Thursday, March 11, 2010

Trust Me

Song: Trust Me
Artist: The Streets
Album: Computers & Blues

After being blown away by his excellent second album "A Grand Don't Come For Free" from Mike Skinner of The Streets, I'd been following him and his off-kilter U.K. based hip-hop. Third album was good but not nearly as good as "Grand" and then 2008's "Everything is Borrowed" was pretty devoid of any hooks at all resulting in just shy of forty minutes of his speak-rap, off-kilter music, and... well I didn't even get what the concept of that record was. I possibly didn't give it enough time, but it didn't do a thing to grab me. Oh well.

So 2010 will see the release of "Computers & Blues," what Skinner says will be the last of the Streets albums. After a couple listens, I'm not sure there's a need to argue with him. There was something about "Grand," the working class story strung throughout, the been-there emoting, and the hooks... when the songs weren't catchy, there was a charm that coasted it through. I suppose that made the follow-up, "The Hardest Way To Make an Easy Living" a bit surprising as he donned a new "I'm famous now" persona and it all mostly worked. Now it's hard to see where he's coming from.

"I Love My Phone" opens the album and it chugs along like you'd expect a Streets song to. Again, nothing grabbing. But, it should be noted... it starts and you KNOW it's The Streets, and the distinctiveness reminds you what an original he is. Second track "Trust Me" is excellent. His best song in two albums, and one that made me think 'Oh, THIS is what this album must be.' Mixing old soul with his trademark flow, it sounds familiar and yet wildly new. This one has got to be a single. Alas, the remainder of the album (after about three listens) just returns to the monotonous one tone he all too often rests in, despite the kitchen-sink music loops. None of them grab like "Trust Me," boo.

"Lovelight of My Life" is a slower highlight, and again mixes a bit of old soul feel, and reminds me of what the album could have been again. And thankfully, it's a slower track that isn't just "This albums 'Dry Your Eyes.'"

Am I missing something? Any Streets fans that disagree with his recent direction? Or am I just not getting it?


Trust Me

Lovelight of My Life

Where My Heart Has Been

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