Albums to watch

Mercury_Prize_PJ

The Mercury Prize 2011

Far be from us to say "we told you so", but - we told you so.


When the nominations for the Mercury Prize were announced, we predicted PJ Harvey would take the honours. And last night it duly came to pass.

The bookies had installed her as one of the favourites alongside all-conquering Adele, but we had complete confidence in Polly Jean. Why so? Because her album Let England Shake has by some distance the highest ADM rating of the Mercury contenders.

What's more, it sits proudly at No.3 in our all-time chart, making it one of the most widely-acclaimed albums of the past few years.

Adele, for all her quadruple-platinum-selling success, has a relatively modest 7.1 ADM rating for her album 21.

OK, so we got it wrong last year, when we urged you to put your money on Paul Weller's Wake Up The Nation only to see The Modfather pipped by The xx's debut - but in our defence there was only a marginal difference in the ADM ratings for the two albums: 8.13 and 8.10.

This time round, there was never any doubt.

For the record, here's the ratings for the 10 shortlisted albums to have featured in the ADM chart (Ghostpoet and Gwilym Simcock were not reviewed by the majority of our sources).


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8.7
PJ Harvey

Let England Shake
A richly inventive album that's unlike anything else in Harvey's back catalogue
The Guardian
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8.0
James Blake

James Blake
Gorgeous, indelible tunes that are as generous in content as they are restrained in delivery.
Pitchfork
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7.9
King Creosote & Jon Hopkins

Diamond Mine
The final results are of such subtle beauty they take the breath clean away.
music OMH

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7.8
Elbow

Build A Rocket Boys!
If anything, 'satisfyingly weathered' may fit the bill best - its imperfections only serve to hold the interest further.
This Is Fake DIY

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7.6
Anna Calvi

Anna Calvi
Pop has its place and all that, but for serious lovers of serious music, Calvi is the one to watch.
Independent On Sunday

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7.6
Metronomy

The English Riviera
An album that has been thought about, craftsmanship that has been contemplated and carefully created, this is a pure joy.
State

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7.4
Katy B

On A Mission

She scrupulously avoids the kind of melismatic over-singing that is the female pop star's usual lot in a post-TV talent show world.
The Guardian

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7.3
Everything Everything

Man Alive
A captivating, thrilling listen from start to finish - 'Man Alive' is the best British guitar debut of 2010.
The Fly

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7.1
Adele

21
Watch out here for the majestic closing track, Someone Like You - a torch song exquisitely delivered. Brilliant.
The Irish Times

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6.2
Tinie Tempah

Disc-Overy
Genre-hopping at the pace of a particle in the Hadron Collider.
NME

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