Release Date: Apr 25, 2006
Record label: Vice / 679
Genre(s): Indie, Rap
Apparently, success has spoiled Mike Skinner. It's a common problem among artists who are also working-class social critics; if they become successful, it's increasingly difficult to go back to the well when everything they've used for material changes drastically -- friends and lovers, home life, work life and social life. The wallflower who could study his subjects for hours suddenly lacks for good material when he's the center of attention.
The last time we heard from Mike Skinner, he was in his living room. There he sat, at the end of 2004's concept album A Grand Don't Come for Free, basking in the afterglow of a party, toasting his good fortune in finding that the £1,000 he had presumed stolen had merely fallen down the back of his television set. As plot twists go, it wasn't exactly The Usual Suspects, but it scarcely mattered: Skinner had manipulated the listener's emotions so skilfully over the preceding hour that you felt delighted things had turned out all right for him.