album review for the skinnyThe Streets - Everything Is Borrowed (***)
Mike Skinner's a Marmite musician if ever there was one: if his first two albums didn't convince you that this likely geezer could inject as much meaning into mundanity as any artist, in pop music or out of it, then Everything Is Borrowed won't convince you otherwise. For the rest of us, it's just a relief that Skinner has shed the impression of third album Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living of a thoroughly dislikeable cokehead. Call this his 'mature' album: from the sweet refrains of the opening title track it’s clear he’s taking a fatalistic approach. Skinner's done a lot of growing up, and the wonderfully told stories of mid-album duo Edge Of A Coin and Edge Of A Cliff impart uncharacteristically sage advice. He’s not quite swapped the Classics for slippers and the pranging for a pipe, but Borrowed is Skinner’s most relaxed, unselfconscious and thematically diverse record yet.