Thursday, October 19, 2023

The Streets have returned after 12 years with New Album ‘The Darker The Shadow The Brighter The Light’.

The most respected musical project to come out of the UK, The Streets, are back with their first full-length album in 12 years, ‘The Darker The Shadow The Brighter The Light’, proving the timeless sound of The Streets will forever be iconic.

Mike Skinner, the mastermind behind The Streets, is arguably one of the most influential and creative artists to come out of the UK and 'The Darker The Shadow The Brighter The Light' only further proves this. 

By using the usual electronica and alternative hip-hop techniques, Skinner ventures into new territory throughout the album by experimenting with reggae sounds on ‘Something To Hide’, and using unlikely instruments such as a sitar mixed with a grime-influenced beat in 'Gonna Hurt When This Is Over', even with this experimentation the sound of the album is undeniably The Streets.

Like most of The Streets' work, the album is a quintessential representation of the lives the people of the UK live. The lyrics range from describing a commute to work and social media, to party drugs and sex, an album in which the experiences talked about are recognisable to almost everyone who listens.

The first track on 'The Darker The Shadow The Brighter The Light' being ‘Too Much Yayo’ fully sets the tone for the remainder of the album. Starting off in a slow spoken-word manner and quickly descending into an electronic 90s rave-inspired sound. This is then followed by ‘Money Isn’t Everything’ and ‘Walk Of Shame’ which both feel very reminiscent of The Streets' 2004 album ‘A Grand Don’t Come For Free’. This contrasts with the following ‘Something To Hide’ and ‘Bright Sunny Day’ which feel uniquely new and modern.

The middle of the album features the title track ‘The Darker The Shadow The Brighter The Light’, which provides an effective midway point in the album. The song reengages the listener by using an old jazz sample with captivating lyrics and an electronic beat, creating a one-of-a-kind track.

The remainder of the album sees the continuation of new ideas and sounds like in ‘Funny Dream’ and ‘Kick The Can’ which again show a more modern take on The Streets musical style. This leads on to the final track ‘Good Old Daze’ which provides the perfect conclusion to the album with its melancholic sound and lyrics that reflect the themes of the album perfectly.

The Darker The Shadow The Brighter The Light’ is simply not just an album but an accompanying soundtrack to the feature film of the same name that Skinner has been working on for over a decade.  The film is said to be a Guy Richie – esq murder mystery that Mike Skinner wrote, directed, produced, and funded himself as well as starring in it. Skinner has claimed that all songs on the album were written specifically with the feature film in mind with tracks such as ‘Each Day Gives’ coming at a pivotal point in the character’s lives which is reflected in the lyrics.

Overall, the album is one of The Streets' best works. The new and exciting sounds mixed with The Streets' classic style proves that Mike Skinner has not lost any of his musical talents in the 12-year hiatus, once again proving he is truly one of the most influential artists to come out of the UK.


Jodie Marshall


Image: ‘The Darker The Shadow The Brighter The Light’ Official Album Cover

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