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  • Writer's pictureZim Ahmadi

[TRACK REVIEW] "Call My Phone, Thinking I'm Doing Nothing Better" - The Streets ft. Kevin Parker

GENRE: RAP / UK HIP HOP RELEASE DATE: 13 APR 2020 Birmingham rap artist and multi-instrumentalist Mike Skinner is back after a long stretch from his last album in a collaboration with Tame Impala. The Streets was hard to love. As a 13-year old teenager who was already iffy about UK hip hop/grime because I wasn't used to the accent or the style, Mike Skinner's talk-flow didn't help me ease into it. However, later on, with The Streets more popular hits like Dry Your Eyes and my eventual exploration of The Street's debut Original Pirate Material, I started to understand the type of candid storytelling that Skinner brings to the table. It feels like spoken word poetry devoid of any pretensions. It's not always easy to swallow, but when it does, it hits you hard, man. Plus, it's a popular belief that The Streets changed the face of UK pop music forever with their production and sound. That's why it's kinda sad when Mike Skinner decided to stop doing music for a while. Computer and Blues came out in 2011

But now Mike Skinner is back with a new project down the line. Besides the fact that I also grew attached to other grime artists and the UK garage scene, I think The Streets is at their best when the dour lyricism of Mike Skinner meets a really strong hook. Like in 'Dry Your Eyes', that's where the strength of "Call My Phone..." is most blatant. Kevin Parker's falsettos paired with Mike Skinner's contemplation on themes of insecurities through the image of a difficult (often unanswered) phone call is blissful. I wish the song packed more meat in terms of narrative and that it did something more with the structure to really hit the emotional bullseye. Otherwise, a decent song. A lot of cool lines in this track too, like "Someone just met your ex, thinking they met someone special" or "Dance like no one is awkward, to music listened to lit/You'd worry less about what they thought/If you knew how little they did". The music video also shows a lot of the features that The Streets will include in their upcoming album, namely IDLES, Ms. Banks, Jimothy Lacoste, Hak Baker and more. The mixtape will be called None of Us Are Getting Out of This Alive' and the release date is 10 July 2020. Based on an NME article, "the track with positive punk band, IDLES, has been described by Skinner as “a sea-shanty tinged track inspired by an overnight ferry to Dover”". RATING: 3.5 / 5

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