Arctic Monkeys chase Mercury

Winehouse is joint favorite

LONDON — The shortlist for this year’s Nationwide Mercury Music Prize was revealed Tuesday, with two former winners featured among the dozen nominees.

Last year’s winners, Arctic Monkeys have been made the bookmakers’ joint favorites, with their sophomore set “Favorite Worst Nightmare” given an equal chance alongside Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black” album.

Rap artist Dizzee Rascal, who won the prestigious award in 2003, also finds himself in the running through his latest album “Maths and English.”

The Mercury Prize is awarded to the best album of the year by a British or Irish act. It is voted on by a panel of music industry journalists and experts and historically those critics have been known to pick the outsiders as the eventual winners, rather than those that have found commercial success with consumers.

However, nominees for the award usually experience a sales spike, meaning that the record industry takes the event seriously and most of the nominees attend the ceremony, which this year will be held on Sept. 4 in London.

In addition to the more mainstream acts, the judges also annually choose folk and classical acts to compete in the event, making the prize as eclectic as possible.

The full list of nominees is:

  • Arctic Monkeys — “Favorite Worst Nightmare”

  • Dizzee Rascal — “Maths and English”

  • The View — “Hats Off to the Buskers”

  • Maps — “We Can Create”

  • Bat for Lashes — “Fur and Gold”

  • Klaxons — “Myths of the Near Future”

  • Jamie T — “Panic Prevention”

  • The Young Knives — “Voices of Animals and Men”

  • Fionn Regan — “The End of History”

  • Basquiat Strings with Seb Rochford — “Basquiat Strings”

  • Amy Winehouse — “Back to Black”

  • New Young Pony Club — “Fantastic Playroom”
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