Mike Skinner is a complete and utter fuckup, according to the Streets' third full-length, The Hardest Way to Make a Living
. Sure, banging on about fame, the perils of celebrity, and the rock-and-roll cliché is self-indulgent. And maybe we normal mortals will never truly empathize with blokes like Skinner who have it so hard "I never think about money/In fact I have no idea how much money I have," he insists on his mock-ode to frivolous spending, "Memento Mori." But grime's biggest name's conversational rap confessions transform his latest into a collection of diary entries far more introspective and engaging than anything you'll find on his first two albums. "Pranging Out" finds Skinner recovering from a tour with coke and brandy while mulling suicide, and the title track has him prattling on about soul-draining dealings with his record label The Beats, while "When You Wasn't Famous" is about smoking crack with pop stars and not being able to do lines in public anymore because of the prominence of camera phones. If Skinner weren't so very aware of how ridiculously clichéd he has allowed his life to become, none of this would work.