I heard about the closest thing to a positive review of music by The Streets (aka Mike Skinner who is aka The Streets) on NPR of all places last night. Let me be more specific. I’ve heard and read tons of great things about him/them, but we’ve just got no clue about good music over here in the US.
A few months ago the morning show at WHFS, the local non-Clear Channel (which means CBS) rock station, listened to a song from Original Pirate Material along with a few other songs. It’s a game they play every few months. The music director brings in a few songs and “The Junkies” rate each song either hurt-ing, top-40, or top-10. I got all excited about the enthusiasm that the music director had before he played The Streets. I share his enthusiasm. It’s great stuff that isn’t the same old pop/rock/neometal/rap that you’ve heard a million times. It’s really different. It’s really good.
Sadly “The Junkies” know the pulse of America and hated it. A brand new twist on a genre that’s never gained popularity over here just wasn’t going to cut it. The really garage (pronounced garidge not ga-raj) stuff from Craig David’s album never made it to the radio waves. I’ve never heard Artful Dodger on the radio either for that matter. I think I heard an Audio Bullys song once.
I bought a copy of Original Pirate Material shortly after it became available in the US (MONTHS after it was released elsewhere in the world). Luckily, the new one, A Grand Don’t Come for Free is already out here. I’ll pick it up as soon as I can. I just hope that we give it a listen over here, and don’t just dismiss it because it’s not the same old same old.
It might be better off for us to just ignore this one too. It’s a concept album. A story. It’s not rap, but not garage, but not the same as the previous album. It’s a whole thing altogether. I’m not sure if we’re ready for it.