The majority of The Streets’ music is too jagged, crass and angry for a Sunday afternoon. However, if you limit yourself to focus only on Mike Skinner’s 2004 work, “A Grand Don’t Come for Free,” that alters the standards a bit.
Grand is a self-contained concept album covering a week in the life of Mike, a young drug dealer from east London trying to make his way in the world, whose world is turned upside down in an instant, and everybody closest to him is suddenly a potential enemy. In the ensuing week, Mike’s relationships are tested, scrutinized down to minute details, as the protagonist is put through an emotional wringer.
As in all of his music, there is an underlying critique of modern life, and the technology we’re all strapped together with and is supposed to enhance and ease our lives, but instead seems to only augment the frustration and day to day rage we all suffer from. Mike emerges from the wreckage of his life and rebuilds his life, piece by piece, and better for it in the end. It’s a rough road, but a worthwhile process.
This Sunday, re-examine what’s important to you, who you hold close and don’t start any fights with repairmen.