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Drake’s album “Take Care” has been shortlisted for the Polaris Prize.Matt Sayles, Chris Pizzello/The Associated Press

Jim Cuddy didn't make the cut, but Calgary's doom-noise duo Mares of Thrace did. Grammy-winning R&B singer Melanie Fiona isn't a finalist, but Vancouver singer-songwriter Dan Mangan is the man.

The 40 long-listed albums for the 2012 Polaris Prize were announced at Vancouver's Waldorf Hotel, where confetti flew for some artists, while others received the sad trombone.

The long list is traditionally an eclectic roster of recordings, with the esoteric tastes of the most whimsical of the 200-plus jurors clashing with the notions of the voters with more moderate preferences. Chart-placing mainstream albums and major-label LPs are rarely represented, and this year is no exception: Top-selling releases by Justin Bieber, Michael Bublé and Nickelback are no longer contenders for the prize, which is handed out annually in recognition of the album judged to be the year's very best.

To no one's surprise, Leonard Cohen's Old Ideas, Drake's Take Care, Kathleen Edward's Voyageur, Patrick Watson's Adventures in Your Own Backyard and Feist's Metals made the list.

Somewhat surprising omissions include records by Cowboy Junkies, Plants and Animals, Pack A.D., Radio Radio, Elliott Brood, Deep Dark Woods and Junior Boys. The biggest eyebrow-raiser of the day was the news that that Skyscraper Soul, the stylish solo effort by Blue Rodeo's Cuddy, didn't make the cut.

The Polaris voters will now decide on the short list of 10 albums, to be announced July 17. The final winner will be revealed on Sept. 24.


A Tribe Called Red: A Tribe Called Red

Marie-Pierre Arthur: Aux alentours

Rich Aucoin: We're All Dying To Live

Avec pas d'casque: Astronomie

Azari & III: Azari & III

Bahamas: Barchords

The Barr Brothers: The Barr Brothers

Blackie And The Rodeo Kings: Kings And Queens

Cadence Weapon: Hope In Dirt City

Kathryn Calder: Bright And Vivid

Cannon Bros: Firecracker / Cloudglow

Coeur de pirate: Blonde

Leonard Cohen: Old Ideas

Cold Specks: I Predict A Graceful Expulsion

Rose Cousins: We Have Made A Spark

Mark Davis: Eliminate The Toxins

Drake: Take Care

Kathleen Edwards: Voyageur

Feist: Metals

Fucked Up: David Comes To Life

Great Lake Swimmers: New Wild

EverywhereGrimes: Visions

Handsome Furs: Sound Kapital

Japandroids: Celebration Rock

Dan Mangan: Oh Fortune

Mares Of Thrace: The Pilgrimage

Ariane Moffatt: MA

Lindi Ortega: Little Red Boots

Parlovr: Kook Soul

Sandro Perri: Impossible Spaces

Joel Plaskett Emergency: Scrappy Happiness

PS I Love You: Death Dreams

John K. Samson: Provincial

Shooting Guns: Born To Deal In Magic: 1952-1976

The Slakadeliqs: The Other Side of Tomorrow

Patrick Watson: Adventures In Your Own Backyard

Bry Webb: Provider

The Weeknd: Echoes of Silence

Yamantaka // Sonic Titan: YT//ST

Yukon Blonde: Tiger Talk