A Grand Don't Come for Free
label: Vice / Atlantic
our score: 5.0 out of 5.0
A couple years
ago Mike Skinner made waves in the urban music scene with Original
Pirate Material, introducing the U.S. to the U.K. hip-hop
garage genre. Not only did it receive high marks, but it paved
the way for future artists such as Dizzee Rascal. Many listeners
haven't stowed Pirate Material away yet...and now they
can feast upon The Streets newest plate of goodies.
quick listen I give A Grand I think to myself "Hmm..well,
doesn't seem as good as his last, but I'll have to give a better
listen." Let's just say it's been about two months and it's
still in my car CD deck, and it usually makes the daily trip to
my cubicle as well. Why? Cuz this shit is damn good.
It's a whole
package; a glimpse into a tough learning period of any U.K. young
man. There's something we can all relate to here. Here's a brief
summary: Mike has a bad day where everything goes wrong, Mike
meets girl that works with friend, Mike gets mashed at the club
and doesn't comprehend his girl is cheating, Mike loves girl,
Mike and girl have fight, Mike meets hot chick while out with
the boys, Mike tries to hide fling with hot chick, Mike knows
other friend is hiding something, girl dumps Mike, Mike learns
lessons from tough times. This summary doesn't come close to describing
how Skinner weaves all this together creatively.
O.k., so the
plot rocks. What about the production end of things? The beats?
The samples? Well, they're above par as well. Anyone familiar
with Pirate Material will recognize that Mike has gone
a bit softer in some areas, but A Grand... still has
it's share of bangers. You'll no doubt find yourself trying to
replicate Skinner's accent as you attempt to sing and rhyme along
to damn near every track.
is still different enough from the majority of today's music to
make it a novelty, despite it being The Streets second album.
If that's what hooks you, then it's going to be the masterpiece
of the album that keeps you. This album is destined to be one
of the best of the year.
liked A Grand Don't Come for Free...
1. It Was Supposed To Be So Easy
2. Could Well Be In
3. Not Addicted
4. Blinded By The Light
5. I Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way
6. Get Out Of My House
7. Fit But You Know It
8. Such A Twat
9. What Is He Thinking
10. Dry Your Eyes
11. Empty Cans