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Everything Is Borrowed

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iTunes Review

While Original Pirate Material found Mike Skinner describing his local identity and A Grand Don’t Come For Free and The Hardest Way to Make An Easy Living recorded his tumultuous rise to fame and fortune, Everything Is Borrowed searches for Skinner’s place in the world. The album was recorded almost entirely with live instruments, and features recurring references to natural settings: the forest, the coastline, the sea. In his existential wanderings Skinner borders on ponderousness, but his songs are always saved by guile and ambiguity. “Alleged Legends,” “On the Edge of a Cliff,” and “On the Flip of a Coin” are more like parables than pop songs. Skinner began his career painting scenes from a very specific time and place (namely, South London circa 2000), but now his songs have the ring of tall tales culled from an old book of folklore. These tales are illuminated by a diverse set of tracks; from the claustrophobic tick of “Never Give In” to the stilted funk of “The Sherry End” and pastoral strumming of “The Strongest Person I Know,” the music here shows the most imagination of any of Skinner’s work to date. The Streets has become more mysterious, and perhaps less accessible, but Skinner’s journey becomes more fascinating with each passing year.

Customer Reviews


My wife and I normally agree on just about everything. I heard this album and was blown away at the beats and the spoken rap lyrics. I played it for my wife and she hated it so much I couldn't get through a single song. The point is that every now and again you need to ignore your wife, and buy a truly great album.

Skinner opens up a little bit!

Before the album came out, I was really excited to hear that Skinner would be writing the music rather than using so many samples... I love Skinner's previous work (no doubt), but I like the evolution each album goes through. While many skinner fans, feel like this album lyrically lacks, I would totally disagree. Skinner is just talking about a more personal side of his life. It is a look at Skinner on the inside, rather than the rough outside he has presented in the previous three (especially the first two) albums. My highlights would be 'On the Flip of a Coin', 'On the Edge of a Cliff', and 'Never Give In'.... and of course 'The Escapist is a musical masterpiece. I also think that the title track 'Everything is Borrowed' are possibly some of Skinner's best lyrics. If you are new to the streets style, I would definitely give this album a try. I think it is their easiest album to get into because it is so much less abrasive... However; you are missing out if you have not yet heard the previous three albums... Also... Skinner has said of his next & rumoured last album 'Computers & Blues', which will be released in the years to come, that the music will be compltely orchestrated... Now that, will be a powerful ending to a great legacy in the hip-hop world.

Too many misses

Musically this album is great. Lyrically it lacks personality. Tracks 1 and 11 are great. In the middle there are some decent ones, but many of them sound like a mish mash of fortune cookies and greeting cards. Nothing particularly insightful. The first two albums are still his best by far.


Formed: November 27, 1978 in Birmingham, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Mike Skinner's recordings as the Streets marked the first attempt to add a degree of social commentary to Britain's party-hearty garage/2-step (and later grime) movement. Skinner, a Birmingham native who later ventured to the capital, was an outsider in the garage scene, though his initial recordings appeared on Locked On, the premiere source for speed garage and, later, 2-step from 1998 to the end of the millennium. He spent time growing up in North London as well as Birmingham, and listened first...
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Everything Is Borrowed, The Streets
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