Almost 9 years on from their last album, Mike Skinner has answered many people’s prayers with the return of The Streets. The new album, or mixtape as Skinner calls it, None Of Us Are Getting Out Of This Life Alive continues with The Streets’ mix of unique sounds and ability to dip into garage and rap music with ease.
Skinner has spent the last 9 years since the last album DJing in nightclubs and being. He is still partying hard but partying less, something mentioned in the track ‘You Can’t Afford Me’ The Streets resurfaced in 2017 with various live performances and more recently released ‘Where The F*&K Did April Go’, a song about the recent lockdown.
I mentioned the fact Skinner calls this a mixtape rather than an album, this is due to the collabs in every song. He said, “collaborations are a mixtape thing for me, that’s the reason there’s a collaboration on every song.” Skinner admitted all the collabs came through him simply messaging the people he wanted to work on Instagram. There are certainly some big names who have worked on this mixtape: IDLES, Tame Impala and Donae’o to name a few.
There are a couple of trends within the record. We’ve all struggled to get through to someone on the phone despite them texting you a minute before. This is something ‘Calling My Phone Thinking I’m Doing Nothing Better’ ft Tame Impala and ‘Phone Is Always In My Hand’ ft Dapz on the Map discuss. Some of the lyrics are probably what the person ignoring the phone wishes they could say: “my phone is always in my hand / if you think I am ignoring you, I am.” I tried that once, it didn’t go down too well.
Skinner and his collab partners also look at the struggle of being a woman on social media. Every girl has a ‘reply guy’. In the collab with Birmingham DJ Chris Lorenzo ‘Take Me as I am’ the lyric “men are weird at the close of the PM / just ask a pretty girl to show you her DMs” is repeated throughout. Then in ‘The Poison I Take Hoping You Will Suffer’ ft Oscar #worldpeace, Skinner raps “every girl has a dude in her inbox talking to himself.” The stranger side of the male species.
Of course, the whole mixtape has Skinner’s lyrical genius and creativity throughout. In ‘Eskimo Ice’ ft Kaslen (a personal favourite of mine), the lyric “if God had have dropped acid would God see people?” is a perfect example. A real 1 am thought when you are struggling to get to sleep.
The album has been worth the long wait all The Streets fans have had. Let’s hope the gap to the next release isn’t as long this time.
Words by Josh Stedman