It’s 2004, and with the help of talented new artists, the music scene is finally being revived from its troublesome drought. It seemed that for some time, music was dead and that originality was hiding somewhere, sucking the hope out of music lovers everywhere. The idea of artists taking a step in a different direction from the mainstream has brought about the rise of indie music worldwide. England in particular has jumped on the indie bandwagon, giving us Mike Skinner as he continues in this independent direction with the Streets and his release of A Grand Don’t Come for Free. This British potty-mouth goes it alone as he takes under his belt the writing and production of the entire album.

The Streets gives its audience a taste of London street culture with Skinner’s thick British accent and husky lyrics. He spits his message out over original beats and doesn’t cut corners when it comes to explicit lyrics. There are a few tame tracks on the album, including “Could Well Be In” and “Empty Cans,” however “Get Out Of My House” and “Such A Tw*t” brand Skinner’s album with a parental advisory label.

Skinner’s last album, Original Pirate Material, seems raw and elementary when compared to his new release. A Grand Don’t Come for Free shows that Skinner has grown not only musically but also emotionally. As he incorporates melodies and backup vocals, he often raps of a certain “she” and “her” that gives the impression that love either is or was in the air for Mike. His unique style compiles garage, hip hop and reggae to create an album that many can enjoy.

[Blaire Brown also spits out his message, so cover your face when you talk to him.]