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Everything Is Borrowed
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TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 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.

Recommended.
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on 20 November 2008
I just can't understand why this album has got some bad reviews as it is Skinners best album by far.

There are some excellent tracks especially "Everything Is Borrowed" "On The Edge Of A Cliff" "Escapist" and "Heaven For The Weather" (which is irresistibly bouncy and singalong). Skinners softer side appears on the lovely "Strongest Person I Know".

Musically this is by far Skinners most accessible album with some really catchy tunes not just the hard beats we find so often on the other albums.

Lyrically, there are some gems but there are also some clunkers. However there are a couple of tracks where the theme seems to be uncomfortably anti-christian and this leaves a bit of a bad taste.

Its been on the car cd player for ages now, though I do keep flicking to the half dozen excellent tracks.
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on 12 January 2009
ok its not original pirate material or a grand but this is getting far more bad press than is deserved the last album was indeed dire but this album has much more in the way of bouncy smiley mike skinner tunes, what do people want? he is trying different ideas, people grow up and evolve and seeing as the lad has grown do you really want another album of getting off your face fights and kebab shops? I think if he plays a festival this years there are still a few of the tunes on this album which will have the crowd bouncing about. Track 1,2 and the last are tip top but have a listen if it isnt your cup a tea spend elsewhere..and if you still want 'im stoned im off me face' tunes go buy just jack.
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on 19 June 2017
Great CD from the streets, a different style from original pirate material and a grand don't come for free as well as the hardest way to make an easy living, but definitely not mike skinners worst project!
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on 18 September 2008
Maybe he's growing up and heading for the mainstream; trying to communicate with people who don't relate to brandy and kebabs. This is probably the easiest listen of all four Streets albums with the least personal and mundane lyrics. It still delivers some good jokes and clever lines and sees the return of a lot of the optimism and positivity of Original Pirate Material and A Grand Don't Come for Free which you could feel missing from The Hardest Way. It also has less weak tracks than its immediate predecessor which I always found needed the skip button a few times. I don't think this album is going to convert many people who don't like the Streets' previous work - but if you're a fan of Skinner's not-really-lyrical naive/profound philosophising over stripped-out-but-polished production then this is a worthy addition to the collection.

Everything is Borrowed is the best track on the album for me - even after a dozen or so listens hearing the chords crash in at the beginning still makes me crack a smile. You can't argue with the chorus either.
Heaven for the Weather is just a joyous singalong - although it is probably a minute too long (for a short album there are a few signs of padding)
I Love You More is pretty standard Streets fare - over a repeated piano lick which carries the song straight into your head and leaves it there for the rest of the day.
The Way of the Dodo mainly consists of some cliched eco-waffling over some uninspired grime-ish backing. After a couple of listens trying to make sense of the lyrics I've decided that it has been padded out with spare words from two other songs into a frankly weird and annoying mess. One for the skip button.
On the Edge of a Cliff brings back that trademark positivity and delight in providing an alternative perspective on life - over a mix including guitars (I can't decide whether they're a nod to Santana or the Scorpions) and jazzy brass stabs which probably shouldn't work this well.
Alleged Legends is a clunky deconstruction of religion - if you haven't figured out Mike Skinner's views on life yet this will help.
The Strongest Person is a poignant return to Never Went to Church territory, although without being so obviously personal, and The Escapist continues the vibe if not the story to round off the album on a strong note. There's something about ending an album with an unashamedly positive and life-affirming track - after all he has form for that too.
The other tracks can be filed under "Streets album tracks". You know what to expect but your head will still be nodding along like the plastic dog on your parcel shelf.

Overall I'd rate this as the third best of the three good albums Mike Skinner has delivered so far - no surprises but still very much worth a listen.
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on 7 June 2010
Like a lot of people I enjoyed the journey the Mike Skinner made with the Streets, I could relate to the life laid out in Original Pirate Material and A Grand Don't Come for Free. I felt he lost his audience in Hardest Way To Make an Easy Living, the formula of writing about your life didn't work for me as Mike was no longer one of us but a real celebrity living a celebrity lifestyle, I can't relate to that.

There's a new direction on this album, not so personal to Mr Skinner's life, and this is probably a good thing, but it is a beautiful album. The songs all stand alone and they show a lot of thought and have a subtlety that reveals more every time you listen to it. As ever with Mr Skinner's work it's all about the lyrics and he succeeds in both making you smile and think.

Give this album a listen, I'm sure you wont regret it.
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on 25 September 2008
I brought this album on tuesday and after a few listens have got into the sound. As my mate put it mike makes music he wants to make and doesnt get stuck on the same sound album after album like most artist do. everything is borrowed is another step in the right direction for skinner his writing is back up there again and his production talent is still as raw as ever. best track on the album for me is "on the edge of a cliff" very well writen song and great tune.
if your a streets fan buy this... if you only like a few of his tracks i dont think this is the album for you
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on 5 June 2009
In that his work is truly humourous, but never throw-away, and he's capable of reinventing himself - which he really has done here. Still cheeky, but with some lovely arrangements, I'm not missing the grime, cos the writing is of the highest quality - and although this release was widely touted as 'positive' it's got that lovely 'happy / sad' vibe - it's got depth and shelf life.

Should have gone platinum, but hey the boy's ahead of his time, and is going to be around for a long time yet.

When he starts issuing material without the Streets moniker, I reckon Mike will lose some of the baggage that goes with the name and suprise us again - hope so. Until then, buy this it's a bargain and you won't just like it, you'll laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarve it.
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on 28 September 2008
Skinner delivers something new again ; 1st listens feel bit weird as you expect some pirate material or "dry your eyes"-ish stuff, but this is fresh and new material. Cant stop playing the CD now. The album quickly disappeared from UK top 10 and know what ? That's a good sign : Skinner's back underground with some sounds not accessible to anyone's ears. Good sign for a long carrer ! No Oasis syndrom here...
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on 10 April 2010
If you liked 'Pirate Material' & 'Grand Don't Come', then you might want to see if you can listen to this album before you buy it. I've got the two earlier albums, & they're still great but this one just doesn't do it for me. Perhaps I'm not appreciating Skinner's new more 'grown-up' sound, but to me this is definately his weakest collection so far.
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