Album Review

The Streets - The Darker The Shadow The Brighter The Light

It has a sense of drama and occasion to it.

The Streets - The Darker The Shadow The Brighter The Light

It is strange, now, to think of this as the first new Streets album since 2011, when Mike Skinner claimed he was wrapping up the project with ‘Computers and Blues’; after all, he has been releasing new music again under the name since 2017, and playing shows since 2018. That he seemed shy about releasing a full record suggested he was easing himself back in, only popping up when he felt he had something worthwhile to say, which would explain singles that spoke to the moment like the post-lockdown ‘Who’s Got the Bag’, the ‘Brexit at Tiffany’s’ EP, or his experimental mixtape, ‘None of Us Are Getting Out of This Life Alive’. Now, he is going the whole hog with ‘The Darker the Shadow The Brighter the Light’, a sprawling, 15-song effort (if you don’t count a raft of bonus tracks) that comes accompanied by a conceptual feature film that Mike wrote, directed, edited, soundtracked and funded himself. More so than some of his other recent material, the record has a sense of drama and occasion to it, as well as being the most musically seamless album he’s made in nearly twenty years, since 2004’s ‘A Grand Don’t Come for Free’. The issue as he approached middle age was always going to be how he would find new things to say about the club culture that inspired his early work, but on the brooding likes of ‘Troubled Waters’, he paints arresting new pictures of familiar environments. Inevitably, there’s the occasional lapse into self-parody, but for the most part, ‘The Darker the Shadow The Brighter the Light’ has a vitality to it that was perhaps lacking by the time he wound down The Streets the first time around.

Tags: The Streets, Reviews, Album Reviews

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