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Mercury Prize – a prize for an album in a time when no one listens to them

By Richard Osborne, Associate Professor in Music and the Creative Industries, Middlesex University
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Sometimes the result feels obvious. Arlo Parks, the bookies’ favourite, was always going to win the Mercury Prize for the best British and Irish album of the year. This is not, in my view, because Collapsed in Sunbeams is the most worthy album musically. Each of the shortlisted records could have made a claim in this respect. Instead, it is because the prize tends to be awarded to artists who capture the zeitgeist. Parks typifies…

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