A while back I wrote about the creation of the Polaris Music Prize, a new award recognizing excellence in music by naming the top Canadian album of the year. At the time I gave a suggested list of nominees, which, as it turns out, included a few of the actual finalists: Broken Social Scene’s self-titled album, Sarah Harmer’s I’m a Mountain and The New Pornographers’ Twin Cinema. The other finalists are Cadence Weapon’s Breaking Kayfabe, The Deadly Snakes’ Porcella, Final Fantasy’s He Poos Clouds, K’Naan’s The Dusty Foot Philosopher, Malajube’s Trompe L’Oeil, Metric’s Live It Out and Wolf Parade’s Apologies to the Queen Mary.
On Monday the winner will be announced to much fanfare, including the cover story in this week’s Eye Weekly, a Toronto news and entertainment paper. The albums recognized are all deserving, although I only know the Malajube, Deadly Snakes, Cadence Weapon and K’naan records by reputation or by single tracks (I have some catching up to do). And if one goal of the prize is to raise awareness of Canadian music flying under the Juno radar, certainly that’s been achieved.
My pick for the award is Twin Cinema, despite having possibly the worst album cover art of all time (above). It’s a breathtaking performance, a fun ride and a production masterpiece all in one, featuring blistering pop-rock tracks and gorgeous torch songs by some of the most talented musicians around.
What’s your pick?