Socialist Worker

Sounds which stick a finger up at Blair

by Sam Norman
Issue No. 1796

THE STREETS' Original Pirate Material is the amazing debut album of Mike Skinner, a West Midlands UK garage MC. Original Pirate Material has been getting all the headlines in the music press. It is hailed as the bright new hope that will save the music industry.

The single 'Let's Push Things Forward' really grabbed my attention. Its airplay has been almost non-stop, even featuring on Radio 2. Having never been a fan of garage before I was amazed, if not blown away, by the rest of the album.

It would be all too easy to describe Mike Skinner as the British equivalent to Eminem, which a lot of the music press seem to want to do. To me the album is more reminiscent of the Specials, as Mike Skinner cuts with the same gripping realities.

Skinner's urban drawl evokes the tedium of youth culture, going to pubs and clubs, eating Big Macs and smoking dope. This album is the sound of resentment and anger at the government. Skinner doesn't have a solution on how to change things, but he must surely be respected for sticking his middle finger up at Blair on behalf of an entire generation.

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Sat 20 Apr 2002, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1796
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