Now in its fourth year, the Polaris Music Prize has gone from upstart award to much-coveted honour within the Canadian music scene. While still largely rooted within the "indie" milieu, this year's nominees run the gamut from Metric's sleek alt-pop to F---ed Up's power-punk to K'naan's world-hop. In the run-up to Monday's live-to-air ceremony (all 10 nominated acts are performing at the awards for the first time) there's been much debate over who will take home the $20,000 prize for best album when the 11-member jury meets that night to pick the winner. Here's a look at the merits of each of the 10 albums in the running for the Polaris -- let the wagering begin.
F---ed Up, 'The Chemistry of Common Life' (Full CD Stream)
How awesome would it be for the Toronto punk-rockers to win Polaris and have their in-your-face band name emblazoned everywhere? Then again, it's not like F---ed Up has had any trouble getting attention -- since releasing the 'Chemistry of Common Life' on Matador, the loud-and-proud sextet has even been reviewed in the august pages of the New York Times (which couldn't, of course, actually print their full name) while lefty/feminist frontman Damian "Pink Eyes" Abraham somehow became a commentator on Fox News (and Spinner contributor!)
But it's not simply their press hype and jaw-dropping live shows that have garnered their notoriety. 'Chemistry' has won raves from critics of all stripes for its surprisingly melodic take on the hardcore sound, offering eight-minute ragers, almost-pretty backing vocals and even flutes (yes, really). Yet they manage to make it all sound perfectly natural within the context of no-nonsense punk songs.
Political without being polemical, heavy
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