Polaris picks

Not short-list worthy

Great Lake Swimmers – Lost Channels
While the new Great Lake Swimmers album is a valuable offering to Canadian music, the depressing, repetitive folk CD could very well have remained on the Polaris long-list, in order to make way for more innovative and captivating music on the shortlist. Lost Channels is not only undoubtedly a step backward from the band’s last full-length album Ongiara, it fails to be memorable and creative, qualities necessary for any shortlisted nominee.

Dark horse

Fucked Up – The Chemistry of Common Life
One thing is for sure – it’s great to see Polaris representing hardcore music with Fucked Up’s latest album. While The Chemistry of Common Life may not appeal to everyone and was an unexpected choice for the shortlist, it is a remarkable album for its genre, full of energy and musicality from start to finish. But with profanity in the band’s name and its under-represented genre, Fucked Up is an unlikely choice for the grand prize.

Biggest disappointment

Joel Plaskett – Three
Pretentious and self-indulgent, Three is a huge step down for the beloved artist who brought us Ashtray Rock. Lacking the strong concept and variety needed to sustain a three-disc album, Three should have been trimmed down into one sound album comprised of the three-disc release’s good songs. When listening to Three, Plaskett comes across as a packrat, reluctant to omit any song from the album, no matter how mediocre and repetitive.

Unlikely to win

Patrick Watson – Wooden Arms
Watson’s best album to date, Wooden Arms is an incredible step for the artist, showing that his Polaris victory in 2007 has helped his music improve immensely. The album’s lush tracks flow seamlessly into one another, creating a perfect musical experience. But however good Watson’s album is, it is unlikely to take Polaris’ 2009 grand prize, as the contest should be fair and let another talented artist have that opportunity.

Individual selections

Erin Epp:
Should win: Chad VanGaalen – Soft Airplanes
Will win: Chad VanGaalen – Soft Airplanes

Rebecca Vasluianu:
Should win: K’NAAN – Troubadour
Will win: Hey Rosetta! – Into Your Lungs

Carly Lewis:
Should win: Patrick Watson – Wooden Arms
Will win: Chad VanGaalen – Soft Airplanes

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