Once upon a time, there was a noble young lad who was coming of age on the grimy streets of England. He dubbed himself the Streets, called his friends geezers and forged a new musical style out of hip-hop and garage elements. Then he released a debut album called Original Pirate Material on Vice. Our young hero journeyed beyond vast oceans to promote his record. He received critical acclaim across all Earth's bountiful lands and found a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow.[more:]
Then he put out a half-assed Internet-only EP.
It's called All Got Our Runnins, and it's only available for sale online. It has eight tracks, including four remixes, an instrumental and a couple of previously unreleased songs. The remixes are mediocre and the new tunes, though strong, sound like leftovers from Original Pirate Material. Tracks like "Gimme Back My Lighter" maintain the Streets's trademark introspection and blue-collar humor, but ultimately come off as excess marketing bait in a successful publicity feast.
Popular releases like Nine Inch Nails' Broken and Alice in Chains' Jar Of Flies have proven that an EP can condense gargantuan strength into only a handful of songs. Unfortunately, All Got Our Runnins feels more like a CD single for its title song or maybe an epilogue to Original Pirate Material. The last track, "Streets Score," is the only place that Skinner brings forth some ideas that take a step away from his debut album and give the listener a taste of what's to come. He contemplates his success and teases his image, saying, "The hype's not to be believed / I ain't the archetypal street geez." For the first time, he reflects on his debut album instead of recycling its sounds. He toys with movie cliches, suggesting that we "cue the fairy tale finale." Hopefully, he'll deliver a few new chapters before the story ends.