Thursday, September 18

The Streets- 'Everything Is Borrowed'

. Thursday, September 18

The Streets
‘Everything Is Borrowed’
September 15th

In which Mike Skinner rediscovers his sense of humour. Most fans and critics are in agreement that The Streets third album ‘The Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living’ was a pretty hard way to spend an hour of your life. Having enjoyed massive success on his two previous albums Skinner slipped into the trap of telling us all about how sleeping with famous people is hard, doing a lot of drugs is hard and being rich and successful is like… hard. It was inevitable that Skinners observational lyrical style would always lead to an album of that ilk however it was saddening that it provided no wit or insight into a previously much trodden path. Given his prior two albums level of ingenuity and fun ‘Everything Is Borrowed’ is the litmus test as to whether Skinner has gone off the boil or if album number 3 was merely a blip.

The results are mixed. The fun and laid back vibes are back, however aim and direction is missing here leaving the tracks seeming pointless and trivial at times. Previous Streets albums had a clear narrative structure, often feeling like you were listening to a short story guided by the narrator Mike Skinner. ‘Everything Is Borrowed’ however has topics plucked at random by Skinner and strung together without any apparent thought. This is not a problem however as Skinners charisma and skills as a host come to the fore. The albums lack of rigid direction makes it much more reminiscent of debut album ‘Original Pirate Material’. Topics wide and far are covered, from the morning after the night before musings of ‘The Sherry End’ to the apocalypse on ‘The Way Of The Dodo’ by way of love and romance with ‘Never Give In’ Skinner covers a lot.

Album highlights come early in the shape of starter ‘Everything Is Borrowed’ and ‘Heaven For The Weather’. Both boast the biggest and most obvious choruses on the album and showcase Skinners vocal delivery and style effectively. ‘Everything Is Borrowed’ is an angelic choral epic with a relaxed feel to it, previous fans of The Streets will instantly identify it as a classic to put alongside ‘Dry Your Eyes’ or ‘Let’s Push Things Forward’. ‘Heaven For The Weather’ on the flip side is a massive grin inducing bounce along that will eat Radio 1 alive as and when it gets a full release.

With Mike Skinner claiming that The Streets fifth album will be the last it seems this album is the calm before the storm, a bit of fun before the hard work begins. ‘Everything Is Borrowed’ boasts some great singles but is still way off the standard of the first two albums. It’s a fun and frivolous effort that will placate the fans for now but it certainly wont win any new fans. Probably for existing fans only then.

'Everything Is Borrowed'



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