The Streets' sophomore effort from 2004, now on 180 gram vinyl! A Grand Don't Come For Free was originally released on Vice in the States, but this time around Be With are responsible (the guys who brought you those Ned Doheny and Leon Ware reissues) . Here's what Jemz had to say when back in '05 - It sounds like somebody switched Mike Skinner's e-pills for surrup, losing the garage tunes of his debut for a slower, more matured approach. While the beats have changed, he sticks to what people liked him for in the first place; storytelling skills that drag you along line by line, catchy hooks, bedroom production, rhymes about birds and rizzlas, and those oversized synth chords. "Blinded By The Lights" is destined to become a hit even if it has to be remixed out of its 70bpm mode first. The grinding music, female chorus and pill taking story are so damn memorable. The first single "Fit But You Know It" displays Skinner's British national wit and surprising (for a Brit) humility, a good choice since it's probably the most radio-ready of the set. Another major difference between this and his debut is that Skinner's got himself a bird now. The new lifestyle is best captured in the tracks "Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way," where he acknowledges the time he's wasted watching telly on his girl's sofa, and "Get Out My House," a duet that touches on the basic trials and tribulations of male/female dynamics. If you weren't a fan of his British invasion the first time around this probably won't win you over, but for the rest of us the saga continues. 11 songs total on double vinyl with gatefold sleeve.
- 180 gram reissue
- double vinyl w/ gatefold sleeve
- music label: Vice 2004 / Be With 2014
reviewed by jemz 10/2005