Date of release:Buy Digital
Mike Skinner only ended The Streets last year, but it’s been eight years since A Grand Don’t Come For Free, and Rob Harvey’s The Music’s 2011 break-up went largely unnoticed; so how does this union stand up compared to Skinner’s past and The Music’s 2002 flash in the pan?
The album’s music is unquestionably more pop-driven than we’ve heard from Skinner in the past. The beats, most reminiscent of 2011’s Computers & Blues, shuffle and keep a constant and modern hip hop pace. It’s very easy to see how interested in production Skinner has gotten since he started his career ten years ago. He takes a vocal backseat on this record, but his voice is all over it. Rob Harvey sings lead on the lion’s share of the album, but Skinner’s production is so tight, groovy and glowing, Harvey can’t help but sound like a guest on his own record.
The album is largely a straight-up electro pop/rock outing, with highlights like Goes Off and Weapon Of Choice treading familiar Streets territory of lost nights and broken hearts. Harvey belts it like he’s always been able to, yelling: “Fuck me like you used to”, on Like You Used To – it’s the kind of melancholic and ‘too honest’-sounding lyric we accept, and revel in, from Skinner. Though it’s unfortunately a statement we might direct at Skinner himself – And That is a fine record, enjoyable and well produced by two people whose camaraderie shines through the beats. Though knowing what Skinner is capable of, even as recently as last year, it can’t help but be a minor letdown.
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