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Mr Skinner Done Good
on 19 March 2009
Young Mr Skinner done good.
With 'Everything Is Borrowed' he delivers a
solid and perfectly respectable little album.
On the whole it's a more grown-up affair than some
of his earlier work but retaining flashes of the
cheeky-monkey antics that we have come to know and love.
Things kick off in fine style with the eponymous
opening track. The cheesy keyboard and four-square
rhythm support our hero's familiar sprechgesang,
here expounding a gentle and accessible philosophy.
Despite Ms Vane's supporting vocal in the chorus
bringing us perilously close to Lily Allen territory
the song survives intact.
The upbeat 'Heaven For The Weather' gives hell
an amusing tourist board endorsement. It's a hoot.
The instrumental arrangement on 'On The Edge Of A Cliff',
especially Mr Painter's concise trumpet and Mr Bennett's
limpid guitar, frames one of Mr Skinner's most mature compositions.
Likewise 'Alleged Legends', whose historical reflections
are evidence of a growing ability to think outside of the
boy-next-door box. A real highlight.
'The Strongest Person I Know' has a lightness of touch
which is utterly charming. The inclusion of the harp,
mandolin and clarinet is delightful.
'The Escapist' brings the project to a soulful
and satisfying conclusion.
Not music to change the world but with some capacity
nonetheless to make it a slightly better and brighter place.