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A Grand Don't Come For Free [Explicit Lyrics]

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The Streets: Mike Skinner.

The Streets (UK): Mike Skinner (vocals).

Additional personnel: Morgan Nicholls (piano, bass instrument); Johnny Jenkins, Leo Ihenacho, C Mone, Teddy Mitchell, Tony Walters, Jacqueline Rawe (background vocals).

Recording information: 2004.

Mike Skinner (AKA the Streets) opens his second record, A GRAND DON'T COME FOR FREE, with "It Was Supposed to Be So Easy," an elaborate story about the difficulties of returning a DVD to a rental shop. This everyday-yet-engaging tale conveys the essence of the lad who took British rap to a new level with his debut, ORIGINAL PIRATE MATERIAL, paving the way for the success of artists such as Ms. Dynamite and Dizzee Rascal.

Like his first outing, A GRAND DON'T COME FOR FREE is packed with Skinner's earnest, unfiltered monologues, related over pulsing beats and a surprising number of melodic hooks. His stories are glorious capsules of his life's minutiae, and observations on women, love, and society are voiced in a casual tone as if sitting over pints at the pub or talking on the phone. In fact, on one track, the beat drops, and he goes on about his cell phone, and how he has "to stand in a certain spot in [his] kitchen or it cuts out." A GRAND DON'T COME FOR FREE feels, in fact, like a satisfying late-night phone call from a longtime friend who can manage to make every story interesting, no matter how mundane.

What the critics say...

Rolling Stone (p.152) - Included in Rolling Stone's Top 50 Records Of 2004 - "It's a torrent of urgent British slang, twitchy rock loops and half-accidental rhymes..."
Spin (p.67) - Ranked #7 in Spin's "40 Best Albums of the Year" - "[A] gripping headphone-movie about lost love, broken appliances and mislaid funds."
Q (p.92) - 5 stars out of 5 - "[A] spoken word opera, or a short story with an exquisitely crafted pop soundtrack. A GRAND DON'T COME FOR FREE is also the best album of 2004 so far, and by some distance."
Uncut (p.86) - 5 stars out of 5 - "[A]n album which strides out of the garage and re-engages with the world. It is an essential listen for anyone interested in where music might take them."
Uncut (p.75) - Ranked #7 in Uncut's "Best New Albums of 2004" - "The world's first 'garage opera' is a stroke of genius..."
Magnet (p.109) - "Skinner has gone from likeable scamp to sympathetic lead, and GRAND's greatest revelation is how totally plausible Skinner is when he's being serious."
Vibe (p.154) - 3 1/2 out of 5 - "[T]he real joy is in Streets' off-the-wall musicality and down-to-earth cockney flow."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.92) - 4 stars out of 5 - "[T]his shudders and sidesteps at an R&B pace....Credit Skinner for pushing things forward; he remains one of the most compelling voices in British pop culture."

Track Listing:

Disc 1:
  1. It Was Supposed To Be So Easy
  2. Could Well Be In
  3. Not Addicted
  4. Blinded By The Light
  5. I Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way
  6. Get Out Of My House
  7. Fit But You Know It
  8. Such A Twat
  9. What Is He Thinking
  10. Dry Your Eyes
  11. Empty Cans
Release date NZ
January 1st, 2007
Vice Records
Number of Discs
Box Dimensions (mm)
Product ID

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Used - Good
Used but with signs of wear. May not contain original manuals and packaging.
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McLarenF1 5 stars Ships from Palmerston North

Comments: Bubble wrapped for shipping. I will combine shipping costs - so purchase 3 or 4 extra items and I will refund the extra amount paid. The refund will be inside the item when received.

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