This is a Random Album Generator.
One album a day.
From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

A Grand Don't Come For Free

The Streets

2004

Wikipedia

A Grand Don't Come For Free

Rating

2.86

Votes

3304

Reviews

Like a review? Give it a thumb up to help us display relevant reviews!
View Author
5

I knew, before I'd hit play, that I'd give this one a 5. I love The Streets so much. This album, along with Original Pirate Material and The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living were on regular rotation in my car in the late aughts. The delivery is aggressively conversational, the lyrics deliver a beautifully sharp narrative, and the sparse beats provide the perfect bed for the vocal performance. I just... I just love The Streets. I just do.

👍
View Author
4

Tis good. Cool to hear hints of early dub-step in the background. You can tell this album really set the stage for a lot of music that followed it.

👍
View Author
2

A cool concept, but honestly so much of the album was just annoying, both the whining and the rapping and beats themselves. I like the idea of the album far more than the execution.

👍
View Author
5

One of most British things I have heard, but it is fantastic!

👍
View Author
4

As far as concept albums go, this one's a keeper. And it's a U.K. rap/grime concept album, to boot! My only minor reproach is that there are a few underwhelming tracks where the overall narrative takes over the music itself in terms of priority, especially towards the middle. But fortunately, this is not the case on the records' highlights. "It Was Supposed To Be Easy" is a striking opener, Mike Skinner's heavily accented yet clear-as-a-bell lad's voice doing wonders to set up the table and introduce the story *in media res*, as in most great short stories or novels. "Blinded By The Lights" is one of the best depictions of a drunken night ever penned this side of the pond--it's slow pace swaying you into the narrator's hallucinory state of mind as if you were there in that sleazy club with him. Far more straightforward, "Fit But You Know It" is a snarly hit with a catchy rock guitar sample. And "Dry Your Eyes" and "Empty Cans" end the yarn with the right amount of emotions, the latter even serving as a morality tale of sorts about free will and redemption. The strings arrangements on those two last tracks are very subtle, too. They're not strings for Hollywood stuff, they're strings for Mike Leigh or Ken Loach. Which is fitting here. As usual for those five or four-star reviews, I won't add much to what has already been written out there about this particular album. I even fear that I've spoiled the story a little with what I've written so far. But beyond that spoiler alert, what I found really interesting about this sophomore effort is that it was a different way for Skinner to depict that working class world he had already brilliantly explored in *Original Pirate Material*. Here this world of lads, lasses and geezers is viewed through the lens of a particular narrative, and such storytelling ambition often feels earned. Because Skinner keeps it sharp and simple, right as it should be given the topics he chose to deal with. It's a story about characters having mundane challenges in their social and love lives--characters having money issues, passing deluded thoughts and self-denial phases, not to mention addictions that might turn from a minor problem to a major one if left unchecked. But mostly, it's a story about simple folks. It's a rap opera, yes. But it's a rap opera about us as a people. [Number of albums left to review or just listen to: 982 Number of albums from the list I find relevant enough to be mandatory listens: 8 (including this one--but only on the condition there's room for *Original Pirate Material*, too) Albums from the list I *might* include in mine later on: 6 Albums from the list I will certainly *not* include in mine (as I think many others are more important): 4 Albums on which I feel my judgment is muddled by my past forays into specific genres instead of others (some might end up on my final list if they're culturally important): 1]

👍
View Author
3

Interesting as a concept but not as good as Original Pirate Material.

👍
View Author
5

The mile skinner concept album. Absolutely superb; it was supposed to be so eeeeeaaassssyyyy!

👍
View Author
5

Great album

👍
View Author
5

Awesome.

👍
View Author
5

Lose a bag of money: try to gamble on soccer to win it back. Go to pub and do drugs Get stoned with girlfriend and watch tv, get in row with girlfriend, go to pub and try to pick up hot girl, insult her and get in fight. . ZThis album is pure gold.

👍
View Author
5

Se oli tonnin seteli. Maailma olisi parempi paikka, jos olisi enemmän tällaisia levyjä, missä kerrotaan tarina. Ja toimiviahan nämä biisit on ihan yksittäisinäkin, mutta koko levyn tarinan suhteen odottaa kappale kappeelta, mitä seuraavaksi tapahtuu. Levy, mihin takuulla palaan. 4,5 --> 5.

👍
View Author
5

4.5 afgerond naar vijf. Nooit gedacht dat ik dit zo leuk zou vinden. De betere vorm van rap. Een paar keer extra luisteren om het hele verhaal mee te hebben zal sowieso dit album nog beter maken.

👍
View Author
5

MEESTERLIJK

👍
View Author
5

This was a favorite of mine back in college. Haven't listened to it in years and was surprised to see it on this list! I enjoyed it just as much as back then. I love how the lyrics form an overarching story, and is generally pretty humorous.

👍
View Author
5

One of my all time favourite

👍
View Author
5

Äntligen The Streets! Mike Skinners projekt har funnits i min periferi länge, utan att jag har kommit för mig att ge mig in i ett album. Så det var med stora förhoppningar jag gav mig in i detta projekt. Mina förhoppningar möttes. A Grand Don't Come For Free är ett konceptalbum som följer berättarjaget Mike. I It Was Supposed to Be So Easy beskrivs hur Mike har en riktig pissdag då det mesta går fel, och den slutar med att han tappar bort 1000 pund som han haft liggandes bredvid sin trasiga TV. Vi får sedan följa Mike tiden efter denna dag, som satte stort spår, för du vet, A Grand Don't Come For Free. Mike träffar Simone, som jobbar med kompisen Dan (Could Well Be In). De blir tillsammans, men bråkar. På semester är Mike otrogen mot Simone. Väl hemma är Simone själv otrogen mot Mike med Dan. Mike blir sedemera dumpad av Simone, vilket avhandlas i låten Dry Your Eyes, en vacker och extremt sorglig beskrivning av ett break-up. I Blinded by the Lights ska Mike träffa Simone och Dan på en nattklubb, men de kommer aldrig. I låten går Mike runt och är nojjig på klubben, poppar piller, och blir allt mer berusad tills han till sist inte bryr sig om vad Simone och Dan gör, cuz' there's a tune coming in. Låten kan vara den bästa som någonsin gjorts. Den får mig att vilja bli full, festa, ta droger, ha relationer, men är samtidigt fylld med stor sorg och vemod, som skiner igenom i den fan-tastiska produktionen. Skivan avslutas, och berättelsen kulmineras, med Empty Cans, en låt som bättre än någon annan demonstrerar Mike Skinners berättartalang. Den berättar två alternativa slut på historien. Först, en bitter Mike som skyller alla hans problem på andra ("It's not my fault there's wall-to-wall empty cans"). När en kille kommer för att reparera tv:n misstänker Mike att han håller på att bli blåst, och de börjar slåss, innan tv-reparatören springer ut ur lägenheten och Mike kan fortsätta dricka i ensamhet. Låten tar sedan lyssnaren tillbaks till samma scenario, där Mike sitter ensam och dricker, men med annan inställning ("It's all my fault there's wall-to-wall empty cans"). I denna versionen kommer kompisen Scott och lagar tv:n, och hittar i processen Mikes 1000 pund. Mike rycker upp sig, och kommer till insikten att endast han själv kan ta tag i sitt liv. Kompisar, familj, kanske kan hjälpa dig på vägen, men i slutändan är du ensam ansvarig över vilka vägar du tar i livet: "Or maybe it's that I realised that it is true No-one's really there fighting for you in the last garrison No-one except yourself that is, no-one except you You are the one who's got your back 'til the last deed's done Scott can't have my back 'til the absolute end 'Cause he's got to look out for what over his horizon He's gotta make sure he's not lonely, not broke It's enough to worry about keeping his own head above." The Streets va. Visst, vissa av låtarna kanske inte låter som world-beaters, och beatsen kanske är lite smutsiga. Men, det är en så äkta berättelse av en brittisk arbetarklasstillvaro att det är omöjligt att inte bli drabbad. Jag har en personlig dragning till brittisk fulkultur (fulla fotbollssupporters, skitiga pubar), så det är kanske inte konstigt att detta album tickar så många av mina boxar. Mike Skinners staccatoliknande rap är helt egen. Han spottar ren fakta mannen. Detta är en mall för hur konceptalbum som aspirerar att berätta en historia bör berätta den historien. Världsklass. Konst. The Streets är äkta. Bästa låt: Blinded by the Lights.

👍
View Author
5

Really interesting album, the style may be similar to Gorillaz, but it's completely different. There are several songs that took my attention. It contains miscellaneous music, but in general it's hip-hop. It's very melodic and independent, that makes it interesting.

👍
View Author
5

Love this album - the best concept album of the decade.

👍
View Author
5

It's been a while since I listened to this album, but I'm falling in love with it all over again. Great beats and electronics, rap/spoken word with a nice flow, entertaining lyrics, and sometimes it gets quite moving. Really enjoyed this from start to finish.

👍
View Author
5

Love this album

👍
View Author
5

Lovely bit of Brit-Hop, he has his own style as a street poet and I love that he performs in his own accent. Love "I Could Well Be In" "Fit But You Know It" "Dry Your Eyes" of course. Lovely snapshots of Brit Life in the early part of the 21st century. If you like this you must also love Arab Strap, proper social commentary through music.

👍
View Author
5

This was unexpected. Really awesome!

👍
View Author
5

I love this album. The storytelling is amazing.

👍
View Author
5

It’s great. Although there is probably a fair bit of nostalgia related to that with this one.

👍
View Author
5

Grand 💵

👍
View Author
5

An absolute cracker from start to finish. The best thing Mike Skinner has done - untouchable

👍
View Author
5

One of my all time favourites. Superb.

👍
View Author
5

A fantastic companion piece to Arctic Monkeys' debut album. Every word feels perfectly chosen to draw out comedy or poignancy to the max. As a result, I really enjoy the repetition of phrases over and over again. A fantastic snapshot of early 2000s Britain, one to enjoy further in the future.

👍
View Author
5

When I started this I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it… and then it took me on a journey with a protagonist I am completely taken by. It may not seem like an epic journey - filled with mundane details as well as the highs and lows of a relationship of a stoner’s life in Britain - but by the end I was so emotionally involved that by the breakup in “Dry Your Eyes” I actually had to heed the advice myself. This is an absolutely wonderful album. I felt like my life changed a little today.

👍
View Author
5

This is a simple but compelling story performed as a rap opera in a Brummie dialect that would make anything charming to my American ears. I'm not super interested in listening to any single song as a stand-alone track. But the album as a whole is unique and provided me with a fascinating listening experience today. I really enjoyed it.

👍
View Author
5

15th May 2022 Listened in the morning and finished at work. Gareth came round in the evening to chat about Kate. Mike skinner and the streets have what every artist is striving for- a sound which is unique that you know immediately is them. Tracks the course of a relationship, but adds grandeur as well as grounded realism.

👍
View Author
4

Very fun, very catchy, I like operas and I love rap. Great story. Standout Tracks: Not Addicted, Blinded by the Lights, Get Out of My House, What Is He Thinking?, Dry Your Eyes

👍
View Author
4

Great album, lots of middle school emo memories.

👍
View Author
4

Весьма оригинально и харизматично звучащий белый хип-хоп с английским шармом, броскими припевами и очень интересным, в некотором роде андерграундным продакшном, но не идеально. 8/10

👍
View Author
4

This was pretty weird at first but then I kinda came around to it. Like a British Eminem who just talk raps.

👍
View Author
4

Ensikosketus tähän Streetsin levyyn. Ihan ei pääse mainion Original Pirate Materialin tasolle, mutta varsin kelpo tapaus tämäkin. Tykkään Mike Skinnerin vahvalla brittiaksentilla vedetystä omaperäisestä tyylistä. Lyriikoiden kuuntelu jäi valitettavasti töitä tehdessä vähemmälle.

👍
View Author
4

Adorei o conceito de album que conta uma história, me fez ler todas as letras. Nenhuma das músicas é agradável o suficiente pra entrar na minha playlist, mas fui entretido!

👍
View Author
4

Actually super interesting. I did not expect to like this so much, but it's so creative! A fully-realized concept album, with a story thread and characters. Super fun and different.

👍
View Author
4

As a whole, it was really good

👍
View Author
4

Great UK hip hop, very unique

👍
View Author
4

dobrý beaty, i koncept

👍
View Author
4

Melodic rap about a guy that goes to the ATM to withdraw some money but doesn't get home on time for tea with him mom...

👍
View Author
4

Yessssss 🙌 I have loved The Streets for YEARS. I love the Birmingham accent. I love the lingo. You don’t hear rap like this. The fact that this is a concept album or a “rap opera” is so unique. Simultaneously epic, and yet incredibly mundane. “Could Well Be In” and “Get Out of My House” are the big highlights, but the whole thing is a jam. That all being said, I think I still prefer Original Pirate Material or Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living.

👍
View Author
4

it was a decent listen, even if I don't like the style that much.

👍
View Author
4

Es hip-hop, pero me ha gustado bastante.

👍
View Author
4

Toda una sorpresa. Divertido de escuchar y con buenos acordes y voz

👍
View Author
4

Honestly shocked that some grime made it in the list. Excellent album with some subpar mixing

👍
View Author
4

Always found it a bit over-rated but it's still a solid 3.5

👍
View Author
4

I liked it actually. A few good tracks but the album works well together as a narrative.

👍
View Author
4

english spoken word rap album? but its rock driving underneath? it was pretty interesting, but not very melodic. more story like, almost musical podcast short stories. nice change of pace for me personally, I may return to it someday.

👍
View Author
4

Does sound a bit dated, but still a clever album.

👍
View Author
4

Tää olikin hankala arvioitava. Ei mitään erityisiä hittibiisejä, mutta sitten taas olen toisaalta tällaisten teema-/tarinalevyjen ystävä. Ekalla kuuntelukerralla vasta levyn loppuvaiheessa hoksasin idean että nii tässähän oli tää kertoja ja samat pikkujutut kuten rikkoontunut telkkari toistuu biisistä toiseen. Tokalla kuuntelukerralla avautui paremmin, vaikka en vieläkään ihan täydellä ajatuksella seurannut juonta.

👍
View Author
4

I enjoy this album :)

👍
View Author
4

Had wat vrees hiervoor als ik de wiki las. Maar dit album heeft wel wat variatie, een sterke flow, een te begrijpen verhaal (als 'rap-opera'). Positief verrast. Al blijft het niet mijn genre

👍
View Author
4

Brilliant album, great story telling!!

👍
View Author
4

Richtig cooles Album, grade „Fit but You know it“! Lange nicht gehört, aber super!

👍
View Author
4

Cool album. British garage rap. Reminds me of some nerdcore stuff.

👍
View Author
4

I remember when this album came out and everyone wanted to be a geezer. What ever that is. I do like the story telling. The album follows Mike as he struggles with his relationship, gambling and being a 20 something britt on vacation. The production is kind of dated. Like the the snare sound on some tracks sound really wonky.

👍
View Author
4

Started low but got better

👍
View Author
4

I really like this album. Skinner is a great storyteller. Dry Your Eyes is a beautiful track. Blinded by the Lights is stunning.

👍
View Author
4

Me agrado bastante el concepto, no me había tocado saber de algún disco que te contara una historia ligando cada canción. Creo que fue lo que más me gustó. El rapeo no me agrado del todo pero la música estaba fresca.

👍
View Author
4

Finding a hip hop album I like is a rarity, so props to this guy.

👍
View Author
4

Very quirky British rap album. So much great slang in here, 'e's 'aving a laugh. Funny to think they'd include this as a rap album from 2004 and not Madvillainy, but I don't need to go there again. Anyway, this was enjoyable. Delivery was slightly off-kilter, but I think it works for a bloke like this. Interesting conceptually too. I can't say I was blown away, but overall it was very solid. Quite a few tracks I'll return to. Favorite tracks: Fit But You Know It, Get Out of My House, Could Well Be In, Dry Your Eyes. Album art: I like this one quite a bit, very cool picture and good color. I thought I was looking in a diner at first glance, but it's a bus stop. Are these the titular streets we're waiting on? 4/5

👍
View Author
4

Audio book, lol. I forgot I had even heard this before until that song about being fit came on. Somehow this thing works, doesn’t it? I kind of can’t imagine listening to more than this one album from this dude, but I quite enjoyed myself with it.

👍
View Author
4

This is another one I listened to a lot when it came out. Still holds up for me. It's sort of just on the right side of amateurish and I like the story.

👍
View Author
4

This shit is so British it's interesting. Lots of slang and language I don't super understand. It's cool, I'm not sure it's the best thing on the planet but it sounds like some early grime type stuff. Feels like something I would hear in Snatch or Long stock and two smoking barrels. It's telling a story for sure, one I don't know. Overall, It took a while to grow on me, but by the end I was into it.

👍
View Author
4

A nice surprise.

👍
View Author
4

3rd listen. First few times I heard this album, I thought it was just ok, but over time, during these past several months, I have grown to really enjoy the album. 4/5.

👍
View Author
4

Un bon concept pourun bon album .j’ai apprecie l’ecoutert je suis interresse par le band. 4.25

👍
View Author
4

Wasn't what I was expecting, but interesting hiphop story album.

👍
View Author
4

This is a sort of hip-hop opera,where all the songs being related by the story of a some lost money.(7/10) FT: Fit but You Know It, Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way

👍
View Author
4

A Grand Don’t Come for Free by The Streets (2004) It had to happen. I wonder what took so long. This is rap opera. And it’s not bad. It has a plot. It has humor. It has closure. It has characters that develop and (petty) conflicts that resolve (barely). But it is hugely stunted in the relevance department. Not like Wagner. Not even like Rossini. More like a cross between Bizet and Berg. Yes, Carmen meets Wozzek! But what it lacks is high drama. At least Wozzek had World War I. And Carmen gets killed in the end (sorry if I ruined it for you). Nevertheless, I started this review thinking I was going to give it a “one” star. Then I read through the entire libretto (lyrics) and decided it merited a “two”. Then, as I listened throughout, I felt it deserved a “three”. And as the reverberation faded on the final note, I thought “Dude, this is a solid four”. I won’t spoil the storyline. But the protagonist is a kid, “Mike”, living the lowbrow culture of British proletarian youth. The antagonist is the lowbrow culture of British proletarian youth. You can see why this isn’t going anywhere. “Mike” experiences frustration, loss, love, betrayal, envy, trust, moods, drugs, turns of mis/fortune, and two endings! The dialog and personal reflections are full of vignettes that elaborate the setting, but to what end? Well, maybe self-reliance, but does that ring true? I’ll leave it to my readers with advanced degrees in philosophy. Rhythms are unconventional, and that’s a plus. Beats and melodic lines are unconvincing, but they do sustain interest, and there’s plenty of variety. I’ve never been high in a dance club, but if I had, I bet it would feel a lot like the vibe in “Blinded by the Lights”. And the mood of jealousy and suspicion is perfectly captured on “What Is He Thinking?” Listen to these two tracks and you might be tempted to listen to the whole album straight through. Mike Skinner’s voice is weak, and he lacks range (barely eking out the melody on “Get Out of My House”), but that doesn’t prevent him from giving plausibly authentic expression to the emotional responses of his character. It draws the listener in. Now the vocal support from ‘Leo the Lion’ is mellow and smooth, in fine R&B timbre (“Wouldn’t Have It Any Other Way”). Other voices are sub par for a studio recording, but might have succeeded in a stage production (which I’d pay good money to see, if there ever were one). If you decide to listen to this album, do it without distractions and stay focused. There’s good art here. I’m gonna quit this now and listen to it again, if you’ll excuse me. 4/5

👍
View Author
4

Mike Skinner possesses a really distinctive flow and a uniquely British, working class take on millennial rap. While some of the beats and tracks have aged better than others, A Grand Don't Come for Free still holds together as a rap opera grounded in everyday concerns incredibly well. But in spite of its ambition, I think Original Pirate Material is ultimately the more essential Streets record. Favourite tracks: "Could Well Be In", "Blinded by the Lights", "Dry Your Eyes"

👍
View Author
4

This album was a nice surprise for me, having not heard of the Streets previously. It is a compelling record and is easy to get into repeated listens. The storytelling is great which requires more of a close listen than most albums. This is a well crafted concept album and an enjoyable and fun listen. Favorite songs are: "Dry Your Eyes", "Blinded By the Light", "Could Well be In" 4 out of 5.

👍
View Author
4

Lyrics 🏆

👍
View Author
4

A rap opera, concept album, whatever: a tale of losing £1000, finding and losing love, and living a mundane telly sofa life alongside the pill pub club scene in the early Ohs. Sounds dreadful, right? Wrong! Well, kind of right, but no - it's easy to follow unlike most story-based LPs, lots of humour and self-deprecation - and lots of crap, forced rhymes that stand out because of Skinner's deadpan, unsung, unmelodic delivery. And I liked that. Unpretentious, trying, lots of failing, just like the Mike in the story: shit but he knows it. And it works. Four stars well-earned.

👍
View Author
4

Was not feeling the album at first but by the end I was lovin it.

👍
View Author
4

Never knew that "Fit But You Know It" was part of some over arching drama concept album. Not one I'd want to listen to all the time but probably will come back to this one.

👍
View Author
4

The sound of my first year of grad school. It is a very unique sound and can sometimes be too much but I do generally enjoy Mike Skinner.

👍
View Author
4

First of all, I love these songs about nothing. Honestly half of these songs could be episodes of Seinfeld. All the songs are weirdly believable slices of life. In some ways, the album kind of reminds me of a Philip K. Dick novel, in that it does a really good job of putting you in the head of a guy, - but you don't really like the guy and it's not necessarily a head that you want to be in. This gets 4/5. Not a 5, because I'm never going to listen to them again. It's like a really good movie that I never want to watch again.

👍
View Author
4

This one was both musically fun as well as an intriguing concept. I had to read a review on Wikipedia to understand the themes, which made the story clear. Very cool concept and well executed.

👍
View Author
3

Very very British. Felt like I needed to revolt or something after this. But after I got over the super thick accent and the sing/rap style, it was a decent listen. Probably won't listen again, but it wasn't as bad as my initial impression was going to lead me to believe. 3.5/5.

👍
View Author
3

This album definitely sounds like 2004. I thought the concept was really original and endearing. I liked how he told the story. It's not the best rapping I've ever heard but it was pretty good.

👍
View Author
3

I allllmost want to give this a 4, but maybe that's just the fact that I typically don't enjoy this genre. I think last time I listened to UK rap/garage/grime, I was extremely turned off and only found little value/appeal in it. However, this was slightly melodic and the conversational style of rap-sing actually worked for me.

👍
View Author
3

3.5 stars

👍
View Author
3

Always felt like The Street are let down by melodies - like the lyrics got written first and then forced into any old melody. But I like the album and the concept.

👍
View Author
3

like it wasn't bad but it wasn't good either. like British 21 pilots

👍
View Author
3

Ok, accent to heavy and distracting.

👍
View Author
3

super cool album to listen to, you can hear how it influenced other albums.

👍
View Author
3

Definitely interesting and one of a kind as a concept album. I enjoy the conversational, Seinfeld-esque "about nothing" style. I appreciate getting into this guy's life. The instrumentals are spare and usually underwhelming. The delivery is kind of awkward. It requires a close listen to appreciate.

👍
View Author
3

Doesn't compare to Original Pirate Material for me

👍
View Author
3

Aged

👍
View Author
3

Het is niet slecht maar ik vind het niet zo spannend

👍
View Author
3

I enjoyed this, probably not as much as I would have done back in the day. ***

👍
View Author
3

Not for me

👍
View Author
3

A good album and nostalgic listen!

👍
View Author
3

Interesting voice and rap style.

👍
View Author
3

Gefälliger Rap ist eine Beleidigung ich habe es so empfunden

👍
View Author
3

me gustaron mucho las vibras y es bastante fácil de escuchar

👍
View Author
3

owned this album when it first came out, loved it. I think it the first concept album i ever listened to, the story is really great. I will never not love fit but you know it, classic.

👍
View Author
3

I was really disappointed in this album when it came out. After Original Pirate Material this felt like a massive let down. I listed to it a fair but at the time but never loved in the way I loved the debut. Listening today for the first time in many years things did not start well. Everything felt too sparse, the lyrics either too laboured or not laboured enough and the “concept” seemed unnecessary - songs like Not Addicted felt like a chore. Blinded by lights is a fantastic track though and for me was the point where I get sucked into the album and feel part of Mike’s story. About halfway through I was being won over and really enjoying my listen. Fit But You Know It is a banger that you want to hate but just cant and Such a T**t is a great track also. By the time we reach the brilliant album closer Empty Cans I feel completely immersed and I realised that they attempted an adventurous concept album and have pulled it off. It’s not the classic the the debut was, but it’s more bold and adventurous and ultimately a very good “difficult second album”

👍
View Author
3

Remember being disappointed by this after Original Pirate Material but to be fair it was a brave move to do a concept album (kind of) and it did bring Skinner a mass audience. Hadn’t listened to this in years and it is still just ok. OPM does get the odd run out and will always be a 5 in my book. Blinded By The Lights is a great track though.

👍
View Author
3

British Rap is okay. Liked the concept of a rap opera.

👍
View Author
3

A blend of UK garage breaks and brit-pop beats. If Eminem was cockney, British and slightly less angry, then this would be the result.

👍
View Author
3

I have general troubles listening to lyrics, so this one was pretty tough. A lot easier to listen to while reading the lyrics, because that's where the album shines. I don't think the music was as good, as I felt it to be quite repetitive. I'll listen to this one again.

👍
View Author
3

A band I've never hear of. Pretty unique. The lyrics are good, but his cadence gets a bit repetitive. All in all, I'd listen again.

👍
View Author
3

Rating: 6/10 Best songs: Blinded by the lights, Fit but you know it, What is he thinking

👍
View Author
3

Rap opera is not really for me, but I certainly found the concept to be interesting and thought the production was just really well done. In some ways, I was kind of sad that I couldn't really get into it. Some favourites from the album included Not Addicted and Dry Your Eyes.

👍
View Author
3

it's alright

👍
View Author
3

Boa sequencia para escutar rap

👍
View Author
3

Stereotypically and satisfyingly British: The scenes of nights out, the accent, the talk-rapping, and the musical landscape are all present. There's lots of production variance, mostly to the record's benefit, and a tape rewind at the end (cliché, but not telegraphed).

👍
View Author
3

Artist/band and his/their music were heretofore unknown to me, and I'm glad this project introduced me to all this. Some cool stuff in here; a real interesting hodgepodge of styles.

👍
View Author
3

Recall when a local alternative station put "Fit But You Know It" on heavy rotation. It irritated me at the time, and now listening to the whole album I sincerely don't get the hype. The musical accompaniment is so slight, the delivery of the lyrics so one-note. Bare points for cleverness in the storytelling but really don't feel any need for more of this.

👍
View Author
3

Still good, not sure if it's better than Original Pirate Material though

👍
View Author
3

As the one Brit in the group, faced up with something so aggressively British, I feel I should defend this. It's ambitious - a spoken word concept album, essentially (I would hesitate to call it rap or hip hop) that comes from a very singular perspective. Now, whether you enjoy Skinner's delivery is one thing (I don't), but his use of slang and storytelling, and ability to evoke a mood and atmosphere, are great. This was huge during my first year of university, and probably captured something of the slacker ambience of that time. Speaking of the zeitgeist, however, this album feels dated, a relic before its time - perhaps it was too honed in on the spirit of the age to endure?

👍
View Author
3

No british hip hop please…

👍
View Author
3

Cool story, but the beats is mid to me

👍
View Author
3

Second Listen. Starting to really grow on me. I wasn't crazy about it the first time I heard it. 3/5

👍
View Author
3

An old friend, not as good as I recalled

👍
View Author
3

British hip-hop. Not in the mood for ATM

👍
View Author
3

Pretty weird.

👍
View Author
3

Disc de hip hop molt musical, conceptual sobre les vivències del protagonista a Londres, i les seves penúries diàries. Recordo quan era la "nina dels ulls" de l'NME, mitjans dels 00s, el van reivindicar massa, jo crec. Però el disc és força bo i molt més digerible que el 80% del hip hop USA

👍
View Author
3

3.5/5

👍
View Author
3

Some really cool tunes here. Great storytelling interesting sounds/beats. I enjoyed my listen not sure if I want or need any further listening though. 3 🌟

👍
View Author
3

The Street's lyrics are at their best when they're conversational, vulnerable and a little bit awkward, and Mike Skinner does a fine job and working those into his self-centred storytelling on A Grand Don't Come For Free. Some of the tracks just don't land for me, possibly because they haven't aged super well. Fav Tracks: Could Be Well Now, Dry Your Eyes and It Was Suppose to Be so Easy

👍
View Author
3

This is so freaking Bri-ish

👍
View Author
3

Not bad

👍
View Author
3

Good storytelling and funny. Prefer Original Pirate Material.

👍
View Author
3

Way better than I thought, proof that ‘rap’ doesn’t have to be about shouty aggressive lyrics & it’s piqued my interest in his other work, especially the non-rap stuff.

👍
View Author
3

I'm honestly not sure how I feel about this. It was interesting...I think?

👍
View Author
3

This was a quirky album. Definitely a not just a collection of unrelated singles, but a full-out story of this poor dude. The story wasn’t actually all that interesting to me and at times it almost felt like when a kid is making up a song about what they are doing as they are doing it. I didn’t find the beats all that interesting either. I applaud the innovation, but it didn’t really rock my world.

👍
View Author
3

The homemade sound of this album was both off-putting and its charm. The closest comparison I can think of is the Shaggs. I liked the idea of a rap opera, but I would like to see and hear the movie cast... The story was interesting and fun. I liked listening and hearing it unfold. I just have to ask, do I really want to listen to it again...

👍
View Author
3

English rap band. Ok if you like rap I thought it was a little bit different.

👍
View Author
3

Ik mag dit wel. Gezellig 🙂.

👍
View Author
3

okay rap sound.

👍
View Author
3

Original, fun, quirky, great London beats

👍
View Author
3

Interesting flow and just "normal day" subject matter. Not sure I'm a huge fan though.

👍
View Author
3

ok

👍
View Author
3

Yeah, this isn't really my kind of thing, but it's okay, I guess. Some nostalgia value for Well Be In, for example. Blinded by the Lights is the main one I remember, and it holds pretty well, I guess. But yeah, this kind of slow, regular talking style of rap isn't my deal for the most part. Oh, Dry Your Eyes is good too. I'm glad he found his thousand quid at the end, even if this didn't totally do it for me.

👍
View Author
2

The story is kind of interesting, but the beats are very quiet and the rapping is very stilted. I could tell it was self-produced before looking it up. Overall very eh. Favorite track: "Fit But You Know It"

👍
View Author
2

Interesting but unusual.. not sure, probably because not the type of things I'd listen to usually

👍
View Author
2

Nothing special, I can understand the lyrics so there is that.

👍
View Author
2

Not my thing really

👍
View Author
2

Not really my style, it's not so bad, but it's like a mix of rap and fif music....

👍
View Author
2

So, this album is not that good, but "Fit But You Know It" is a fucking banger.

👍
View Author
2

Love his accent and the background music... Don't love the rap.

👍
View Author
2

Not for me, though I do love "Fit but You Know It" and "Dry Your Eyes Mate"

👍
View Author
2

Concept album. Rap in the suburbs. Cheeky.

👍
View Author
2

false

👍
View Author
2

Not for me. Focus on vocals for poetry

👍
View Author
2

It's an interesting concept, definitely unique, but I don't love it. Just not much musically to really get into. 2 stars.

👍
View Author
2

Was a labor to listen to this whole record. I just can't get into super-"English" hip hop or whatever this is. I do remember hearing a couple of the tracks and the biggest single was fun enough, but this record was a lot to get through.

👍
View Author
2

4.5

👍
View Author
2

Odd entry, Dry Your Eyes built on Original Pirate Material, the rest is a bit choppy for my taste

👍
View Author
2

Wow, I really don't think I've ever heard british rap before. It sounds different, I'll give it that. But I really just don't like rap with very few exceptions, so there's that. I'll also give it that the concept is something different and that the symphonic touches are nice. However, the bare bones, minimalist production offsets that again. This one simply isn't for me.

👍
View Author
2

British talking rap and rock. This stripped down album, does little to show the creativity despite speaking about the young adult experiences that would seem relatable.

👍
View Author
2

I use to love this album in high school and I still find it super cheeky and funny. Musically sounds amateur at certain times.

👍
View Author
2

Not really feeling this. Can't give it the listen it probably deserves.

👍
View Author
2

Difficult to listen to - brit accent and rap style is an uncommon mix that didn't work for me.

👍
View Author
2

Boring, woozy, thoroughly detestable pop/hip-hop, saved somewhat by a catchy couple of tracks.

👍
View Author
2

Can you even call this hiphop? Its not really traditional. Its just some british guy talking over some rock anthems. There are just some annoying and stop themes in the songs here, like "Get Out Of My House" or "Fit but You Know it" It's just... annoying. I found it hard to sit through most songs without getting bored. 4/10 (As of July 9th, 2021) Best Tracks: It Was Supposed to be So Easy, Blinded By Thr Lights Worst Track: Get Out Of My House

👍
View Author
2

2/5 something was off with this. hiphopish but also something else.

👍
View Author
2

I like The Streets but this album didn’t do it for me, too abrupt

👍
View Author
2

There were a couple times during the album i noticed that i was able to enjoy it, but the spoken lyrics with an almost artificial sing-songy pacing were too distracting too much of the time. Layered frequently over minimal music, but the lyrics/stories seemed to be a strength.

👍
View Author
2

They sound like Jamie Oliver... OK but not worth writing home about

👍
View Author
2

I didn't get the sound

👍
View Author
2

First listen. Interesting sound. 2/5

👍
View Author
2

Different but ok

👍
View Author
2

Kolejny z niecodziennych pickow, bo wyspiarski rap z wczesnych lat 2000, wiec czuc frytki i smazona rybe wylewajaca sie z flow pana Mike Skinnera ktory jest glownym rapowym wokalem projektu the streets, ktory troche czlonkow musial miec, co slychac glownie na hookach czy skitach, tak samo na bitach, ktore brzmia bardziej jak elektroniczne downtempo czy garage jukejowe niz instrumentale do ktorych murzyny sie uciekaja, bo album jest zdecydowanie jednym z bardziej bialych rapowych albumow jakie ostatnio slyszalem, z pewnoscia nie jestem wystarczajaco biegly w wyspiarskim slangu zeby docenic kwieciste liryki pana majka, ale z pewnoscia moge stwierdzic, ze to najbardziej drewniane flow jakie slyszalem w tym roku, miejscami jest to bardziej liryczna recytacja tekstu, ktory niezle jest stakowany w barach, a w innych nieudolne zawodzenie pseudo spiewaka, wiec co stoi za pojawieniem sie takiej plyty na liscie, najprawdopodobniej koncept wokol ktorego kreci sie cale nagranie, ktory zawarty jest juz w samym tytule A Grand Don't Come For Free, plyta jest opowiescia o przygodach pana majka, w ktorych glowna role odgrwa tytulowy grand funciakow i dziewczyna zwana Simone, wiec jest tracenie piniedzy, odzyskiwanie, to samo z baba, ale jednak wieksza drama, bo wlasnie plyta stara sie budowac dramatyczne napiecie, wiec taki storyteling pozwala to osignac, bo ma to rece i nogi jesli chodzi o zwiazki przyczynowo skutkowe, wiec ten bogato rozwiniety epos jest powodem dla ktorego warto dac szanse temu nagraniu, na plejaka dodam fit but you know it, czyli songa o wyrywaniu lasek na nocnych pijatykach w barach szybkiej obslugi i what is he thinking opisujacy paranoje pana majka na temat tego kto mogl zajebac piniadze za las i babe jego ruchac, kawalek zawiera takze najlepsze rapowe zwrotki featurujace pana Wayney G

👍
View Author
2

I could see why people like this album, but the combination of time and the fact that The Streets is not a very strong rapper makes this not work for me. The idea is cool, and I think this album could have been a classic in the hands of a better artist. The music is cool most of the time, though the spare style of the beats and the spare style of the rapping are not a good combination together. His rhyme schemes are pretty simple and outdated, even for 2004 2/5

👍
View Author
2

It is certainly entertaining enough to listen to once (just like his debut, which sounds exactly the same) - same kind of vibes as an arbitrary Arab Strap record, with these daily-life stories. But unlike Arab Strap, the music is a bit too straightforward to give anything more than two stars - you listen to it once and then that's it.

👍
View Author
2

In good faith, this album is pretty poor. As a hip hop fan, it was awfully cringey to my ears, the rapping was terrible and the beats were very cheesy. That's just my opinion, though.

👍
View Author
2

It's a big ("grand") attempt at a rap opera and I respect the effort, I really do, but it's just not enjoyable to listen to.

👍
View Author
2

Nunca había oído hablar de este músico ni de este proyecto. Y eso que creía que conocía bastante música British! Sinceramente me ha parecido un peñazo. Supongo que la gracia está en las letras y mi inglés no llega para entenderlas completamente. Así que como ni la música ni el ritmo me interesan no creo que le de más de 1 estrella. Se salva por "Fit but you know it" y un poco por "Dry your eyes".

👍
View Author
2

Apart. Mensen die praten als robots. Verder beetje raar kletsverhaal met wat geinige beats. Ik vind de spraak best slecht eigenlijk. Sommige beats weten me wel te boeien. **

👍
View Author
2

The bright spots in this one are extra bright, because the dim parts are soooo shit

👍
View Author
2

El disco chido es el anterior. Tiene como cuatro rolas buenas.

👍
View Author
2

Couple of catchy tunes but mostly pretty dull stuff.

👍
View Author
2

"A Grand Don't Come for Free" has a interesting structure as a rap opera, mixing alternative hip hop with electronica to tell a mundane story of a british young middle class man. But the structure is the only good thing here, as the songs struggle to be anything more than a white man's hip hop experiment.

👍
View Author
2

Ik heb dit nooit helemaal begrepen. Een gast met een sterk Engels accent die verhaaltjes vertelt, op wel geinige beetje weirde electro.

👍
View Author
2

Interessant en best grappige teksten, maar verder kon het me niet zo bekoren.

👍
View Author
2

Tja, toch de 2 mini-hitjes die ik leuk vind..

👍
View Author
2

ol’ shakespeare if thy haddeth backing tracks

👍
View Author
2

Best Song: Blinded by the Lights. Interesting and introspective description of a drug trip, helped massively by someone else taking over the vocal hook. Worst Song: It Was Supposed to Be so Easy. The chorus sounds like a failing student in an adult education centre trying to read aloud to the class. Lyrically, the song is just on the line of self-awareness so I can't actually tell if it's satire. Even if it is, that doesn't redeem the song. Just explains it. Overall: The stream-of-consciousness, intensely sincere, story-telling lyrical approach is (at times) really interesting here. Sadly, literally everything else isn't. The lead singer would have been better off writing dialogue for movies and TV than trying to cut it as a rapper.

👍
View Author
2

Rap-opera, alternativt, elektronisk, snakkende, dramaturgisk

👍
View Author
2

Well this was kinda weird. Not a big fan, the rhythms were weird and I found myself tuning them out more often than not.

👍
View Author
2

Sounds like a bored Stephen Merchant doing a shitty hour-long SNL sketch. BUT it also has a strange earworm quality to it. I can see this growing on me over repeat listens, but I don't want it to.

👍
View Author
1

Es tan malo que ni pude escuchar todo.

👍
View Author
1

I'm expecting this to sound like the strokes. Ok fuck it's UK rap. Fuck. Alright it's got that fit but you know it song on it. This is gonna be a struggle. This fucking sucks. I love how wiki says it's the war of the worlds of its decade... that's the point you have to admit not all decades were created equal. This is horrid and obnoxious. 1/5.

👍
View Author
1

I just can't

👍
View Author
1

I wouldn’t take this grand even if it was free.

👍
View Author
1

I've listened to The Streets before. I've listened to this The Streets album before. I tried listening to this The Streets album again. The result is always the same: this is some of the worst music I've ever heard.

👍
View Author
1

If my son turns out to be autistic I'll be happy he does an album like this in high school. If on the other hand he turns out normal and does this, it will be my greatest disappointment.

👍
View Author
1

1.4

👍
View Author
1

¿Pero qué pinta este disco aqui?

👍
View Author
1

This whole album actively irritated me. His voice mainly and the shonky lyrics

👍
View Author
1

Oh wow, I hate this. Why does he sound like this and why are the vocals mixed so weirdly?

👍
View Author
1

Not my kind of music

👍
View Author
1

Not a fan of early 2000s UK Rap. It got better throughout the album, but I would have turned it off pretty early.

👍
View Author
1

false

👍
View Author
1

listened to a bit on spotify

👍
View Author
1

These songs are decent until they start talking.

👍
View Author
1

I don´t understand

👍
View Author
1

Did not care for the spoken word / rap style music although it was more intelligible for me than American rap.

👍
View Author
1

wow some of the worst lyrics and rhymes ive heard ever. is this for a show or smth it has to be ironic. no flow no nothing... blinded by the lights couldve been decent, its not though. the worst album i got so far. i don’t mean to be mean! sorry

👍
View Author
1

british rap isn't for me

👍
View Author
1

Not for me - of a time and place

👍
View Author
1

Fit but you know it is a banger. Wish this dude was more lyrical/harmonic. Too British for me.

👍
View Author
1

Il rap inglese mi piace, ma questo non era la mia "cup of tea"

👍
View Author
1

That's a big no from me.

👍
View Author
1

First album I couldn't finish. It's crap. There's no flow, nothing rhymes, it's not as clever as everyone says it is. It's just talking with music in the background. I mean, he rhymes money with hurry and this shit has a 91 on Metacritic? The hell is going on with this?

👍
View Author
1

nope

👍
View Author
1

Not good at all

👍
View Author
1

British Eminem, but a parody? Certainly felt like a parody with how bad this was. I'm not sure, I can't listen to any of the songs. His voice is terrible and his rapping is super slow. I was interested for half a second when I heard his voice because I wondered if this was the birth of balls, batty, and dick, but I don't want to know anymore and I definitely don't care. This should not be on this list.

👍
View Author
1

blegh, he´d better write books, then i don´t have to listen

👍
View Author
1

Some songs reminds me of all the things I don't like about Gorillaz, the flow and vocals that seem very off and the synthesizer that are out of place, and some of them are really not that good. I want to listen to music, not Peter and the Wolf. "Dry Your Eyes" is great but it just can't save it. 1

👍
View Author
1

Just wanted it to end, didn't get the fuss when it came out, even less on board with it now!

👍
View Author
1

mmm nope

👍
View Author
1

Already sounds meh to me, hope it gets better...jesus its fine when he is rapping , but it is hard to listen to when he tries to actually sing...maybe the lyrics are smart but I literally can't listen to this album...garbage

👍
View Author
1

What the fuck? Who cares about any of this bullshit? This is the first album in a while that felt like it was made specifically to make me angry.

👍
View Author
1

Some of the music here is interesting, but the lyrics are needlessly swarthy, and ultimately the story is about an unobservant guy that generally makes bad decisions but gets lucky every now and then. Not interested in listening to it again. 1 star.

👍
View Author
1

This album belongs on the worst 1001 albums list. Yeesh. 1/10.

👍
View Author
1

Aggressively British people do Tupac. Not a fan and the first track was fucking awful

👍
View Author
1

I just don't get the hype.

👍
View Author
1

2/2/2022 Today's Album: "A Grand Don't Come for Free" by The Streets - This is already incredibly interesting to me, being my first real exposure to British rap. The first song is incredibly charming, with a narrator rapping decent bars being broken up by the chorus, which is actually really catchy, not to mention stripped back and very close in the mix. It almost sounds more like poetry. Could Well Be In brings the beat in and is really warm and groovy. The flow on this track is much more casual. The choruses of these songs so far sound a lot like Watsky and I think the overall vibe of this album is felt in a lot of modern bedroom storytime rap and although that genre has its time and place, it's definitely as more of a background lofi setting. The beat is kinda cheesy. After listening to about 4 more songs, I have decided this is not worth my time. The vocals are obnoxious, the beats are either simple or overblown. The lyrics are extremely British and it gets to be so fucking cheesy. I legitimately laughed at some sections because the delivery is just awkward. The charm that the shitty production gave it quickly wore off as it just sounds hollow and machined. Such a Twat is still pretty annoying, but its not as bad as the rest of them with a decent refrain. Actually, getting to Dry Your Eyes, I really enjoy it. The story of a broken relationship is really well done and the singing in the chorus is actually great. The whole concept of the album is actually not poorly done either, but I think some of the worst parts really overshadow it. Score: 2.5 Very rarely enjoyable Highlights: Such a Twat, Dry Your Eyes

👍
View Author
1

Trash

👍
View Author
1

uhhh rap

👍
View Author
1

UK rap. Just not into it. Painful. The album cover is nice though.

👍
View Author
1

It felt like I was listening to the part in a musical where the music keeps going, but the lead talks and addresses the audience. Him being off the beat all the time really irked me.

👍
View Author
1

Terrible flow and beats. I'm just awestruck by this album's inclusion here.

👍
View Author
1

This is Hip Hop - a.k.a. "Thank you but no thanks." 1/5

👍
View Author
1

2002, along with continuing the streak of every year of this millennium being utterly crap, saw the release of Original Pirate Material, the debut album by The Streets, a garage/hip-hop homegrown work by Mike Skinner, a talented emcee from Birmingham, who pretended to be Cockney to the bones. Now, I started university in 2002, and beforehand I spent some time in London, and I can tell you that Original Pirate Material was everywhere in the capital, for good reason. Original Pirate Material presented a recognisable portrait on contemporary youthful London life, both hedonistic yet somehow unsatisfied, loving the pub-club-spliff-takeaway treadmill yet wondering if life should be so shallow and focused on instant gratification. Mike Skinner proved a witty, incisive lyricist, a man steeped in that British tradition of the clever-beyond-his-class songwriter, and it demonstrated that UK hip-hop, oft a kicking-boy of British music, could foster an independent, worthwhile voice. This is not to say Original Pirate Material was perfect; many found The Streets grating and oafish with justifiable reasons. But I was not one of them, and I had moderately high expectations for what The Streets would achieve in the future, and A Grand Don't Come For Free could have cemented Mike Skinner as one the great British lyricists. I hated it. I found this album abysmal. It is the sound of a starving artist being offered a banquet, then pigging out and disgusting everyone by pouring custard onto a beef wellington and subsequently vomiting all down his front. Every decision made on this album proves to be exactly the wrong one, and I have no idea why this, instead of Original Pirate Material is on the list. Harsh, I know, but the deterioration from the first album to the second is palpable. For his second magnus opus, Mike Skinner deciding to make a concept album. That sound you just heard was you releasing the safety catch off your grandad's luger. So, a concept album about a poor young man who meets a girl, blows all his dosh on an ill-considered bet, gets drunk/stoned/pilled-up, loses the girl, then either sits in his flat resenting his bad run of luck, or finds a grand down the back of the TV (yes, that last part makes absolutely no sense). As a narrative, it sounds and is pretty banal. But the main issue with the story is that even though the chap goes through a series of common experiences, the listener doesn't empathise with him at all. He just seems such a twat. He goes through these experiences with little genuine reflection, almost like a philosophical zombie, an entity with no internal life whatsoever. The girl leaves him because she clocks that he is just a loser, an opinion with which the listener agrees. The albums second greatest weakness is that you just don't care about him. The biggest weakness? Mike Skinner's rapping. All his talent, all the lyrical flair on the first album has vamoosed. Try saying this couplet: I might ask my mates where they'll be drinking From the sofa giving them a ding Seriously, just say it. It feels awful in the mouth, because it is an incorrect use of metre. The entire album is constructed from similarly jackknifing lines, lines which invariably end in the worst rhyming couplets conceivable. Again, look at the cited example, which manages to be both lazy and laborious. And then Mike somehow succeeds in making it worse by STRESS-ING EV-ER-RY SYL-LAB BLE. Mike Skinner seems to be aiming not so much for Roots Manuva as Pam Ayres. A Grand Don't Come For Free is one of the most wince-inducing cases of second album syndrome I have heard. The biggest hit from this was Fit But You Know It, which was a huge song at the time. Fit But You Know It doesn't quite slot into the risible concept of the album, which can only be to its credit. But consider the song's half-life. Dapper Laughs was a comedy character by an already-forgotten estate agent-turned comedian, whose schtick was short skits on Vine depicting a wilfully crass lad (his catchphrase was "Proper moist!"). His routines consisted of 6-second bits where he would say, for instance, you shouldn't eat a banana next to a gay man, as he'd think you'd want to suck him off (ba-dum-tsh!). ITV2 (the number tells you it's crap in advance) gave him a short-lived TV show, where he tried to parody dating advice shows by granting his wit and wisdom to actual members of the public (such as shouting out "GET YOUR GASH OUT!" to show off your adventurous side). A few rape jokes down the line, his show got put out of our misery, and the comedian had to go on Newsnight and announce he was retiring the character. Anyway, the theme tune to Dapper Laugh's show was Fit But You Know It. That's what I now associate the song with: a pillock shouting at passing women to show him their boobs for proper bants.

👍