A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Lost money, a broken TV, and girlfriend problems are themes repeated throughout A GRAND DON'T COME FOR FREE, as our hero (Michael Skinner, recording as The Streets) struggles with the limitations of his life and his own emotional shortcomings. Gritty and funny, the descriptions of isolated moments in time are songwriting at its evocative best. But the most memorable moments are also the most sentimental. "Dry Your Eyes," in which the girlfriend finally leaves for good, works not because of our hero's expression of overwhelming sadness, but because of the description of a detail: "She peels away my fingers, looks at me and then gestures/By pushin' my hand away to my chest, from hers."
Is it any good?
In mostly present-tense understatement, the CD leads us through the minutiae of a few days in the life of a troubled young man, with exquisite, unflinching honesty. There is some strong language, used well in lyrical context, and references to drinking and drugs. For those older teens with enough maturity and perspective, this is a gem of an album -- quirky, innovative, and interesting.