Everything Is Borrowed

Everything Is Borrowed

5.0 1
by The Streets
     
 

By the end of the last Streets album, The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living, listeners and even most fans were ready for Mike Skinner to stop complaining about the perils of celebrity. Skinner sounded crass and cynical, utterly disgusted with his life and very bitter about what it had become. (In so doing, it proved that he's one ofSee more details below

Overview

By the end of the last Streets album, The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living, listeners and even most fans were ready for Mike Skinner to stop complaining about the perils of celebrity. Skinner sounded crass and cynical, utterly disgusted with his life and very bitter about what it had become. (In so doing, it proved that he's one of the most honest songwriters to ever step up to a microphone.) Everything Is Borrowed is a neat about-face, a record that couldn't be more different from its predecessor. Sincere, considered, and poignant, Everything Is Borrowed finds Skinner remaining one of the foremost lyricists in pop music, and so much the better when the focus of his sharp writing is the struggle of weighty concepts instead of flimsy celebrity. Skinner's characters in these parables are struggling, no doubt, but in the process they're also coming upon profound insights about life, death, and love, ranging from the slightly pithy ecology dance piece "The Way of the Dodo" all the way up to the struggle between good and evil in each person ("Heaven for the Weather," which reveals its odd title and its lyrical genius in the line "I want to go to heaven for the weather/But hell for the company"). The instrumentation, as well, is far more different than any previous Streets record. Although the drums don't always sound live, most of the time they are, courtesy of drummer Johnny "Drum Machine" Jenkins. Electric guitar and bass occupy a lot of space, along with the occasional strings and even brass. Nevertheless, since the instruments are wielded the same way that the synths were in the past, there's no radical change in format. Skinner still busies himself speaking most of the verses (often tripping over himself) and singing every chorus (usually off-key), as though he's stumbling upon every genius line, daft as they sometimes sound. He's just as stingy with his productions as he has been ever since the second Streets album, so those who ache for the crystalline production perfection of Original Pirate Material won't find much here to cling to. But singing (or speaking) words of wisdom like this certainly makes up for his gradual move away from the super-producer status he's enjoyed in the past. Suddenly optimistic, or at least philosophical, about life, Skinner catches lightning in the bottle for the third time, and makes it clear that once we're able to look back at the Streets discography -- Skinner has promised that this is the fourth of five -- it will be easy to see The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living much more simply, troubled and frustrating though it was, as a way to exorcise some of his darker demons, and make the journey to the light more invigorating.

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Editorial Reviews

Rolling Stone - Will Hermes
On his fourth set, he addresses loftier themes — religion, mortality, ecology — without sounding dorky; it's like he's been woodshedding with Obama's speechwriting team. 1/2

Product Details

Release Date:
10/07/2008
Label:
Vice Records
UPC:
0883888000825
catalogNumber:
80008
Rank:
286474

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Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Streets   Primary Artist
Johnny Jenkins   Acoustic Guitar,Percussion,Drums,Bass Guitar,Vocals
Wayne Bennett   Electric Guitar
Nick Marshall   Acoustic Guitar,Double Bass
Adam Love   Vocals,Background Vocals
Mike Skinner   Bass,Guitar,Harmonica,Concertina,Drums,Keyboards,Xylophone,sleigh bells,Vocal Ad-Libs
Chris Brown   Organ,Accordion,Keyboards,Hammond Organ,fender rhodes,Wurlitzer
Ed Harcourt   Banjo,Mandolin
Richard Wayler   Vocals
Camilla Pay   Harp
Eddie Jenkins   Piano,fender rhodes
Bob Dowell   Piano
Kevin Mark Trail   Vocals,Background Vocals
Chris Brown   Organ,Keyboards
Laura Vane   Vocals,Background Vocals
Jake Painter   Trumpet
Amy Langley   Cello
Barnet PILLharmonic Choir   Background Vocals
Wayne Bennett   Bass,Electric Guitar
Wayne Hart Singers   Vocals
Johnny Jenkins   Acoustic Guitar,Percussion,Piano,Drums,Glockenspiel,Bass Guitar,Electric Guitar,Recorder,Triangle,Xylophone,Musical Direction
Teddy Mitchell   Background Vocals,Human Whistle
Nick Shirm   Vocals
Chris Williams   Flute,Human Whistle
Nick Marshall   Guitar
Maria Payne   Clarinet
Gita Harcourt   Violin
Adam Love   Vocals
Wayne Hart Singers   Vocals
Amy Stanford   Viola

Technical Credits

Morgan Nicholls   Engineer,Drum Engineering
Mike Skinner   Producer,Engineer,Mastering,Drum Engineering
Mike Millrain   Engineer,Mastering,Drum Engineering
Guy Katsav   Engineer,Drum Engineering
Robin Axford   Engineer,Drum Engineering

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