Garage | Electronic
His name is Mike Skinner, and he did a thing called The Streets, then he didn’t, then he awoke from his slumber and brought The Streets back.
If you grew up in the UK in the early 2000’s, like I did, chances are that you had definitely heard a tune or two from Birmingham rap artist Mike Skinner’s proudest project The Streets. His first two studio albums especially left a greatly positive mark on, and those were the ones that I remember most fondly. When looking back on tracks like “Has It Come To This?”, “Fit, but You Know It” and “Dry Your Eyes”, it showers me with a great sense of nostalgia.
And while there have been a handful of albums since those first two, None Of Us Are Getting Out Of This Life Alive is still the first project to feature brand new songs ince 2011’s Computers and Blues (so the first in 9 years). I refrain from saying studio album, as None Of Us Are Getting Out Of This Life Alive has technically been deemed as a mixtape.
That being said however, this record definitely has a substantial amount of content within it. None Of Us Are Getting Out Of This Life Alive has a total of 12 tracks, which helped it feel like a much more extensive experience, despite only being roughly 38 minutes in length. But more importantly, this record is packed with many a talented feature, including the likes of Tame Impala, IDLES, Greentea Peng, and many more.
With the inclusion of so many exciting featured artists, I felt that it was a very smart move when it comes to bridging that marginally large gap that the 9 year hiatus created. This also allows Mike Skinner to keep most of the traditional aesthetic and style of The Streets, and carry it into a different era of music.
I must admit that in the stages of teaser tracks being released, I generally felt underwhelmed by the teaser tracks when critically listening to them as singles. And as a result, the bar I set for the full album’s release felt a little low. However, the earlier half of this record especially (which oddly enough, included the two teasers I listened to), actually felt really consistent. I feel that it was probably the kind of scenario in which the inclusion on the full record helped me realise the more positive aspects of each song (indeed, this has happened before).
And while I ended up coming to greatly appreciate the earlier slice of this record, unfortunately the later part were scattered with tracks that still felt underwhelming, despite being part of a whole record.
The lyrics too, I found to either be hit-or-miss; while there were some lyrics from Mike Skinner which I admired for their wit, there were others that were mundane enough to take me out of the moment of the album.
But with the negative criticism done and dusted, I can conclude my review on the note that None Of Us Are Getting Out Of This Life Alive is a very solid mixtape, and return to music from Mike Skinner’s beloved musical alias.
Favourite Tracks: None Of Us Are Getting Out Of This Life Alive | You Can’t Afford Me | The Poison I Take Hoping You Will Suffer
Least Favourite Track: Same Direction
Mike Skinner | Universal Music Operations Limited | Island Records