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Monday, 1 April, 2002, 16:52 GMT 17:52 UK
The Streets: Your views
Mike Skinner
The album was created on a home computer
Mike Skinner, otherwise known as The Streets, has been hailed as the voice of Blair's Britain and the English Eminem.

His debut album, which he made in his bedroom at his mum's house, has already been called the year's best debut release.

"The CD is a collection of uncompromising and inventive tunes that straddle musical boundaries and provide a succinct, funny map of modern urban society," wrote BBC News Online's Ian Youngs.

So what did you think?

Is the hype justified? Will the album only appeal to a younger, male generation?

HAVE YOUR SAY

I think its great for the simple reason that its different. People complain of hearing the same old stuff over again. Lets recognise something new, funny, intelligent and British ! I think The Streets could make some great remixes of current tunes. Go Buy!
Adrian , UK

Step outside the hype for minute, and this really is a shining light for British music - this record should appeal to an extremely wide audience for many reasons. Only the truly jaded could deny the lyrics (apart from the occasional weak lines) are spot on. The direct comparisons to Eminem are lazy journalism at best - there are many influences here but The Streets transcend them. Brilliantly realised reflection of young British life.
Jonathan, UK

This music makes me lose the will to live. There is nothing special about some bloke writing an album in his bedroom - probably half the producers in this country work like this. The lyrics are mind numbingly crass, the music is barely passable - I don't care if he's being ironic or not its still rubbish.

Unfortunately I suspect the media and music industries "trendies" have already decided to hype this in an attempt to boost their flagging profits and all voices of reason will be swept aside.
Tom Szirtes, UK

Great, well worth the wait, very original material. His lyrics pull you right there into his world, I love the way he uses everyday Britishness instead of trying to ape America. Far better than So Solid Crew in my opinion, can't be compared to them. Hopefully The Streets won't be overexposed to the point of irritation. As long as he can keep his feet firmly on the floor, he should go far.
Mumble, UK

This is a great album... A poetry piece for a new generation. Track 11 has got to be one of the funniest songs I have ever heard.
Rak, UK

I think it's great for the simple reason that it is different. People complain of hearing the same old stuff over again. Let's recognise something new, funny, intelligent and British! I think The Streets could make some great remixes of current tunes. Go buy!
Adrian, UK

Step outside the hype for a minute, and this really is a shining light for British music - this record should appeal to an extremely wide audience for many reasons. Only the truly jaded could deny the lyrics (apart from the occasional weak lines) are spot on. The direct comparisons to Eminem are lazy journalism at best - there are many influences here but The Streets transcend them. Brilliantly realised reflection of young British life.
Jonathan, UK

The new voice of an "urban" generation... talks about British working class life in the same vein as The Specials and Madness and in my opinion it is pure genius. It is the most honest and upfront piece of work that the UK has seen for years!
Matt Dean, UK

I have not stopped playing this album since I bought it. It needs to be in everyone's CD collection. Intelligent British music at its best.
Norfy, UK

Yet another case of the Next Big Thing. In this case there is nothing interesting in the music and the lyrics are shockingly poor with terrible vocals. Total hype and total nonsense.
Robin, UK

The new voce of an "Urban" Generation. There's plenty better out there, this kid gets more hype since he's white.
Nik, UK

I think the music is brilliant, it has a different edge to it that will appeal to a lot of different people who may follow different types of music genre.
Kathryn, England

No, no, no!!! It's just a lazily put together load of words with a slow thud more akin to a funeral march. Inventive, inspiring, I don't think so. If the teenage generation are after another miserable sad individual to follow, then this is it, otherwise, Mr. Streets, stick to using you PC for something useful, how about a paperweight instead?
Ian S, UK

I think the album is the best thing I've heard in a long time. Push Things Forward is a definite winner and the style of his Urban Poetry is unique. Good luck to him!
Jessica, England

So he's the voice of Blair's Britain, which means he has a job, a car, cash in his pocket; but will still bore us to death about "urban life" and its associated woes. Yes, an original album, but what's the bet that the follow up album will have a track about his "drug death friend"...Boring!!!
James C, UK

This debut LP is street raw. At least we can relate to this, not like Mr Slim Shady.
Ben Manning, England

I first thought that The Streets were really bad but then I heard The Irony Of It All and I thought it was so cool. I'm not that in touch with the youth of today but it sounded so real. Not your gangster wannabe nonsense from America. The vocals are pretty harsh but it all adds to the gritty realism of the album. I can't stop playing it and it really grows on you.
Jim, Sheffield

I have no idea about the lyrics and couldn't possibly comment on them. I couldn't get through ten seconds of listening to backing track... If this is the best young Britain can offer, it's a sorry state of affairs!
Kate, England

Not as great as people are making out, but he is the best thing we've heard for a while. He doesn't want to be Wu Tang (like So Solid) and he admits how uncool he is, so we can all identify with him. Not a great album but enough good tracks to make it better than most currently out and if anyone doubts his sincerity or lyrics, "Too Late" should put 'em straight.
Daniel, London

Oh please. This album is being hailed by the same people who think that a row of policeman was worthy of the Turner Prize. When the first single from the album came out every single radio station had a pop at the kiddish lyrics which are only as good as the catchy samples they're blended with. All of a sudden it's the best thing since slice bread. All credit to Chris Moyles who sees the album as what it is, rubbish.The only thing this album represents is the superficial nature of the music industry who can phase out intelligent music writers and promote drivel like the streets.
Asim, UK

Well... what can I say, bought this album first day it came out and I have not stopped playing it from start to finish. The beats are wicked, the tunes are catchy and the lyrics are unbelievable, I haven't heard anything this good since 1995. He hasn't followed any trends, just gone his own way and opened up a whole new genre. Fair play to him I say. Quality album, every one of them, single material. Big Yourself Up Mike!
Laura, England

Is he "for real", or is he exploiting the irksome "underclass chic" angle that the media have lapped up, to his own ends? Just who is the joke on? Regardless, I think it's refreshing to have a rapper who has no friends. He's got more in common with Jilted John, or Kevin and Perry than So Solid Crew.
Dickon Edwards, UK

This was recommended to me by Joseph Arthur, at a gig in Strasbourg on Monday. Just checked it out on their website, and it sounds like it's a celebration of all that's negative about Britain today... "A True Poet"... I think not... on the other hand, the performance by Joseph Arthur was a revelation. I had the feeling that I was seeing an artist at the peak of his powers, like Dylan, Lennon or Barret in the Sixties. His live performance, generating percussion and musical loops using his old acoustic guitar was just stunning. Better than some bloke sitting in their bedroom, ranting about going to the pub...
Chris Frost, Germany (Ex-UK)

Hmmm, yet another urban "real-life" artist gets his amazingly original material to the public's ears via a hugely profitable record contract and Radio One airplay, yeah, about as cutting edge as some of the things I sing in the shower... This is pop music, all good fun, but pop all the same. Nothing worng with pop, just don't call it new, or original.
Joe, UK

Dull, dull, dull, repetitive, dull! Don't waste your money! Buy a Specials or Massive Attack album instead! It might have been quite good without the unbelievably tedious and grating lyrics!
Matt P, UK

Also, if one is talking about the sound of young urban Britain how can you ignore Roots Manuva who has been dishing out hunks of steaming funk-filled genius for the last few years. Get with it guys, just 'cos the rap style is weak and the beats are brain dead doesn't mean The Streets is intelligent, or even orignal...
ARC, UK

Awful. His lyrics are feeble and his delivery barely conscious. The backing tracks are undanceable and monotonous. Truly terrible, although I grant occasionally levened with mild humour. Let's face it, the people hyping this hunk of maloderous junk were probably the same hype-monkeys who acclaimed Oxide and Neutrino's last aural bowel movement as "one of the best albums of the year". Next you'll be telling me that the "More Fire Cru" are genius....
ARC, UK

Just as Eminem in the US and in the UK has, Mike Skinner has brought down to earth the overhyped music scene. Instead of all that "Have you seen my Audi TT, I'm gonna blow you away wiv my Gat' rubbish that the More Fire Cru are putting out, he's given us something different with every track.

It's exactly what every CD collection is looking for and can't be compared to hardly any other albums I've heard. Kids in the UK can't relate to half of the stuff done by So Solid and Oxide and Neutrino, as it's all so far fetched. This album truly reflects life for many young people in the UK. The whole make-up of It's Too Late makes it one of the best pieces of music I've heard in ages. It gives me goosebumps every time I hear it and if you listen to the lyrics you can see why.

The only thing I don't want Mike to do is lower his standards for the second album, this is certainly a hard act to follow.
Dan, Notts, UK

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See also:

28 Mar 02 | Reviews
Coming up from The Streets
05 Oct 01 | Music
So Solid Crew: Garage stars
29 Nov 01 | Film
Eminem angers conservationists
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