A Grand Don’t Come Free is the studio album from hip-hop act and British garage. It is made by the streets or Mike Skinner and was released on May 18th, 2004 (Streets Albums 50). The concept of the album is a story telling recent triumphs and troubles of Skinner. It is a simple story but with a cohesive narrative on songs explaining the plot. Generally, it sounds like an opera but with attention to lyrics. A Grand Don’t Come Free tells a story with interwoven characters and themes. The themes of the album revolve around different aspects in our day-to-day lives and on Skinner’s intimate concepts.
The first theme we see is about how hard relationships can be nowadays. The plot of the album revolves a boy losing money, then the boy meeting a girl then again losing the girl. Skinner is seen to have a rigid flow in regards to the album, without straying off the mark. In the album, one even finds it awkwardly charming when he goes offbeat. The rest of the album follows suit in terms of human costs.
Similarly, ‘could we be in’ further elaborates the concept of how relationships can be hard. This is shown when it shows a boy being insecure when he meets a girl. The album also revolves around how exciting it can be when a girl and boy meet, and how such excitement do not last because of other circumstances such as insecurity and other hardships encountered in the relationship. Similarly, this is depicted when Simon throws Mike out of her house in ‘Get out of My House’.
Communication is seen to be a key theme; most relationships require good communication to ensure that they last. This is seen in the text message conversation in ‘blinded by the light’, falling cell phones and different forms of conversations. In ‘could we be in’, Mike notes that Simon was not bored with what he was saying and goes ahead and tells her he wants someone he can get lost when chatting with them for three hours. This is seen to be an important aspect of a relationship, lack of which, Simon might not get Mike. ‘Such A Twat’, shows how sometimes communication can be hard, as much as it is necessary. This is shown when the Mike has to go to a certain point of the kitchen and the cell phone cuts off due to lack of signals.
The album is also seen to revolve around the theme of drug abuse, as seen in ‘blinded by the light’ and ‘not addicted’. It is also seen to urge a self- reliance as seen in the last song, ‘Empty Cans’, where Mike questions if one can rely on anyone, and says ‘’No you can’t’’. The album also explores the theme of different adventures in day-to-day activities (Streets Albums 65). It explores the importance of money in such adventures and constant communication to keep in touch with people.
The Original Pirate Material uses hip- hop garage to depict a mundane Suburban, British existence. The album sounds literary unprecedented because it raises the stakes to a different level. This shows Skinners ability to raise emotions so that one can relate to him. He gives ones a lot of confidence, as one feels like Skinner is a friend talking to you. Certainly, even when the album ends, what one feels for Skinner is respect and admiration.
Skinner’s original pirate music is seen to show post-laddish humor, when he is sentimental he is at his best, and when he is at a relationship melancholy and sometimes shows the inability to express emotions. This is painfully familiar and truthful, and many people can relate. From the theme, in a 50 minute examination Skinner shows his ability to reflect his life’s detail. The song like, dry your tears, instantly connect with the listener (Streets Albums 75). Therefore, the themes in the album and the style used make one easily relate to them.
Streets Albums. S.l.: General Books, 2010. Print.