Most helpful positive review
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Not a dry eye in the house . . .
on 17 June 2004
If "Original Pirate Material" was the "Never Mind The Bollocks" of this decade, with his new album Mike Skinner has took his lead from the prog rock heavyweights and delivered what in all but name is a concept album. And this means it features both the ups and downs of this medium - the first half of the album is intent on scene setting, and as a consequence sacrifices hooks for detail. It's very difficult on the first listen to really become too engaged by the first six tracks (barring the sublime "Blinded by the light") and the mockney knees up of "Fit but you know it" only seems to reinforce the sense of disappointment. In fact, just as the attention begins drifting, Skinner tightens up his beats, drops his laddish front and delivers the finest four tracks back to back of any album I have ever heard.
The concealed rage of "Such a twat" and "What is he thinking" holds such incredible energy it sends shivers down the spine. But that is nothing compared to the devastating final two tracks. For 13 minutes Mike Skinner takes hold of you and drags you through every emotional rollercoaster you have ever been on. "Dry Your Eyes" is simply breathtaking - his honesty is frightening, and I defy anybody to listen to this without a lump in the throat. And then "Empty Cans" fires home his final denoument, cleverly told from two different perspectives that brings the story round full circle. And suddenly the slow build up of the first half of the album makes perfect sense. And you're left completely drained from it.
So it's no "OPM". Indeed, it feels more like the second act of a three part play. If only Mike Skinner could focus his massive talent on refining what he does on the last third of the album into 50 minutes he would deliver one of the greatest albums this country has ever produced, period. The question is, does he have the guts to do it ?