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The Dot
- And That

A case of too many chefs?

Tom Birts

Jan 30th 2013 | Label: Shock
What on earth is Mike Skinner doing releasing a collaboration album? Don't ask me, I don't know either. The man who broke the ears of indie kids who ‘didn't do hip hop' with Original Pirate Material has linked arms with Rob Harvey, former vocalist with indie also-rans The Music, to jump feet first into a genre blending sound du jour. But what could have been a splash is just a reasonable ripple due to an uncharacteristic lack of focus from both.

After the day The Music died, who could blame a former member for wanting a second bite of the cherry? Sharing the credits is a strange move from Skinner though, who has a considerable legacy and is best when he's in full control – note the lack of big name collaborations on The Streets' albums. So, it is unsurprising that the compositions with most character and vitality are those with his Reebok Classic prints all over them. Harvey's raspy vocal is a nice (if inauspicious) foil to the electronic bleepery, stretched out 2-step and indie guitar that shape the instrumental landscape, and Goes Off is a nice example of what the dynamic can do – content and tone Skinner-esque, delivery straight up Harvey. You Never Asked is the standout, the wall of sound working and a few – too few – bars from the always great Danny Brown.

And That seems to have been the phrase of the day when selecting sounds, but what this record is missing is what it is desperately, distractedly searching for – the touch of Magic Mike, the Skinnervation that started a genre. A case of too many chefs?

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