September 28, 2006

Hankering for Panky-Tap

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Crude and clever, The Streets sound like the Broadway cast of Oliver Twist meets Snoop-Dog. The disparity between the British Cockney accent and the Compton hardened attitude provides for a strangely delicious sound. Upon further research it appears that the name of the band, The Streets, threw me off by implying plurality. The truth of the matter, however, is that The Streets is comprised of one man, a man named Mike Skinner.
Skinner’s new album, The Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living, is tough, snappy and a good record to throw on in preparation, or during, a long hard night of drinking. The first track, “Pragin Out,” introduces us to the very latest of the new slang in Britain. We can all relate to the lyrics, “You’re pragin out/ I see through you/ This voice is talking to me/ And it ain’t funny/ I’m about to do something stupid.”
“The War of the Sexes,” is great for the jaded and the bitter-love-losers. He claims that, “The reason girls flirt/ Is to figure their worth/ Where as the men/ Just hanker for panky-tap.” I think we should all make a concerted effort to work in the phrase “hanker for panky-tap” into our everyday conversation.
Unfortunately, Skinner tries to get earnest in the way Eminem endeavored to show his soft underbelly in Eight Mile. “Never Went To Church” regals memories of his passed father and considering the spiritual life — and it’s just too sappy. But as Skinner is a self-proclaimed “lazy-fucker,” the likelihood that he will become a devout church attendee is rather unlikely.
I had great hopes for the track, “Hotel Expressionism,” with our Hotel Management School contingency in mind. However, with the words “Ah, the fine art of Hotel Expressionism/ Inner sentiment with the kettle and condiments/ Compose your mood using the soap and your shoe/ The mini bar can be part of the ar,” it might not be right for them.
All in all, it appears as though our snaggle-toothed Brit version of Eminem is suffering from a strong dose of the Napoleonic complex. Most worthwhile art is the bi-product of some serious neurosis, which means The Streets’ new album is worth a spin set on repeat. Through his music, Skinner cultivates the image of a street thug, but he wouldn’t last a day in Chino.