THE STREETS – Too Much Brandy

There has been much excitement in Freaky Trigger circles about The Streets album Original Pirate Material but I must admit that it was something that did not quite click with me. Listening to the single Has It Come To This I was struck by its amateurish production, the lacklustre delivery and just the feeling that something this laughable should not be on daytime radio. Now having heard Too Much Brandy, another track of the album, everything becomes clear. The Streets are peddling the hardest thing to do in pop, they are playing a role and making good music while they are at it.

Has It Come To This was garage, but to ears which had recently been pricked by the So Solid Crew, it appeared to be pretty poor garage. Too Much Brandy takes a more dub reggae style beat with a lovely smooth chorus to punctuate the apparent stream of consciousness which makes up the rest of the lyrics. There is not a lot going on here musically except the backing to some truly remarkable word games, and yet it becomes hummable, it lodges in the brain. Individual passages about the drug fueled nightmare that occurs in Too Much Brandy battle with each other to stick in your mind – but the sheer quality mean that none stand out. It reminded me of Midfield General’s Midfielding, it was a song with a narrative. It struck me that this really was the sound of disaffected youth; you can tell because he actually sounds disaffected.

Humour rarely performs well in music, and yet I think the Streets have more of a chance of success than most. First there seems to be a real knowledge of the music behind these rants – there is not anything outstanding about these tunes and yet they fit the stories just right. Too Much Brandy is soulful, the way dub is the perfect music to articulate a hangover. Has It Come To This was bad garage, much like all original pirate material. This is the underpinning though – the fireworks are with the verbal, not the musical – which these days makes a change. Add me to the list of people who will be getting the album the day it comes out.