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on 10 May 2004
I really wanted to like this, but it just is really, really boring. I thought he was going to be the UK Eminem the way everyone goes on about him, but the reality is it just doesn't work. The highlight of the album "Fit but you know it" has this cheesy Status Quo guitar riff in it with a casio drum machine sound. The song is set in a chavvy Euro holiday spot, kind of horrible, like he's deliberately setting out to have a big Euro number 1. It made me think of number 2's, which I think is as high as the song got in the chart, even with the expensive hype. I guess Eurovision turned him down. It's embarrassing.
3 people found this helpful
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on 29 May 2004
If your mother read out bits of her diary to the accompaniment of Gilbert O'Sullivan piano chords would you buy it? So why on earth is time of day, let alone all the current acclaimation, given to Mike Skinner effectively doing the same to computerised hip-hop and allied rhythms?
It may well be soap opera and street poetry doggerel with a touch of music hall (the single "Fit But You Know It", the only band-played track on the album, actually sounds to me like "Jilted John" from the late 1970s) but don't we get enough of broken TVs and relationships and drug experiences on the box without having them served up in the name of music entertainment. The single and the first track, which is played to a stentorian faux-classical backing are all right but a whole album's worth is just depressing. In fact for street poetry I'd rather listen to Bernard Cribbins ("Hole In The Ground" etc).
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on 20 July 2004
the first couple of tracks took a while to get into but after that you realise that mike skinner's latest effort is one of the best british albums of the last couple of years.
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VINE VOICEon 9 May 2004
The first time I heard this I thought that it was a joke. It sounds like a not very funny stand up act in a small venue with the noise of music coming in from the club next door. If it appeals to anyone, it will be young people in tidy little suburbs, who think that this will give them a stiff of urban cool. For anyone with a real life to lead, or real music to listen to, this is one to avoid.
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on 11 May 2004
Personally, I feel hip hop needs two key elements for me to find it enjoyable: intelligent and often funny lyrics and a strong backing track/beat.
Original Pirate Material had plenty of the former and a great mix of atmospheric, upbeat and catchy tracks.
A Grand Don't Come For Free certainly has it's moments. Skinner does a good line in capturing the misery and melancholy associated with love gone wrong. Some of his lyrics on this subject are beautifully poetic and I feel the strongest tracks on the album focus on the love interest "Dry your eyes", "Could be well in".
The new album certainly feels darker than the first but it's the grittier songs on the album where The Streets are missing a beat. Unfriendly backing tracks and a slower stated raps mean that opportunties for witty, lyrically dexterous verse are limited. Too many of the tracks on this album have too much emphasis on uninspiring choruses but I should say that the concept is an enjoyable one, although Skinner has the humour to create a more intricate tale.
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on 10 May 2004
I LIKE BEER,
THE GEEZER CAME TOO NEAR,
I HIT HIM IN THE EAR,
I CRIED A TEAR.
He's a poet
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on 4 January 2005
I bought this album because I loved the first album released by The Streets "Original Pirate Material". It is one of my favourite albums and I would recomend it to anyone who likes The Streets.
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on 27 April 2004
This is the streets, a quality album I would recomend bout Mike's life,would recomend 2 anyone, wicked album. GO GET IT!
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on 1 May 2004
I love this cd even more than the first one. Ive just listened all the way through and followed the story and i love the idea of it. I was told it wasnt as good as the first album, but i have to say its alot better.
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on 2 September 2004
'Original Pirate Material' was the most catchy, funky, diverse, unique and superb debut release in years. It was clever, it was something alternative (something hard to find today!). Naturally, i fell in love!
...several years later and the acclaimed release of 'A Grand Don't Come For Free' - a typical follow-up to such a classic! The music's slower, and with less variation to it making songs become monotonous. 'It Was Supposed To Be So Easy' - ok, not quite the 'Turn The Page' opener but we wait patiently for the kick in the teeth. 'Could Well Be In'-another slow one, with useless lyrics. The album continues through some extremely disappointing tracks (and the frankly embarassing - 'Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way' - i could have cried; i feel myself blushing on behalf of Mike Skinner for this one!) until you reach the upbeat 'Parklife' rip-off (don't deny it!) of 'Fit But You Know It'...speaking of which i move swiftly on to the poor lyrical quality - syllable-filler like "yes yes oh yay"?!?! Come on!!! "You don't care about my broken TV" in what sounds like an 8 year old trying to sing in a karaoke competition ('Get Out OF My House').
The genius debut, the lyrics we could relate to ("out the club about 3, to the takeaway - the s**t in a tray merchant") are sadly missed. Instead we are provided with 'Dry Your Eyes' <cringes as i type the words> and other such nonsense.
The credit i give to this album are 'Not Addicted', 'Blinded By The Lights', 'Such A Twat' and the closer 'Empty Cans' (with two different conclusions to the story - one unique feature <round of applause>)
My suggestion is to purchase 'Original Pirate Material', or see The Streets live - the latter will be the only way to appreciate the rubbish on this album!
...and just because it's a concept album, DOES NOT make it clever! It's been done before, it'll be done again...some just do it worse than others!
6 people found this helpful
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