Skinnyman – Council Estate of Mind Review (2004)

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Check out this review from 2004 of Skinnyman’s ‘Council Estate of Mind’

Well, this has been a long time coming. It’s been ready for a while, and now that various samples have been cleared, expectations have reached fever point and even the broadcasts have taken an interest, we are now presented with the gospel according to Skinny. and what a lyrical tour de force it is. Interspersed with snippets of dialogue from “Made in Britain”, a film about disillusionment with society and the failure of rehabilitation to ever root the problem, it follows Skinnyman on a journey round the worst neighbourhoods you can imagine.

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While the vocal inserts sometimes jar the flow a little, Skinnyman’s lyrics from the poignant “Day to Day Basis” to the searing DJ Flip-produced “Council Estate of Mind” are vivid, depressing, intelligent and relevant. the articulation he holds on many tracks have not been on evidence in his records till now. Even the mini-essay in the sleeve-notes is a great read. It seems Skinnyman has been saving up all his pearls of wisdom and rhythmic evidence of the intelligence he hints at in interviews for this concept album, of the council estate of mind.

 

Beat-wise, Baby J’s “Fuck the Hook” and “I’ll Be Surprised” are standouts as well as “Council Estate of Mind” and “No Big Ting“. The melancholy strings on “Day to Day Basis” are beautiful but the only thing that lets this project down is some bad choices of beats from track to track as well as too much reliance on “Made in Britain” to provide the narrative edge. It’s not the perfect Skinnyman album we were waiting for. But it’s damned good and in years to come, could prove to be very pivotal.

 

Review by Nikesk for ukhh.com 2004

 

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