Metascore
63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 28
  2. Negative: 1 out of 28
  1. His backing tracks incorporate more live instrumentation, adding some much-needed musical warmth to complement his lyrics' newfound depth.
  2. Even though his heavy drug phase seems to be largely over, Borrowed is his "Sgt. Pepper"--not because he’s spelunking far-flung experimental trenches, but because he finally understands that life is larger than his ego (self-depreciating as it was).
  3. Skinner has consolidated everything he’s done before, chucked in where his head’s at now and come up with an album that, while lacking the visceral thrill of ‘Original Pirate Material’, is a minor masterpiece that will mean a lot to a more select bunch of people.
  4. Everything Is Borrowed is a neat about-face, a record that couldn't be more different from its predecessor. Sincere, considered, and poignant, Everything Is Borrowed finds Skinner remaining one of the foremost lyricists in pop music, and so much the better when the focus of his sharp writing is the struggle of weighty concepts instead of flimsy celebrity.
  5. 80
    Over inventive arrangements that feature more live instrumentation than on any other Streets album, Skinner gives maturity a fresh coat of meaning.
  6. What matters is that Everything Is Borrowed is enough of a triumph that despite all evidence to the contrary, you'll be convinced the world is indeed a beautiful place. [Dec 2008, p.153]
  7. Each listen reveals more light and shade, reaffirming Skinner's position as one of Britain's truly interesting stars.
  8. More than anything it's just a relief to see this rare talent back from the brink, still, as always, one step ahead of the game
  9. His new record retains The Streets’ puckish charm while showing signs of maturity.
  10. 70
    Where the last Streets record was mainly about coming up with new words to describe cocaine, the fourth is surprisingly expansive and often quite deep.
  11. On his fourth set, he addresses loftier themes--religion, mortality, ecology--without sounding dorky; it's like he's been woodshedding with Obama's speechwriting team.
  12. Sober living has brought back Skinner’s musical fire, and it has given him a new perspective that is sometimes fascinating but too often cliched. [Winter 2008]
  13. 60
    While the album has its awkward moments, there are enough slinkily wonderful tunes, gleeful beats and miments of genuine tenderness to make Skinner's transformation not just convincing but also really rather lovely. [Oct 2008, p.100]
  14. 60
    The devil is in the detail--and Skinner's devilish side is his most appealing.[Oct 2008, p.108]
  15. Everything in the entire album is really just catching up to Skinner's words.
  16. Despite Skinner’s undeniable verbal and production talents, and his online hand-wringing about embracing positivity without getting cheesy, there is something undeniably sappy about this record that won’t sit well with people expecting to hear more mockney slander about drunken gits.
  17. It's a more varied listen but also markedly lesser in impact.
  18. Like the core message of Everything Is Borrowed, this album will, unfortunately, come and go soon enough, little trace left behind.
  19. There’s a brilliant EP lurking somewhere in this record, but Mike Skinner is either too ambitious or too fatigued to rescue it.
  20. The emotional density lurking in Mr. Skinner’s early work is mostly absent. Worse still, he’s tightened up his rapping, largely sticking to simple patterns that when paired with simple ideas, are numbing.
  21. In the end, though, Everything Is Borrowed's musical high points aren't enough to save it from its lyric sheet, and that, going forward, constitutes a real problem for Skinner.
  22. The overall effect is a more diluted sound, in keeping with the watering down of Skinner's diatribes.
  23. Skinner's self-actualization prattle would be more admirable if it had any real insight, but the best he can offer are cheap aphorisms tailor-made for tote bags.
  24. Combined with the slick, predominantly live band set-up here it makes for some dreadfully clunky moments.
  25. Everything Is Borrowed is a huge disappointment, riding in on the crest of the huge disappointment that was Skinner's previous album. [Oct 2008, p.140
  26. His delightful sense of narrative is virtually missing, and a lot of the verses meander and build to banal choruses.
  27. The problem is that the lines may be good, but the danger is gone.
  28. The result is like a musical cab ride from hell, a forty-minute endurance test of half-baked cockney cod-philosophy.

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