A Grand Don't Come For Free Image
Metascore
91

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

User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 196 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. Apr 17, 2013
    10
    An urban hip-hopera masterpiece. Mike Skinner is a genius when it comes to this type of thing and raps over a series of electronic samples and textures. Standout track is obviously Dry Your Eyes. Expand
  2. Aug 15, 2011
    10
    brilliant from beginning to end,that all I need to say.
  3. Mar 2, 2013
    9
    This album is big in the game! Tells a quality story throughout and tells it from an average person's point of view from getting high to heart break. Quality stuff! Expand
  4. Oct 17, 2012
    7
    Yep this was original stuff and Mike Skinner did blaze a trail for many acts that copied his approach to music. If he didn't single handedly create a genre, he at least should be classed as an innovator. That said, this record has a a handful of pure genius moment, however too many times the lyrics thread old ground and lack cleverness. His style of delivery doesn't work on all the tracks either. This album is well worth a listen - some people absolutely love it, for me I only every go back to a handful of tracks especially "Blinded By the Lights" and "Dry Your Eyes". The album is worth listening through for those two tracks alone. Expand

See all 126 User Reviews

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