Three Monkeys Online

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Battling it out in Blair’s Britain. by The Streets – a review.

It's no surprise on an album of this nature that some filler tracks may be necessary to progress the narrative. And so it is with Get Out Of My House. Here we finally get to meet Simone, who has finally had enough of the wasted layabout taking up the couch space. Despite his best efforts to diffuse the situation she throws Mike out demanding the keys. In fact so vociferous is Simone one has trouble believing Mike would consider a romance with this virago. While musically it may fail to ignite (actually it grates a bit) it does provide the album's funniest moment. We hear a confused, inarticulate Mike trying to fight his corner and then attempting to call her bluff by storming off.

It's hard enough remembering my opinions without having to remember my reasons for 'em.

With Fit But You Know It we realise that Mike has not just left Simone's house but has actually stormed off all the way to Ibiza on a lads holiday without her. It has been accurately compared to Blur's Parklife – being a jaunty guitar anthem every male can not only identify with but singalong to as well. The subject matter also recalls another Blur single – Girls and Boys, albeit without the sneering scrutiny from middle class arts students. It comically illustrates the thrust and parry of attempted sexual conquest and his hilarious claim at not being interested once rejected. And all this to an impossibly catchy Jean Genie guitar riff. Ace.

Such A Twat has our hero and his mate Scott doing the holiday post mortem. Over a brooding, portentous brass section he tries to justify his infidelity as a wake up call regarding the importance of his relationship with Simone.

Why did I go and do a stupid thing like that,It felt like we were through though,But I could have ruined it, I'm such a twat.

What Is He Thinking could be considered another filler sacrificed to progress the story. Something is up with Simone and Mike knows it. A sinister paranoid air pervades as Mike and Scott deliver soliloquies – trying to assess what each of them knows about the situation. In this Scott's lacklustre vocal delivery only serves to highlight the brilliance of Mike's.

We then slide into Dry Your Eyes, it's Orchestral strings drawing us to Mike's plight, a broken heart mainly of his own making, but a broken heart none the less. For many it's the song of 2004 and there is no denying its power. With unique tenderness he attempts a reconciliation with Simone, the economy of language not sparing us the physical awkwardness he feels as he tries to show her “how much this pain hurts”. It's enough to make even the most hardened cynic hold their lighter aloft.

“I know in the past I found it hard to say,Telling you things but not telling straight,But the more I pull on your arm and say,The more you pull away”.

Empty Cans finds Mike alone in his flat drinking huge quantities of Super Tennants (central heating for tramps according to Viz) and feeling very sorry for himself. Having endured a double betrayal his paranoia runs riot leading him to declare a defiant fuck you to everyone.

“No one gives a crap about Mike, that's why I'm acting nastyYou know what you can do with your life, Introduce it up your jacksy”.

Just as you think things are going to get really out of hand, the mood – with the help of a few subtle chord changes – takes a upturn. Mike realising he's missing his mates, finally accepts Scott's offer to “do the right thing” and help repair his TV. The refrain is almost as lovely as Dry Your Eyes hints at new beginnings.

“It's the end of something I did not want to end,Beginning of hard times to come,Something that was not meant to be is done,And this is the start of what was”.

This is confirmed when his missing grand turns up during the TV repair, and that during the celebratory party, he and Alison really got on. However we are not left with a black or white ending, just the one of the greys in-between, a feeling that Mike is just about getting back on with his life. Like an aural soap opera the ending is inconclusive. Life goes on. If we want to find out what happens, we'll have to wait for the next episode.

The Streets Website

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