Upon its release 10 years ago, The Streets second album, A Grand Don’t Come For Free was instantly hailed as another masterpiece to equal his initial clarion call, Original Pirate Material.
Unavailable on vinyl for the best part of the intervening decade, Be With Records marks its second release by issuing Mike Skinner’s electronic soap opera on this format.
9/10 XanderGJones Customer review, 9th June 2014
A Grand Don't Come for Free really is an album I have a very special place in my heart for. There aren't many artists who can make the very simple pleasures in life poetic, even the mundane and unpleasant situations are wrapped up poignantly by Skinner. Chatting shit really is The Streets' forte, and that is not a bad thing in the slightest.
The opening track 'It Was Supposed to Be So Easy' is a day in the life of Skinner gone wrong (albeit the overall narritive of this 'rap-opera is fictional, but certain incidents are clearly based on past experiences - "and, of course, a mandatory car drives by and splashes me"). following this, the tracks go from the loss in a grand in cash to falling for a girl, tripping badly on some class As in a club, a drunken mistake on a lads' holiday, betrayal from a close mate, the heartbreak from breaking up with aforementioned girl to, possibly, the most beautiful ending to an album ever with 'Empty Cans'. The bitter cynicism at the start of 'Empty Cans' makes its transition to the almost euphoric end all the more impressive. I do feel a couple of the tracks let this album down, but not by much.
I don't think I've ever been more excited for a vinyl reissue.
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