Wednesday, October 28, 2009

994. The Streets - A Grand Don't Come For Free (2004)

Track Listing

1. It Was Supposed To Be So Easy
2. Could Well Be In
3. Not Addicted
4. Blinded By The Lights
5. 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


Mike Skinner takes the idea of "keeping it real" to a whole different level, it is so real that it is often mundane and the whole nitty gritty of day to day life is reflected on the album. There's no ho's and guns here, just a working class guy going about his life and shit happening to him.

While this is interesting as a concept and Skinner is quite good at putting completely uninteresting things to song using plenty of humour and good arrangements, the album ends up being a little too narrative.

The album has a concept behind it, each song is like a chapter in the story of a guy who loses 1000 pounds and tries to get it back and falls in love and out of love and in love again through this. But after a while you've heard the story 4 or 5 times and really it just gets distracting a little tiring. So a great album to listen to a couple of times, or to return to once in a long while but not something to keep playing again and again.

I got the flu! *sniffle* Don't worry it's not catching through the tubes of the internets.

Track Highlights

1. It Was Supposed To Be So Easy
2. Fit But You Know It
3. Dry Your Eyes
4. Blinded By The Lights

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

In the story, the protagonist loses £1000, or a grand in slang terms and strives to recoup the money.

In the first track on the album, "It Was Supposed to Be So Easy", he attempts seemingly simple events for the day but they don't go according to plan. When he comes home he cannot find the thousand pounds he has saved and his television is broken. In the process of trying to recover the money he:

Starts seeing a girl called Simone who works in JD Sports with his friend Dan. ("Could Well Be In")

Tries to recover the thousand pounds by gambling. After a series of wins he frustratingly cannot get to the bookmaker's in time to make a big gamble. Fortuitously, the prediction is wrong — it's his lucky day. ("Not Addicted")

Is stood up at a nightclub by Simone, but passes the time drinking alcohol and taking cocaine and ecstasy; he thinks he sees Simone kissing Dan but the drug induced high distracts him before he can think about it properly. ("Blinded By the Lights")

Moves into Simone's house and finds himself comfortable smoking marijuana there, rather than drinking with his friends at the pub. ("Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way")

Argues with Simone and she kicks him out of her house. ("Get Out of My House")

Poses to impress a girl ("Fit But You Know It") in a take away restaurant during a heavy night drinking on holiday.

Flies back from the holiday and remorsefully reviews the events of the previous night during a phone call to a friend, realising he still wants to be with Simone.("Such a Twat")

Suspects his mate Scott of stealing his coat, money and girlfriend but discovers that Simone is actually having an affair with Dan. ("What is He Thinking?")

Tries to cope with his girlfriend breaking up with him. ("Dry Your Eyes").

Deals with the events of his life in one of two ways; the final track, "Empty Cans", features two endings to the plot, a bitter ending and a happy ending (the former where he and a TV repairman get into a fight over the repairman's fee, and the latter in which he reconciles with his mates and finds the thousand pounds hidden in his TV).

The B-Side to the UK single release of "Fit But You Know It" contains the song "Soaked By The Ale" (Length 3:33). The story of this song takes place between the events of "Fit But You Know It" and "Such A Twat". It documents one of Skinner's mates being annoyed at Mike for stealing a tub of ice cream whilst on holiday in Spain as a result of his excessive drinking. The chronological order is identified in "Such A Twat" where Skinner raps "And that incident with the ice cream I forgot, it all ended in our vodka".

Fit but don't you know it:

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