A Grand Don't Come For Free Image

Universal acclaim - based on 30 Critics What's this?

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 200 Ratings

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  • Summary: Mike Skinner returns with the inenviable job of following up his genre-smashing debut 'Original Pirate Material,' which was an enormous critical and commercial hit in the UK and paved the way for the success of later acts such as Dizzee Rascal.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 30
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 30
  3. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. With this record, Skinner is now in a class all his own; nobody else is making music like this.
  2. The best album of 2004 so far, and by some distance. [Jun 2004, p.92]
  3. Skinner has often been declared the Eminem of British rap. But on A Grand..., he proves that if anything, he's British hip-hop's answer to master storyteller Ray Davies, or maybe idiot savant Brian Wilson.
  4. Skinner seems both edgier and more contemplative.
  5. This makes engrossing listening if the effort suits you, but it's useless as background music.
  6. The beats aren't as strong here as they were on his debut, so Skinner lives and dies by his delivery. It's a clear sign of his ability that even in the album opener, when the tempo is strange and the backing track is kind of dull, you feel compelled to listen because you want to know what he's saying.
  7. The problem with "A Grand Don't Come for Free" is that the pieces often work better as stories than as songs.... But it is still a thrill to hear Mr. Skinner toy with the form that he invented.

See all 30 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 17 out of 126
  1. LaviniaH
    Jan 19, 2007
    loved it
  2. BryanF
    Nov 11, 2004
    This album was great!
  3. critic.xhost.ro
    Aug 7, 2005
    the whole album story is greatly depicted, very nice tracks and awesome beats, esp "blinded by the light" and "dry your eyes"
  4. DaveV
    May 27, 2004
    It took guts to make a concept album in the genre, great stuff
  5. Pelicaine
    Oct 28, 2006
    Some of the most unique beats I've ever heard. This album is well put-together. An enjoyable story that gets better with each listen. Get this album any way you can! A must-hear. Expand
  6. DD
    May 14, 2004
    Unique sound, doesn't change style much from original pirate material, but enough so that it stays fresh. excellent thought and emotion provoking lyrics and music. I would definitely say worth buying. blinded by the lights, and empty cans are awesome songs. all the pussies who need to talk on their cell phones all the time bitching to their friends and need so much support from everyone need to listen to empty cans. those ppl don't care about you in the end, and your all you got. Expand
  7. stevem
    Sep 7, 2004
    I hope my vote brings down the overall score for this terrible album. It's a shame I beleived waht was written in these high-score reviews for A Grand.... after listening to it, I 100% disagree with all of them. Come on people, you made me waste my money on a crap album. You're suppose to critics, not lemmings. Expand

See all 126 User Reviews

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