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The Streets - None of Us Are Getting Out Of This Life Alive (Album Review)

Thursday, 16 July 2020 Written by Alex Myles

There’s one thing you cannot knock Mike Skinner for, and that’s the consistent inventiveness of the Streets. Although it’s been nine years since a release under the moniker, the mixtape ‘None of Us Are Getting Out Of This Life Alive’ is a steadfastly Streets project, despite dipping into multiple genres. 

There are classically wry observations of relationships, technology—his phone is a frequent theme—and partying throughout. Skinner invites an inspired array of artists, from big names Kevin Parker (Tame Impala) and Joe Talbot (IDLES) to fresh faces like Greentea Peng and Dapz on the Map, but this tape isn’t exactly a messianic return.

The opener, Calling My Phone Thinking I’m Doing Nothing Better, is the first of a handful of songs on that all-consuming mobile and getting over an ex-girlfriend: “Whoever’s with my ex needs to do better, she’s still texting me at two till 10.”

Musically, it’s vintage Streets, with piano and string pads carried by abrasive, unfussy beats, yet the tedious melody leaves us wanting more. 

The title track sounds like an industrial record, opening with Skinner shouting: “I hate my country.” Again, the chorus is rather dull, as is the hook on the next track, I Wish You Loved You As Much As Him. The wobbly bass hook is uninteresting, but a verse from Greentea Peng is one of the strongest on the mixtape. 

Similarly, the next cut You Can’t Afford Me features exceptional bars from rapper Ms Banks: “If you lie down with dogs babe, then you’re gonna need a vet” and “I’m from M&S babes, you got a better chance in Lidl’s.” There’s also welcome soulful variation on I Know Something You Did, with nicely mixed organ and jazzy bass. 

The constant verse-chorus-verse structure soon wears thin, however. Although the garage-based production often twists into different genres, like the piano-driven balladry of Conspiracy Theory Freestyle and post-dubstep of Take Me As I Am, Skinner ultimately fails to reach the heights he once did. This project will however please the most fervent of Streets fans, and can perhaps act as a torch passing to the young stars dotted throughout the mixtape.

The Streets Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Thu August 06 2020 - LONDON EartH
Fri July 09 2021 - MANCHESTER Castlefield Bowl

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