-1, and lost again on Radiohead. It’s just too utterly, utterly unpredictable. I’d love to see Friendly Fires or The Horrors win for all the right reasons: they’re the albums I’ve been glued to over the past year (always a good measure) and they’re genuinely exciting releases. Were I to gamble, I’d go for Florence. There’s just a glow around her at the moment where seemingly nothing can go wrong.
Alan Woodhouse: Florence And The Machine. Not because it’s my favourite album on there (that would be The Horrors), but because it’s the sort of album those judges will lap up, and the competition isn’t exactly on the fierce side this year. It is, by quite some distance, the worst shortlist for the prize I have ever seen.
Hamish MacBain: It’ll be La Roux, no question: best songs, best aesthetics, most distinctive and fresh sounding. Horrors and Glasvegas sound too similar to each other. Kasabian are only nominated so they’ll show up. Bat For Lashes is too obvious a ‘Mercury’ album, as is Florence. Friendly Fires are a good outside bet, but ultimately not likely. All the others are the usual, box-ticking, tokenistic bullshit.