But Mike Skinner Is Famous

Mike Skinner is no longer worried about returning his DVD on time. The one man band known as The Streets has just released his third album and is rather big time after the success of the first two. If you remember, at the start of his improbably awesome second album, his big challenge was trying to return a rented DVD on time. After listening to his latest album, The Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living, I think Mr. Skinner would just buy the DVD store, throw his broken TV through the window (or perhaps that's too cliche) and try to bed all the female clerks.

Make no mistake, The Streets have indeed gone big time. The first two albums were a critical and commercial success, which is incredible when you consider that those albums consisted of a white, Birmingham-bred British dude rapping in a thick accent over garage/jungle inspired beats he made on a laptop. And that was certainly part of the charm; the DIY feel and awkward, everyman rapping are part of what made those albums so appealing. That's why I know a lot of people aren't going to be feeling this new album on first listen. Skinner is now rapping about the problems he faces in his new big time life, such as worrying about his promotional budget, being able to do drugs without people catching him on their camera phones, trashing hotel rooms in the most artful way possible, and scoring with female pop stars.

Not exactly on the same level as trying to return a DVD while also trying to pick up his epilepsy medicine and get his TV fixed. So I can see why some people will be turned off on the first time through, as this new Mike Skinner is a rather cocky fellow. But Mike Skinner's always been a likeable guy on record and that still comes through the more you listen to this album. And in a weird way, Skinner is keeping it realer by rapping about the current state of his life, I don't think people would really be feeling more songs about him roaching a spliff on his girlfriends ratty couch.

If that delightful, sociological reasoning doesn't make you want to listen to the album, then you could check it out because the production on this 3rd album is perhaps Mike Skinner's most consistent laptop work to date. His rapping skills have also progressed on this album, plus he also has songs about conning a bartender out of 300 quid and another one that features out takes of him freaking out about someone selling fake Streets hats at his concert that turned out not to be fake at all. That's good times right there, check out the new single for yourself:

MP3::When You Wasn't Famous

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