Thursday, September 11, 2008
REVIEW of "Everything Is Borrowed" by The Streets!
So, not entirely unlike Bloc Party, The Streets just sort of came out of (almost) nowhere and said "Oh yeah, the album will be out next week". Now this wasn't AS big a surprise as Bloc Party... I suppose we've very quickly come to learn that if we're seeing free tracks, or a single floating around, an album is probably around the corner.
So with all this in mind... how about a little "first listen" review?
The first one, "Everything Is Borrowed", almost reminds me of Kanye West in it's monumental sound. It's a big album opener... I've gotta say right now though that I can't really sit down and enjoy the lyrics because I'm trying to get this written as fast as I can lol...
"The Way Of The Dodo" is a guitar based track that reminds me of his earlier stuff. This song is sort of stark, the rapping is tight and quick... this is a real attempt at showing "Yes, I do really rap, not just write singles"... another strong showing, making me think this album could be a classic if it keeps up like this!
"Heaven For The Weather" (and, of course, 'hell for the company') is a sort of gospel track. I'm sure Fatboy Slim is itching to remix this puppy because it has that feel to it. Mike says (quoting someone I think) "I refuse to end up on fire with lowlifes and liars; then you're destined to for the world ???? and sweatin', the eternal boredom of heaven". Any way you cut it this is a total sing-a-long song. Still going strong, this album...
"On The Flip Of A Coin" is full of scales, a harpsichord? And a guitar that is riffing (think like SRV) a lot but not overpowering the song. This is one I want to come back to and really listen to the lyrics. There is strong songwriting on this album... truly each album he's become more and more of a song writer and not just a producer or rapper.
"Never Give In" is the first song bound for a full on disco remix (a la Basement Jaxx, or Ashley Beedle, or Braxe & Falke) as it's sort of stripped down 4/4 rock. I would nominate this as a single. Certainly there is a pattern emerging of taking things to the mountaintop and then back to the basement sound wise... epic and straightforward, which are frankly hallmarks of any Streets album.
"The Sherry End" is still stripped down disco but on it's ear (think Larry Levan's "Heartbeat" but faster with guitars and funk). It's got funny squeaks and horns and just begs to be danced to. It's really starting to seem like musically this is a great departure from the last three albums but in a really good way... you can't peg this album, but it also doesn't sound like a calculated mess. No one sat down and said "OK, we're going to do this many songs that sound like this, and this many like that..." I love this song.
"The Strongest Person I Know" I all harp really. I mean very quiet and different from the rest of these songs. This is the really personal number like "Never Went To Church" but not a single... which doesn't mean it's not good! It's just more of a lullaby type song. I'm not sure if it's a love song or about a family member because I'm not able to listen to the lyrics in such a cursory listen.
"The Escapist" was given away for free of course by Vice and from what I understand is the first single. It's pretty epic with lots of instrumentation. I don't need to tell you much about this because I just posted it. It's a huge track and you should just go listen to it!
"I Love You More (Than You Like Me)" starts with piano and a stomping beat... once again stark but captivating. Mike Skinner has gotten smart by 'hiding' sounds deep in the mix of these more low key songs so you're actually hearing more than you notice. It seems there's not a lot going on but there really is a bunch going on. There hasn't been a Men vs Women type song so far and this is it. How could you have a Streets album without a song where women don't quite get Mike?
"On The Edge Of A Cliff" is really funky and almost psychedelic. Like really a merging of 3 different types of 'stoner' music lol... there are funk guitars again, horns, rapping... This is groove based, and ironically reminds me a little of the same TIME PERIOD (nothing else) as Elton John's "Are You Ready For Love" (ironic because of the Elton cover Mike Skinner did for Radio 1)... like that late 70's fusion sound. This song is not really similar to the aforementioned one outside of style... it's rock influenced by both disco and Gil Scott Heron.
"Alleged Legends" is MEGA EPIC and is very very very string heavy. The beat is urgent and mysterious. This totally sounds like someone driving away in an Aston Martin surrounded by fog from something secretive. Very cinematic, and a great ending to an album.
I'm not sure I should hook you up with new songs so... instead chew on this...
The Streets- "Your Song (Elton John Cover)" YSI
The Streets- "Your Song (Elton John Cover)" Mediafire
The Streets- "Deluded In My Mind" YSI
The Streets- "Deluded In My Mind" Mediafire
The Streets & Muse- "Who Knows Who" YSI
The Streets & Muse- "Who Knows Who" Mediafire
Here's what The Streets said via email...
"If you can't wait to hear why the critics are getting their knickers in such a twist over the album, then head over to Mike's MySpace. There, you can hear seven of the record's tracks on the music player. Plus, as Mayhem's latest News blog explains, the other four tracks have been hidden on other bands' profiles, scattered across MySpace. So if you look hard enough, you'll be able to hear the whole shebang. And, while you're on MySpace, head over to the music homepage to watch Mike on his trip to Prague to record strings and to check out some of his favourite bands. Deep."
Here's the new video from The Streets called "Everything Is Borrowed"
While were on new releases, here's the video for Bloc Party's new one "Talons"... can't get enough of these guys!
Ok, that's it for now. Sorry I couldn't get more in depth... just wanted to give you a quick idea what you're in for! Be back soon!