Five albums in, Mike Skinner is something of a hip-hop institution in his native U.K. The Streets, which he initially discharged upon unsuspecting listeners with Original Pirate Material in 2002, is a sort of idiosyncratic one-man rap act. Having announced in 2008 that Computers and Blues would be his final Streets LP, Skinner planned no surprises for his followers. Skinner’s talkative vocals navigate familiar narrative territory here, with topical references to “fizzling out” and cleaning out desks — just in case anyone wasn‘t clear that he was sufficiently over it. A few rousing moments do emerge, livening up the proceedings like an inebriated cousin at an under-attended wake. But where Skinner came off as transcendent on older Streets tracks, Skinner’s fragments of unhurried reflection come off here as just basic and tedious.
DOWNLOAD: “Lock the Locks”