View Full Version : I write crappy music reviews for a dodgy student rag pt. xxx

18-02-2002, 16:41:10
"The Streets - Original Pirate Material

To be completely honest, I generally dislike the genre of "UK Garage" - for artists that supposedly model themselves on the consistently brilliant Urban scene across the Atlantic, Mis-Teeq, Craig David and the rest manage to churn out surprisingly bland disco-dance-pop nonsense. So it's a bit of a revelation to encounter the musical output of Birmingham-born hip-hop fan Mike Skinner, a.k.a. The Streets. His crossover beats are radical, eccentric and fresh. He doesn't sing blandly or rap soullessly- he, er, "spits", a form of expression somewhere between Jamaican deejay toasting and spoken word poetry. He even wilfully distances himself from the rest of the garage scene.

Pity, then, that he's such a prat.

From websites to press releases to lyrics to the very name of the group itself, Mike seems to feel a pressing need to assert his urbanity. He uninterruptedly boasts of his beer-swilling antics, his dealings with the underworld, how in touch he is with the vibe of the nation. It's all a bit laughable, really- Mr. Skinner here is almost painfully middle class.

At times, especially in the cannabis-apologetic "The Irony of It All", he sounds almost like a parody of a slightly stupid, semi-educated mummy's boy. With all the fervour of a fourteen-year-old public school kid he crams his erratic and dodgy rhymes full of "big" words, half-arsed religious metaphors and ill written, utterly random phrases ("I cook 'em at 90 degrees Fahrenheit/And don't copy the copyright/I got 'em in my sights/Blinding with the lights"). His world is one of brandy, N64s, laughable semi-romances and dodgy rave nostalgia, the bible and his mother's flat. "This is not a song, it's a movement". Oh, Please.

It's a shame because, come right down to it, this is not musically bad at all. When the geezer pretension is dropped, like on the anthemic "Let's Push Things Forward", the well-chosen samples and interesting production shines through, and there is potential here. I wouldn't mind seeing Skinner try his hand at Hip-Hop or Urban production, which he obviously has an aptitude for, but as it stands this record is bogged down by it's carrying gimmick."

18-02-2002, 16:52:56
It is not musically bad, it's terrible!