Photo Credit to The Irish Times Article by Ryan Shaw
See I reckon you're an 8 or a 9, maybe even 9 & a half in 4 beers time
The Streets: None Of Us Are Getting Out Of This Life Alive
2020 has been the arrival of many things with most of them being bad. However, this does not include Mike Skinner’s re-embodiment as the Streets with the new mixtape None Of Us Are Getting Out Of This Life Alive hitting our ears. Once again the playful pintman attempts to dart around subjects and topics of everyday geezer life in his witty self-deprecating way.
If you are unfamiliar with the music of The Streets then the typical projection of a flashy lifestyle often found within rap music is completely void: making way for genuinely relatable bars. He was at the forefront of a new style of rap in the UK when in the noughties a new labour government promised hope for the working class, Mike was a voice for them.
Source - NME
Mike Skinner's personality has been moulded from his early years in the Brum being raised on UK garage and pirate radio which was premiered in his debut Original Pirate Material. Now he has come out with his most expressive and experimental project yet. This release seems to have more attention in the production than the lyrics which is atypical. Most likely because Mike is backed up by features on every track until the ultimate “Take Me As I Am”, a nod to the first track with only him on it and a view into The Streets 4th wall breaking realism.
This is the first project we have received from The Streets in 9 years and from the title alone, we know we have our Mike back. However, his past 9 years spent experimenting with The D.O.T, The Darker the Shadow The Brighter the Light, and spending a lot of time DJing has definitely left an impact on how he creates music.
This is still the same mind that brought us ‘Has it come to this’ and ‘fit but you know it’ yet a more mature father of two shines through the lyrics. Skinner is no longer the 22-year-old sneaking pills into clubs and with that goes some of the charm that comes with being the voice of that noughties generation: however there is still a lot to be said by the artist. In this mixtape we are introduced not to the Mike Skinner we would see “pranging out” but rather the one we would expect to see after maturing in the industry for two decades. It would be wholly strange to hear him talking about the same kebab shop queue, but instead, he replaces his self deprecating Birmingham life with features from up and coming musicians helping them out like we know any decent geezer that made it big would.
This isn't to say that the songs are not relatable, just maybe not as relatable as “Dry your eyes”, a true tear-jerker for anybody familiar with a breakup. In honesty, it would be wrong to say that any songs on this release cut as deep or are as impactful as earlier releases. Yet: the production found within this project is much more diverse and interesting than anything that came before such as the psychedelia influenced "Call My Phone Thinking I'm Doing Nothing Better" with Tame Impala.
Source: The Guardian
With Mike Skinner’s recent plays in the DJing world, there is a clear sense that a lot of the songs could be, or are designed to be club bangers - if clubs ever open again - with each song being completely unique. Mainly thanks to the array of features originating in different genres and places bringing new feelings to each track. Grounded in garage beats the mixtape takes features from the likes of Tame Impala, Jimothy Lacoste and Ms Banks giving each song complete originality whilst being attached to the garage scene, the natural habitat of The Streets.
Favourite track - Take Me As I Am, incidentally the only track without a main feature; this is the most nostalgic of the tracks and probably why I like it the most.
Least favourite Track - Conspiracy Theory Freestyle - not a massive fan of the backing vocals; they seem out of place on a project which allows for wide variations.