Skinnyman- Council Estate Of Mind

August 7th, 2004

‘Council Estate Of Mind’ is a collection of some very impressive, meaningful and enjoyable music which paints a very vivid picture of the streets and council estate way of life and mind which the narrator goes to great lengths to portray. On tracks such as ‘Fuck The Hook’ rhyming and rapping ability is proven to be extremely high and addictive. On both part one and two of ‘Little Men’ the listener is treated to first class story telling which provides an insight into a particular lifestyle. Tracks such as ‘Love’s Gone From The Streets’ and ‘It’s Over’ show the artists ability to come good on a variety of different approaches and paces in production whilst ‘That’s What I’m Gonna Do’ and the title track, perhaps for their highly skilled production but more so because of the personality soaked vocals provide for reflective, warm, heart felt and head nodding moments. All throughout the 15 track album are samples from television series ‘Made In Britain’ which turn the release into a concept album in many ways, linking tracks together to present one long narrative perspective of inner-city working class life. On a first listen they’re fresh and interesting to follow although after a few plays of the CD, begin to bore and become tedious. Some tracks here have been heard before on a 12” promo release but suited the feel and atmosphere of the new material well. Perhaps the spoken beginning of ‘Love’s Gone From The Streets’ in which a mock interviewer asks Skinny about his deal with Talkin Loud Records (which long ago folded) could have been dubbed out and the collective chanting of the track title at the end of the original ‘Fuck The Hook’ included. But those points are very insignificant, up against an album which is full of conviction. Not only are issues outlined, but their possible cures suggested. The package is smart and slick, containing an impressive and educated essay of a sociological nature which discusses several issues close to the authors heart in a concise and effective manor. It’s evident that the intentions of Skinny from the outset were to ‘keep it real’ in the truest sense and that he did, giving those who are in the situations he explores something to relate to, and those not in those situations, something to learn and gain awareness of.