Polaris Music Prize Short List’s Surprising Snubs

For the past six years, bands like Arcade Fire, Karkwa, Fucked Up, Caribou, Patrick Watson and Final Fantasy have taken home the Polaris Music Prize earning them the honour of having their record named as the best Canadian album in each of their respective years.

In addition to the honour of being recognized for having the best Canadian record of the year, the winner of the 2012 Prize will also take home a sizable monetary prize of $30,000, which is an increase of $10,000 from last year.

Yesterday, the Prize's short list was announced with founder and executive director Steve Jordan, saying, "Our jury is showing an ever growing passion and dedication to reviewing, discussing and advocating their selections."

He also said, "This has resulted in a Short List of records that are musically focused, intense and in some cases highly personal. The process of selecting a winner should prove to be an invigorating challenge for our Grand Jury."

However, how is it that although the jury chose albums that were "musically focused, intense and in some cases highly personal," they somehow managed to leave out records that were all of these things and more by bands like Marianas Trench and The Sheepdogs and artists like Leonard Cohen, Dan Mangan and Cœur de pirate?

Released in November 2011 and nominated for Pop Album of the Year at the 2012 Juno Awards, Vancouver band Marianas Trench's record "Ever After" is a concept album that takes the listener on a fairy-tale journey filled with surprises and wonder.

Reviewed as the band's "best album" to date and described as sounding like the "soundtrack to a dark Tim Burton rock opera that hasn't been made yet," "Ever After" has earned gold status in Canada and features the platinum selling track, "Haven't Had Enough."

Another band that was left off this year's list is Rolling Stone magazine sweethearts The Sheepdogs whose album "Learn & Burn" was re-released in 2011 and showcased a hearty track list full of "classic, psychedelic and boogie rock."

The album and tracks like "I Don't Know" won the band Juno Awards in the categories of Rock Album of the Year and Single of the Year and at least deserved to be mentioned on the Polaris Music Prize's 2012 long list.

In addition to bands who were completely overlooked for this year's list are artists mentioned on the prize's long list that missed the cut like Mangan's disc "Oh Fortune," Cohen's "Old Ideas," and Coeur de pirate's "Blonde."

How is it possible that Mangan's "Oh Fortune," which was deemed as "the young Vancouver musician [leaping] ahead not one or two steps, but three or four," did not make the cut just like legendary Cohen and his "Old Ideas" also failing to place?

"Old Ideas" was given 4.5/5 stars by Rolling Stone and is said to feature, "Songs of the highest lyrical quality, his hallmark since the start of his music career."

Francophone singer/songwriter Cœur de pirate also failed to make the short list, even though her album "Blonde" was named amongst the 40 artists on the long list and should have been recognized further for it's deeply personal lyrical content about love and growth.

For a look at the 2012 Polaris Music Prize Short List, head here.

Are you satisfied with this year's nominees?

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