No, I don't like it. But not for the reason you might think. I mean, I'm reasonably OK with geezer rap - I actually like the cadences of that mid-London accent. But I have a confession to make. It's actually quite shaming.
I often tell myself it's because I've worked in radio - but then I remember it's always been this way. In fact I think it's one of those areas where my position on the autistic spectrum shows itself up the most. I'm sensitive to the things I hear. Piercing noises go right through me. I can't ignore an echo on a phone call - I have to hang up and try again. And I really have problems with people with speech impediments.
I know it's not their fault, but it sets up a kind of loop in my head, where in the end all I hear is the impediment, and I can't concentrate on the words being said. Can you imagine the difficulty I had one long summer when I shared a house with a guy who had a really bad stammer? (Sorry, Ian)
So there you have it - Mike Skinner's lisp, slight though it is, makes listening to The Streets nigh on impossible for me.
VERDICT: THROW IT OUT
I get that this is actually quite clever and all, but to be honest, Mike Skinner's delivery annoys me. Maybe this is because I've spent many years listening to this geezer accent at many of the pubs frequented by rowdy English backpackers, who all seem to speak at three times the necessary volume. This only gets louder the more they have to drink.
Having said this, I don't imagine Australian backpackers are any different. But I don't know what it is about a lot of travellers who feel it is necessary to REPRESENT their country of birth loudly, proudly and numerously. Yeah, I get it, you're from England or America or where ever. Now will you please quieten down so I can enjoy my heartstoppingly fatty pub schnitzel in peace.
But all this is saying nothing about The Streets, is it? To be honest, this isn't the kind of hip hop that gets me excited. There is just a little too much of the same cheesy sounds and not enough vocal hooks to keep me interested. There are a couple of cool tracks like Don't Mug Yourself and Geezers Need Excitement. But not nearly enough to make me want to hold on to this.
VERDICT: THROW IT OUT
For more information: http://www.skinnermike.com/