Mercury Prize Preview: Laura Marling, Hot Chip

  • The Independent looks at who should be on this year’s Mercury Prize shortlist, which is announced next Tuesday. The annual Mercury Prize is handed out to the British or Irish album of the year, determined by a committee of industry insiders. A shortlist of nominees is first announced, and the winner is revealed at a ceremony in September. Folk singer Laura Marling seems to be a shoo-in to make the cut this year and maybe walk away with the prize. Her sophomore album, I Speak Because I Can, has received spectacular reviews from critics.

    I would love to see electro band Hot Chip make the list for the first time since the band’s 2006 album, The Warning. These lovely dweebs simply keep going from strength to strength, and One Life Stand is their most emotional and satisfying album yet:

  • Amy Winehouse says her new album will be a lot like Back To Black.(Guardian)
  • The Guardian presents Robbie Williams and Take That‘s journey as a “love story” in photos. There are some pretty hysterical captions, including “It may come as a surprise when you see pictures such as this, but in 1991 Take That were aimed at the gay market.”
  • NME also has a photo gallery of Take That’s early days. Some of the band’s S&M-aerobics-instructor outfits were incredible. And man, Jason Orange (who turned 40 last week) was an absolute stunner back then.
  • The Guardian looks at 10 of music’s unsung heroes, including art rockers 10cc and electronic pioneers Daphne Oram and Gary Numan.

    Model/actress Elizabeth Hurley will get her own reality show – set on a farm. A source tells The Sun: “People tend to view her as this glamorous girl about town who spends all her time sitting on velvet cushions and drinking champagne with the stars. But the reality is she’s actually a bit of a down-to-earth country girl.”

  • Larry King has taken a dig at his rumored replacement, Piers Morgan, saying he wouldn’t know Morgan “if he were walking down the street.”(The Sun)

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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