Looking at the shortlist, one thing has become apparent: the team that put this whole thing together really do know how to please everyone, as everyone from Jon Hopkins all the way to Arctic Monkeys appear on this list. It is really good to see DJ's being put alongside acoustic singers for a change, and it makes for a truly unique and hard to choose group of albums.
The list goes as follows: Jon Hopkins' 'Immunity' (think seriously trippy techno); Foals' 'Holy Fire' (nice, melodic rock); Arctic Monkey's 'AM' (catchy, fast rock); Laura Mvula's 'Sing to the Moon' (poppy, happy goodness); Disclosure's 'Settle' (high flying DJ'ing); James Blake's 'Overgrown' (laid back musical experimentation); Rudimental's 'Home' (radio friendly dance); Laura Marling's 'Once I Was An Eagle' (sheer acoustic joy); Villagers' 'Awayland' (romantic singer/songwriting at its best); and David Bowie's 'The Next Day' (if you don't know who David Bowie is, then leave). This is definitely one of the strongest shortlists this prize has had for years!
William Hill has David Bowie and Arctic Monkeys out as favorites at 4/1, and to be honest, I can see why. Not because of how good their albums were, but because of how big the names are. If you ask for my opinion it should go to either James Blake for doing something with music that not many people have ever done before, or Laura Marling just for having the most beautiful voice I have ever heard. But regardless of my opinion, this shortlist is full of very good albums, and come the 30th of October one musician's life will become much more enjoyable; this prize is truly one of the biggest in music today. Combine this with live performances from all these artists leading up to the awards show at the best venue in England - The Roundhouse in Camden - and it is clear that the following month in music is going to be a very enjoyable one for everyone involved.