Their latest and final album, which is actually very, very good...
'Computers And Blues' is the fifth and reputably final album by Mike Skinner under his The Streets guise. Produced by Skinner himself while working closely with The Music's Rob Harvey, the album sees Skinner go out with a bang, taking his trademark lyrics about everyday life and layering rock and rave inspired beats underneath. The single 'Going Through Hell' is featured.
It's all of one minute and fourteen seconds into the fifth and final Streets album before you realise that Mike Skinner has found a way of pushing things forward at the same time as bringing The Streets' story full circle.
'Computers And Blues' crams everything Mike Skinner has learnt in the course of his very personal five album odyssey into a package as irresistibly box-fresh as his game-changing 2002 debut 'Original Pirate Material'. In the course of this infectiously upbeat, tune-packed finale, the sound of The Streets goes back to basics at the same time as expanding in all directions.
It doesn’t matter if Skinner is making the impossible look easy by coming up with a UK rock/rap hybrid that doesn't sound like its trying to be Jay-Z's '99 Problems' (first single 'Going Through Hell'), inciting East London’s MC community to hot tears of jealous rage with the deliciously complex Alphabetti Spaghetti of 71 second grime banger 'ABC', or bringing the curtain down with a poignant swish via the Office Christmas Special-style finale of 'Lock the Locks'. Every one of these songs worms its way into the back of your head with the same insidious originality that first grabbed our attention in the days when the idea of a British rapper still seemed like a contradiction in terms.
From the minefield of Facebook relationship status ('OMG') to the hysterical state of imagined combat readiness induced by spending too long playing Call of Duty ('Without A Blink'), to the heartstring-tugging 100 pixels of 'Blip on a Screen’ ("You're growing thumbs/I'm going numb/Tucked into your mum/Looks like it could be quite fun"), Computers and Blues addresses the interplay between human emotion and electronic communication with Skinner's trademark self- deprecating wit.
Mike Skinner, better known under his hip-hop sobriquet, the Streets, burst onto the British music scene in a big way with his 2002 debut album ORIGINAL PIRATE MATERIAL. Coming off like a hip-hop version of Ian Dury, Skinner raps in a thick Birmingham accent about the details of everyday working-class life in England, with an inventiveness and humour that mark him as an original. He's musically innovative as well, utilising a sonic framework that incorporates the influences of drum-and-bass, garage, 2-Step, and ragga, as well as the standard hip-hop beats.
1. Outside Inside
2. Going Through Hell
3. Roof Of Your Car
4. Puzzled By People
5. Without A Blink
6. Blip On A Screen
7. Those That Don't Know
9. We Can Never Be Friends
12. Trying To Kill M.E.
13. Trust Me
14. Lock The Locks