A Grand Don't Come For Free

User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 212 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 25 out of 212

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  1. Apr 18, 2016
    8
    I remember when I was young and impressionable and I heard "Fit But You Know It" for the first time on the radio. I enjoyed its general quirkiness, and it was my first foray into the world of Mike Skinner. I had to pick the album up as soon as I could. Once I did I enjoyed it very much but it would take me several more years to appreciate its lyrics / story telling. Skinner was never yourI remember when I was young and impressionable and I heard "Fit But You Know It" for the first time on the radio. I enjoyed its general quirkiness, and it was my first foray into the world of Mike Skinner. I had to pick the album up as soon as I could. Once I did I enjoyed it very much but it would take me several more years to appreciate its lyrics / story telling. Skinner was never your average early 2000s British grime/hip hop artist. He was always keen to explore new lyrical territory and went all the way with his 2nd effort. Some of the rhyming and choruses are a bit awkward but if anything it better serves to capture the instability of a man at life's crossroads relationship and money wise. Empty Cans is quite the stand out as it provides the listener with two very different but both equally impacting endings to the story. Expand
  2. Nov 30, 2015
    8
    A very original record with main man Mike Skinner blazing 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 one of the most innovative musicians of the noughties. For all the praise you can heap on his approach to this record, there are still only a handful of pure genius moments. This is more than mostA very original record with main man Mike Skinner blazing 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 one of the most innovative musicians of the noughties. For all the praise you can heap on his approach to this record, there are still only a handful of pure genius moments. This is more than most records but still, too many times the lyrics are repetitive and lack the cutting wit that is present on the best pieces on the record. His style of delivery, while electric on certain tracks, just doesn't work on others. This album is well worth a listen - some people absolutely love it but for me I mainly keep going back to the tracks "Blinded By the Lights" and "Dry Your Eyes". The album is worth listening through for those two tracks alone. Collapse
  3. Apr 14, 2015
    9
    Wow. This album is even better than the first. The Streets have an excellent way of telling stories in such a picturesque way that it almost feels more like a movie than an album.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!
  6. Aug 15, 2011
    10
    brilliant from beginning to end,that all I need to say.
  7. EliT
    Aug 17, 2009
    9
    Incredible record. When I first listened to it, years ago, I was vaguely impressed, but not engaged. After a few listens some songs started sticking out, I began caring about the narrative more and more. Songs I hated became incredible, all leading up to one of the best closing songs of all time, Empty Cans. If you don't care for it now, give it a listen every 3 or 4 months, you may Incredible record. When I first listened to it, years ago, I was vaguely impressed, but not engaged. After a few listens some songs started sticking out, I began caring about the narrative more and more. Songs I hated became incredible, all leading up to one of the best closing songs of all time, Empty Cans. If you don't care for it now, give it a listen every 3 or 4 months, you may come around to love it. Expand
  8. MattS
    Jul 28, 2009
    9
    One of my favorite albums of all time. When I first got this album I didn't really understand it. Then the song 'Empty Can's came up randomly on my shuffle on my MP3 player about six months later. I was absolutely blown away by the lyrics and immediately played the entire album from start to finish the way it was met to be. A fun and moving album that really relates to One of my favorite albums of all time. When I first got this album I didn't really understand it. Then the song 'Empty Can's came up randomly on my shuffle on my MP3 player about six months later. I was absolutely blown away by the lyrics and immediately played the entire album from start to finish the way it was met to be. A fun and moving album that really relates to pretty much any of us who fell in love at an early age, made a ton of mistakes, and eventually needed to pick themselves back up again. Expand
  9. DanielD.
    Jun 2, 2009
    3
    I'm pretty sure I could also make an album that sounded "like nothing else..." unfortunately it would be total garbage, just like this one. Call it lost in translation, say Americans just don't get it, whatever you want....this is annoying to the ear right off the bat, and it doesn't change the 2nd time around, either.
  10. AlanK.
    Feb 27, 2008
    0
    Excruciating. It may be supposed to be a parody of Eminem - it sounds a lot like Jilted John, which was definitely a parody of punk - and if so it's grimly hilarious. Otherwise...
  11. AP.
    Feb 20, 2008
    9
    Really cool album! People who say that they don't get it just don't listen to the words or even the music. The story is really cool and the beats are backing vocals are great. (Try out Dizzee Rascal's Boy In Da Corner if you like this) It may at first be a little hard to get used to (being American, it's hard to at first get past the accent) but it's ultimately rewarding!
  12. pADDYA
    Jul 15, 2007
    9
    Got this for
  13. AlexP
    Jun 12, 2007
    9
    Americans don't get this record. LOL at Americans.
  14. MarkD
    Feb 19, 2007
    0
    The English Eminem??? Um, He's white and he raps but thats where the comparisons end. Eminem had decent lyrics and the odd thing resembeling a tune, remember. Original??? Creative??? No, Kid A, Sgt Peppers and Surfa Rosa could arguably be called inventive but this? NEVER! Overhyped??? Hell yeah!!! The best review compares him to Ray Davies and Brian Wilson. Funniest thing i ever The English Eminem??? Um, He's white and he raps but thats where the comparisons end. Eminem had decent lyrics and the odd thing resembeling a tune, remember. Original??? Creative??? No, Kid A, Sgt Peppers and Surfa Rosa could arguably be called inventive but this? NEVER! Overhyped??? Hell yeah!!! The best review compares him to Ray Davies and Brian Wilson. Funniest thing i ever read. Thanks for giving me the biggest laugh i've had in years Launch.com!!! Expand
  15. LaviniaH
    Jan 19, 2007
    10
    loved it
  16. dannyw
    Jan 13, 2007
    10
    mint
  17. ColbyB
    Dec 21, 2006
    6
    Maybe i don't know rap very well but i know Fruityloop beats when i hear them. I think i am biased towards the whole british rap thing as well, to me it sounds like a Wierd Al comical rap cover, listening to M&M is hard enough, add some 'bloody hells', 'wankers', 'twats', 'mate'. no emotion poetry reading over basic tired beats. It reminds me Maybe i don't know rap very well but i know Fruityloop beats when i hear them. I think i am biased towards the whole british rap thing as well, to me it sounds like a Wierd Al comical rap cover, listening to M&M is hard enough, add some 'bloody hells', 'wankers', 'twats', 'mate'. no emotion poetry reading over basic tired beats. It reminds me of the Numa-Numa guy. Expand
  18. AlexB
    Dec 14, 2006
    10
    One of the best albums I have listened to in a long time.
  19. Pelicaine
    Oct 28, 2006
    9
    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.
  20. Scholesy
    Oct 19, 2006
    10
    Better than OPM. MUCH better. This album is a true storytelling classic
  21. ChrisT
    Oct 13, 2006
    10
    Skinner is lyrically amazing. His songs flow is great, and is accent while rapping is an amazing asset to his songs. He can take really normal situations, and relay them in a perfect sence.
  22. SAVAGETOAST
    Aug 8, 2006
    7
    Not as good as the critics say. i'd recomend buying "original pirate material" by them. i find this album slow and preachy. A 7
  23. richardj
    Jun 22, 2006
    5
    Sorry why do you hype this man! He has minimal talent and is plainly musically retarded, wanna listen to a good english MC listen to Plan B, album out on 26th June in UK, hard hitting and relevant this is just totally Sh*T! Crap rhymes and Sh*tty beats!
  24. benk
    Apr 23, 2006
    5
    I've seen a few reviews stating that Mike Skiinner "definitely took some risks" making this album. Risks? What risks? Original Pirate Material, if anything, was a risk, because it was so unique in an otherwise same-sounding genre. This new record is more of the same, hence my wonder: If your second record sounds like it could have been bundled with the first, what risks are you I've seen a few reviews stating that Mike Skiinner "definitely took some risks" making this album. Risks? What risks? Original Pirate Material, if anything, was a risk, because it was so unique in an otherwise same-sounding genre. This new record is more of the same, hence my wonder: If your second record sounds like it could have been bundled with the first, what risks are you taking with the album? It's a stretch calling this stuff 'music'. It's unique to be sure, but I still think it's slightly overrated. There's a value to originality, but there's also a value to cohesive rhythm and flow, which I feel this album (much like OPM) seriously lacks. What saved OPM was the handful of distinctive songs that this album lacks. "Fit But You Know It" is a good time. Expand
  25. SimonE
    Apr 21, 2006
    10
    It's at least as good as his first album.
  26. jw
    Mar 29, 2006
    8
    This is not Original Pirate Material. Yes, whereas OPM had its brief valleys here and there ("Sharp Darts" and "Geezers Need Excitement" come to mind), A Grand Don't Come For Free maintains basically the same quality throughout. Owing to the carry-over storyline and the similarity in the beats, it does not waver much from side to side. But neither does it soar as high as OPM when it This is not Original Pirate Material. Yes, whereas OPM had its brief valleys here and there ("Sharp Darts" and "Geezers Need Excitement" come to mind), A Grand Don't Come For Free maintains basically the same quality throughout. Owing to the carry-over storyline and the similarity in the beats, it does not waver much from side to side. But neither does it soar as high as OPM when it shined its brightest - and did that album ever shine! We may be able to blame this on the absence of that pleasant surprise wow that accompanied one's discovery of Skinner's first effort. And maybe it just isn't as good. Certainly the humor is back in spades; "It Was Supposed to be so Easy" and "Get Out of My House" make sure of this. There is no pulsing call to arms reminiscent of "Turn the Page" or "Let's Push Things Forward." Nothing as emotive as "It's Too Late." No dreamy memorial like "Weak Become Heroes." A Grand... plays over a day or maybe two, and bounces from one crisis to another, one encounter to the next. It's excellent at that, and interesting and funny and worth checking out. It just isn't Original Pirate Material. And for that it can be forgiven. Expand
  27. TimD
    Mar 29, 2006
    10
    A simply brilliant album. Has to be heard to be believed. Great story
  28. sachep
    Mar 28, 2006
    10
    Incredible, unique, - a genius is born.
  29. TomR
    Mar 19, 2006
    10
    First off, THIS IS NOT HIP-HOP OR RAP! THIS IS NOT your normal music. So for all of you who expect that and can't handle a truly new form of music, move on. This is for those of you that GET music, that recognize someone that is not only good for creating something new, but also for the genious it. It's a form of spoken word over overly complex programming...mostly off beat. First off, THIS IS NOT HIP-HOP OR RAP! THIS IS NOT your normal music. So for all of you who expect that and can't handle a truly new form of music, move on. This is for those of you that GET music, that recognize someone that is not only good for creating something new, but also for the genious it. It's a form of spoken word over overly complex programming...mostly off beat. This album is a story. It's emotion. It's human. The beats are random at first, but organized and structured perfectly to complement Skinner's delivery. A Grand creates a world for the listener to drop into. It's not your life, it's not what you're used to hearing, and that's the whole point. It's a reflection of experiences, of maturing, but still maintaining one's identity. From the unknowing opening to the retrospective conclusion, most people should be able to relate to this. A stellar follow up to Original Pirate Material, and one count the days until the release of The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living and see how Mike's perception of life has changed. Expand
  30. PaulV
    Mar 11, 2006
    10
    I hate rap, and I mean REALLY HATE. But this album? it's absolutely fantastic - It's just plain unique, Skinner has created an absolutely amazing, unique and creative album that has nothing else to compare with. Some nice easy background music. 100% recommended - and just to reiterate, I _HATE_ rap, but BUY THIS!
  31. JacksonAnimal
    Mar 1, 2006
    0
    This is the epitome of awful music. His ryhmes, or lack thereof, are a mindless dribble of nonsense. II admit that nothing else sounds like this; but to many people are influenced into thinking that it is good because of that.This is bad music; there is no flow, there is no good content, and there is only a slow, lethargic and rough stream of noise. I think that the beats are good but to This is the epitome of awful music. His ryhmes, or lack thereof, are a mindless dribble of nonsense. II admit that nothing else sounds like this; but to many people are influenced into thinking that it is good because of that.This is bad music; there is no flow, there is no good content, and there is only a slow, lethargic and rough stream of noise. I think that the beats are good but to put such rubbish over the beats is sacrilege. Not one critic has given a good reason as to why he believes that this is a good album. The fact that this album got such high reviews just goes to show how biased these pundits are towards new concepts. Critics laud those who make new extreme, albiet awful, music while critizing those who make good rock or hip-hop albums. A Grand Don't Come For Free is just cut and dry bad music. Do yourself a favor and pick up some good music. Expand
  32. davec
    Feb 28, 2006
    10
    i love this album its great. blinded by the lights is awesome
  33. JoshS
    Feb 12, 2006
    9
    A great follow-up album and depicts a young-single man's life with his mates, girls and money excellently
  34. DavidT
    Feb 8, 2006
    0
    Reminds me if David Brent from BBC's The Office made a rap album. mike Skinner can't rap, he just speaks in a brit accent over crappy beats. How does this get such great reviews? Just awful
  35. Paulie
    Jan 4, 2006
    9
    The spirit of Ian Drury lives on .
  36. Kel
    Dec 1, 2005
    10
    The album that follows a successful debut LP presents a significant problem. Do you rinse, wash and repeat the previous formula, hoping that it will sound just as good the second time round, or do you attempt to explore new territory with the risk of alienating old fans and failing to acquire new ones? A copy-cat album would most likely have seen The Streets branded as a one hit wonder The album that follows a successful debut LP presents a significant problem. Do you rinse, wash and repeat the previous formula, hoping that it will sound just as good the second time round, or do you attempt to explore new territory with the risk of alienating old fans and failing to acquire new ones? A copy-cat album would most likely have seen The Streets branded as a one hit wonder parody and this undoubtedly played on his mind as he attempted to conjure up an album that would stay true to his everyday UK style roots whilst, at the same time, charting new waters. This he has achieved by producing an intoxicating mix of old and new. There are many thematic similarities between 'A Grand Don't Come For Free' and 'Original Pirate Material'. For 'Blinded By The Lights' read 'Weak Become Heroes'. For 'Fit But You Know It' read 'Don't Mug Yourself'. For 'Dry Your Eyes' read 'It's Too Late'. But it's here that the similarities end, for unlike its predecessor, 'A Grand Don't Come For Free' can be loosely termed a concept album. But unlike the pretentious art-rock efforts of years gone by, AGDCFF is not a po-faced attempt at communicating the meaning of life to a mentally Expand
  37. AlexH
    Oct 11, 2005
    0
    Will never top the first album, especially not with this effort.
  38. EmilT
    Sep 2, 2005
    2
    too sweet
  39. critic.xhost.ro
    Aug 7, 2005
    10
    the whole album story is greatly depicted, very nice tracks and awesome beats, esp "blinded by the light" and "dry your eyes"
  40. rogers
    Jul 28, 2005
    10
    This CD is incredible. I can listen to it all the time and get something new from it. To Trust or not to Trust that is the name of the Game.
  41. ZachL.
    Jul 23, 2005
    9
    This album is definetly best when listened to in it's entirety. Definetly unique and innnovative.
  42. ScottY
    Jul 9, 2005
    4
    I just didn't get it. It's highly-rated, but it seemed more like talking over electronica than music to me.
  43. Joel
    Jul 9, 2005
    9
    This album is difficult to define. It's like "The Office" meets "The Wall" or something. The quality of the rapping (or talking) and music is usually nothing to write your homies about, but somehow the end result works great. I've listened to it about five times now straight through, and I rarely listen to albums straight through. Great piece of work they made.
  44. ThomasM
    Jun 19, 2005
    10
    1 of the best albums ever skinners jus wicked and it was the best concert ive bin 2 an its great music 2 get lost in
  45. AWeinkle
    Jun 19, 2005
    9
    A refreshingly contemporary, listenable hip-hoppish, gen Y Everyman. My daughters played it this week and this baby boomer was instantly engaged... bought a legit copy of the CD for myself
  46. matta
    May 27, 2005
    9
    A great album and so special becuase MIke Skinner truly is making music like no one else. Original Pirate Material was, song for song, probably a better record, but this one is so intriguing and works so well becuase Skinner's ability to tell a truly engrossing story over the course of this cd's eleven tracks. great stuff.
  47. BriannaJ
    May 20, 2005
    10
    I am AMAZED!
  48. JoyL
    Apr 18, 2005
    9
    Great Album. Even better in concert. Although for me Original Pirate Material is still my favorite Skinner album.
  49. LouiseB
    Apr 11, 2005
    10
    Now, I know a lot of you think that this album is shit.. but you're all wrong! There's no-one else I have heard that can make an album that tells a story the way Mike does on this. I also don't think that this is only an album for hip-hop lovers cos anyone who loves good lyrics, tunes and catchiness should love this..... but thats only my opinion!
  50. BRD
    Mar 24, 2005
    8
    He deserves credit for reviving the concept album. Might even be the most coherent one ever. The song about being on ecstacy in the club is great. There is a lot of obscure Brit-slang, which will limit accessibility in the US.
  51. bobb
    Mar 24, 2005
    1
    this is just some bloke talking over elevator music ain't it. the 1 is for fit but don't you know it vid, but the album is shit
  52. StoP
    Mar 18, 2005
    10
    If you are expecting Original Pirate Material then you are expecting too much. What Mike Skinner did with his debut is not repeated here wit A Grand Don't Come for Free. A Grand is it's entity, chalk full of narative, a great lead character in the pill popping s Skinner himself, and a ssupporting cast full of turncoat mates, angry birds and fit as all hellll beeyatches. Skinner If you are expecting Original Pirate Material then you are expecting too much. What Mike Skinner did with his debut is not repeated here wit A Grand Don't Come for Free. A Grand is it's entity, chalk full of narative, a great lead character in the pill popping s Skinner himself, and a ssupporting cast full of turncoat mates, angry birds and fit as all hellll beeyatches. Skinner is telling a tale of woe that we all go through from time to time . He has given a voice to the self aware youth that reside in the urban landscapes of not only London but NYC ,Chicago, LA, etc. A Grand is a triuphant narrative that is mixed into a personal soundscape of pots and pans beatss, machine-gun fire guitars, chilled out after party grooves, and a doubled up surprise ending that is not only told once but rewound and told again. From which perspective do ou believe is purely upto the listener. The Streets are the shiznitz. hands down one of the best albums of the year. Expand
  53. brennenC
    Mar 16, 2005
    10
    Shit man! awsome : )
  54. AliR
    Mar 14, 2005
    5
    Confused and dull second coming that reaches for the stars but barely gets out of the earths orbit!
  55. Claire
    Mar 6, 2005
    10
    great albumn and even better when hes live!!
  56. ElizabethR
    Mar 1, 2005
    10
    This album is amazing. Mike Skinner talks about the most normal things in the most minute detail that really makes you think. If you pay attention, the songs all together also tell a story, which is something I've never heard before. Much more polished and together than "Original Pirate Material."
  57. RyanC
    Feb 22, 2005
    0
    Please. This man is single-handedly making 'chavs' (a new form of human street rat) accepted in my country. We must wipe these people out before they steal our precious time and money. Culture will judge you if you like this
  58. DerekN
    Feb 13, 2005
    8
    This album isn't anywhere near as good as his first one. There are still some extremely amazing tracks on this, but some of the songs are sketchy at best. The album tells a great story and has a really cool theme to it though. I'll give it that. As for it being critically acclaimed, it's because nobody has ever made an album like this before. Then again, that could be said This album isn't anywhere near as good as his first one. There are still some extremely amazing tracks on this, but some of the songs are sketchy at best. The album tells a great story and has a really cool theme to it though. I'll give it that. As for it being critically acclaimed, it's because nobody has ever made an album like this before. Then again, that could be said for Skinner's first album. Expand
  59. flatulantfarts
    Feb 3, 2005
    10
    yea!!
  60. Chrisc
    Feb 3, 2005
    10
    at the end of the record, you feel as if you have reached nirvana
  61. JeffR
    Jan 31, 2005
    0
    What the hell is this crap? What is it that I don't get that everybody else seems to? I don't see any musical insight in here at all. In fact, this CD actually was painful to listen too. Odd tempos, bad timing, tuneless singing (when there is any). This CD is amazingly bad. I always thought I had an open mind about music. Now I'm not so sure.
  62. mikeymikey
    Jan 30, 2005
    8
    So what makes this album so great? It's definatley not Mike Skinners ryhms, they're almost spoken word. What does make it great however, is the fact that when listened to, you can see yourself being a buddy of Skinner. His british charm is undeniable, and the songs are all so evryday that he becomes easy to identify with. When you hear conclusion of the final track "empty cans," So what makes this album so great? It's definatley not Mike Skinners ryhms, they're almost spoken word. What does make it great however, is the fact that when listened to, you can see yourself being a buddy of Skinner. His british charm is undeniable, and the songs are all so evryday that he becomes easy to identify with. When you hear conclusion of the final track "empty cans," you can't help but feel a range of emotions that makes you realize that you love this album. Expand
  63. keithm
    Jan 22, 2005
    9
    Wow. From the first word I was swept off my feet into the middle of London, watching the world pass by with a new, fresh perspective. Who knew simple speech could be so profound?
  64. AdamM
    Jan 20, 2005
    9
    this is a great album that holds a hidden story if listned to correctli
  65. darrins
    Jan 16, 2005
    5
    I dont get it. I mean, its creative, but not really my thing. I respect this guy, but hes far from being a lyrical genius. I hope this isnt where hip hop is heading. Personally, hip hop album of the year/decade is Madvilliany. This is more like techno with spoken word.
  66. JohnnyA
    Jan 15, 2005
    10
    I love it!
  67. BarryL
    Jan 14, 2005
    0
    This album is not an album. It's not even music. There's no harmony, no tune, and they don't actually sing. Not once. At all. Zilch. And at the times when they attempt to do so they are way out of tune. In short, S**T.
  68. joolzmonks
    Jan 9, 2005
    10
    Best album I've come across in about a decade. Well, five years at least.
  69. AdamR
    Jan 4, 2005
    10
    This album requires some time and some attention, but if a listener is willing to spend enough of both, he or she will be able to appreciate an album that better captures the importance and significance of everyday events than any other I've ever heard. Mike Skinner simultaneously rejects and worships a wide range of musical genres in order to combine them into whatever will capture This album requires some time and some attention, but if a listener is willing to spend enough of both, he or she will be able to appreciate an album that better captures the importance and significance of everyday events than any other I've ever heard. Mike Skinner simultaneously rejects and worships a wide range of musical genres in order to combine them into whatever will capture the part of his story he is sharing with us at the time. Truly a transcendent work. Expand
  70. T.Bone
    Dec 16, 2004
    8
    People who don't like this item and who are using eminem or 50 cent rappers (who btw pay radio and tv stations to play them and their repitions on the airwaves "brainwashes" morons into thinking that they are good) as comparasons of "quality rap" are morons. I bet most of the people who said this cd sucked have never picked up an instrument or rapped in their lives. As one who does People who don't like this item and who are using eminem or 50 cent rappers (who btw pay radio and tv stations to play them and their repitions on the airwaves "brainwashes" morons into thinking that they are good) as comparasons of "quality rap" are morons. I bet most of the people who said this cd sucked have never picked up an instrument or rapped in their lives. As one who does BOTH, this guy may not be "tight" in his flow or superbly lyrical but his simple storytelling and nice harmony forms well though-out songs. Look at the Beatles; their songs were not complex or lyrical...they repeated the same things over but were loved by the world. Bob Dillan didn't sing when he arrived, but it was his fantastically vivid yet simple storyteklling that reflected the times in which he lived. That is what a good musician does: Tell a vivid story and take the listener into their world, in the end seeking to envoke a feeling. I am a hiphoper in America so don't front ppl, i know what im talking about. This guys going places.....im just hoping i can get there before he does! Expand
  71. AndrewP
    Dec 15, 2004
    8
    Great cd, but often a bit too much of a story than a song. The streets rule.
  72. SethB.
    Dec 2, 2004
    10
    The first song I heard off of this album was What Is He Thinking...I was drunk off a couple of forties, and my brother and I were making a jingle for the top twenty underground music count down in Wisconsin...we thought the song was terrible, and an hour later we were kind of curious and went back and played track one. We listened to every word from track one to the last track, and The first song I heard off of this album was What Is He Thinking...I was drunk off a couple of forties, and my brother and I were making a jingle for the top twenty underground music count down in Wisconsin...we thought the song was terrible, and an hour later we were kind of curious and went back and played track one. We listened to every word from track one to the last track, and didn't really say anything about it because we'd spent ten or twenty minutes dissing it earlier, saying how we rap a billion times better, and blah blah. Over the next few days, we kept finding each other listenening to a song and quickly closing the window when the other walked in. This album, we eventually decided, was the best hiphop album in a fukin' long time. His rhyme's suck, his flow is a bit off, and a lot of thug types we played it to said it was crap, but the guy's a poet. He's not the "Eminem Of British Rap"--he's Guy Ritchie of rap music. Everything about this album is perfected, as far as I'm concerned. When he sounds as though he's reading off a piece of paper, it's as though he has formed a picture and wants us to appreciate it word for word, not ride along to the crappy beats. I was surprised by how many people liked this album; I thought no one would understand the story and the real life shit that went into this. Everyone I play it for, though, is hooked. Whatever. Its a hell of an album, and it ranks on my top ten favorite albums, and will for a long time. Anyone who's bit fucked over once or twice, and is paranoid about life, knows about empty cans. Seth of the 12 Professors. Expand
  73. robinr
    Dec 2, 2004
    10
    Great album... nobody and i say nobody makes this kind of music.. inovative and extreem. Lyrics that people can relate to and maybe even some phylosofie in the tracks Brilliant
  74. BryanF
    Nov 11, 2004
    10
    This album was great!
  75. CiaránMcC
    Nov 8, 2004
    7
    A little disapointing thought the 1 album is way ahead of this but did like the beats!!
  76. AbiC
    Nov 1, 2004
    10
    this album is truly original and uniqe i give it 10 out of ten because i am totally in love with this album.
  77. bryonf
    Oct 29, 2004
    10
    A Grand... ...the answer to hip hop with meaning
  78. MattB
    Oct 15, 2004
    8
    While the rhymes aren't quite as good as OPM, the fact that this CD is basically a story, from the first song to the last, makes it an amazing album. He obviously put care and feeling into this album, and thats what matters in music. If you listen to the lyrics, you cant help but become involved in the story. I will admit the rhymes are a little elementary, but what does that matter While the rhymes aren't quite as good as OPM, the fact that this CD is basically a story, from the first song to the last, makes it an amazing album. He obviously put care and feeling into this album, and thats what matters in music. If you listen to the lyrics, you cant help but become involved in the story. I will admit the rhymes are a little elementary, but what does that matter if the content is pristine? I recommend at least listening to this album. I mean REALLY listen, not just have it on. Expand
  79. SamM
    Oct 12, 2004
    0
    he's talking, thats it he's talking with a slight hint of a rythm plain bollocks
  80. JohnD
    Oct 11, 2004
    9
    this is what hip hop COULD be, but instead we have to listen to Petey Pablo.
  81. shabaro
    Oct 7, 2004
    7
    8 for the originality,10 for the creativity of the samples and loops; 4 for not trying to take this to the next level; 9 for the production quality; 4 for trivial lyrics. total a well deserved 7.
  82. RyanM
    Oct 4, 2004
    10
    just 1 word for this album BRILLIANT !!!
  83. JonG
    Sep 23, 2004
    9
    Although not as revolutionary as OPM, AGDCFF still impresses the mind. It's obvious that Mikee hasn't lost his skill of master storytelling, but at some points the flow gives way to the story. Still, an album I will be listening to for years to come. Cheap too, making this as essential as the pricier OPM.
  84. stevem
    Sep 7, 2004
    0
    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.
  85. DannyC
    Sep 7, 2004
    1
    You can't have but high expectations for this eagerly anticipated second installment from The Streets. Original Pirate Material rang out promises of originality, marrying an unusual blend of 2-step/British garage, hip hop and lucid lyrics, and you?re led to believe that at last, British hip hop is capable of coming all unto its own. You thought that if someone?s going to do, it may You can't have but high expectations for this eagerly anticipated second installment from The Streets. Original Pirate Material rang out promises of originality, marrying an unusual blend of 2-step/British garage, hip hop and lucid lyrics, and you?re led to believe that at last, British hip hop is capable of coming all unto its own. You thought that if someone?s going to do, it may as well be Mike Skinner. A Grand Don?t Come Free is a severe disappointment. All at once, the album is bland, elementary, repetitive, and a waste of time. The lyrics are watery and boring. Skinner is locked into some moronic quest to make good his mediocre, day-to-day existence, which quite frankly is not ?street?. It's not clever nor is it artistic. It?s dreary and I am not sure Skinner really tried that hard. More astonishingly, it?s garnering overrated and bloated reviews coast to coast from many of music?s fiercest critics. I can only reason that reviewers (mostly the Americans) who like Skinner's style may find his social commentary on Brit youth culture more fascinating than what whinging poms like me feel about this album, which is as appetizing as pig tripe. Expand
  86. AndyS
    Sep 6, 2004
    10
    This Cd is one of those that gets better and better with each listen. A Grand Dont Come For Free sounds completely original and moving on from the made for schoolgirls poppy hip hop and garage scenes. This Cd isnt about the music or skinners vocal talent, which arent tewrrible but not outstanding, but his delivery is spot on, moreover the lyrics are honest, funny, witty and expressive. This Cd is one of those that gets better and better with each listen. A Grand Dont Come For Free sounds completely original and moving on from the made for schoolgirls poppy hip hop and garage scenes. This Cd isnt about the music or skinners vocal talent, which arent tewrrible but not outstanding, but his delivery is spot on, moreover the lyrics are honest, funny, witty and expressive. Its more like looking into the mind of the average british teenager, listening to his thoughts and events. This is what makes it stand out as a modern classic. Some may not get how listening to someone talking is music, and maybe it isnt exactly, but I just cant get enough of the humour and intelligent lyrics. And pretty much anyone can relate to the lyrics. Skinner isnt the British equivalent of eminem, its nothing to do with him being white or anything like that. The Streets is in a class of his own, and this album is a classic. Expand
  87. Matt
    Aug 29, 2004
    1
    This guy is pretty terrible. Sorry. The white critics just love it when they find a white rapper who is unique but still inoffensive. Sure he is different, but seriously, his rhymes are elementary, the beats are sparse (and simple beats is not a progressive niche, hip hop has had that since the beginning), and while he does weave a somewhat interesting story for each track you must This guy is pretty terrible. Sorry. The white critics just love it when they find a white rapper who is unique but still inoffensive. Sure he is different, but seriously, his rhymes are elementary, the beats are sparse (and simple beats is not a progressive niche, hip hop has had that since the beginning), and while he does weave a somewhat interesting story for each track you must realize that when you have unrestricted lyrics due to simple or even nonexistent rhymes it's pretty easy to tell a story over a beat. At least he is not as bad as Dizzee Rascal, jesus that guy is shit. You want some progressive hip hop? Go check out the Anticon label, Atmosphere, or Sage Francis. Expand
  88. vinceg
    Aug 18, 2004
    10
    This isnt just an album here; its a story. Mike Skinner transforms simple mundane daily activities into something smart and relevant without comprimising musical content.
  89. PHOEBEP
    Aug 9, 2004
    9
    GRAND DONT COME FOR FREE is a really majestic album. I find The Strees a great new breath of good shit. Keep it up, yeah.
  90. DJ
    Aug 2, 2004
    10
    its of the hook
  91. bruceh
    Aug 2, 2004
    10
    its good
  92. Marc
    Jul 30, 2004
    1
    How people can listen to The Streets in the first place baffles me! He doesn't sing or rap, he just talks! Who cares about listnening to stories about fast food and complaining about his broken TV, etc. The Streets for me, are overrated and just plain boring. And for his comparison with Eminem, he's not even in the same league!
  93. CJ
    Jul 19, 2004
    10
    Crackin album, And wicked live act!
  94. Andreas
    Jul 17, 2004
    8
    When I first heard it I was really disappointed, but it's getting better now. It's good because it's different, but I got to agree with Glen B, that the lyrics is pretty crazy. People says that Mike Skinner got unike lyrics, and I think the lyrics on OPM was unike, but on A Grand... I think he's talking too much crap(like the money in the TV). I just don't get it. When I first heard it I was really disappointed, but it's getting better now. It's good because it's different, but I got to agree with Glen B, that the lyrics is pretty crazy. People says that Mike Skinner got unike lyrics, and I think the lyrics on OPM was unike, but on A Grand... I think he's talking too much crap(like the money in the TV). I just don't get it. Maybe I just gotta give the album even more time... This sounds very negative, but The Streets is still one of my favorites, and of course, OPM is classical, it's just that I can't say that A Grand... is a 100 and that classical. Expand
  95. GlenB
    Jul 13, 2004
    6
    Good because it's the streets, but really it's pretty average. I had high expectations after OPM but this is a poor follow up. Losing money in a TV? Come on.
  96. ihlfilug
    Jul 11, 2004
    10
    cool
  97. patrickm
    Jul 10, 2004
    8
    I thought it was great, especially "dry your eyes", which I think showed the versatility of Skinner. I know a lot of people who think how can a white English boy turn heads? Well, just listen because this guy is creative, edgy, and unpredictable. I have to say that his first album is better and has more singles than this one. But still, the album as a whole might very well be the best of I thought it was great, especially "dry your eyes", which I think showed the versatility of Skinner. I know a lot of people who think how can a white English boy turn heads? Well, just listen because this guy is creative, edgy, and unpredictable. I have to say that his first album is better and has more singles than this one. But still, the album as a whole might very well be the best of a dismal year. Expand
  98. joed
    Jun 25, 2004
    8
    Class most of the songs are amzin the bonus track is simply class!
  99. ArnieGeezer
    Jun 23, 2004
    8
    very different from OPM, I've listened to this album for awhile now and there are a few tracks that I just couldn't get into (5 and 6) but there are some great ones that grow on you with time (not addicted, such a twat). Fit but you Know is the only one that jumped right out when I first heard the album, thats a kick ass party song. All in all very interesting album to listen to very different from OPM, I've listened to this album for awhile now and there are a few tracks that I just couldn't get into (5 and 6) but there are some great ones that grow on you with time (not addicted, such a twat). Fit but you Know is the only one that jumped right out when I first heard the album, thats a kick ass party song. All in all very interesting album to listen to but I still think the best from the Streets is yet to come Expand
  100. JasonS
    Jun 22, 2004
    10
    This almost seems as a sort of homage to the narritive form that one would find in such rock opera's as Quadrophenia or Tommy. Yet, this seems to be executed much better than that. Yes, it's a story, but its a wonderful piece of music as well. It is good to know that someone in the hip hop genre still has innovation on their side. Mike Skinner does not dissappoint.
Metascore
91

Universal acclaim - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 30
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 30
  3. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. Vibe
    70
    11 frenetic, oddball, and extremely original tracks. [Jun 2004, p.154]
  2. 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.
  3. This makes engrossing listening if the effort suits you, but it's useless as background music.