Mike Skinner & co bring us the first album from The Streets in 10 long years. Originally intending to make a TONGA album themed around his balloon-filled club nights, NOUAGOOTLA is essentially the bi-product that came together whilst Skinner worked on a film accompanied by another album. Given these circumstances, and the dizzying array of features and genres the album takes in, you’d expect it to feel fragmented, even cobbled together. Far from it – NOUAGOOTLA is as cohesive as it is diverse, tied together by Skinner’s wry wit and uncompromising penchant for everyday detail.
Opener ‘Call My Phone…’ is the Tame Impala collab we didn’t know we needed. Kevin Parker’s dreamy vocals mixed with the kind of looping piano refrain that The Streets do best is the perfect opener. You’re then sucker-punched by the Punk stylings of the drawling, IDLES-assisted title track. Before long, ‘I Wish You Loved You As Much As You Love Him’ puts you right back in the shoobs, which along with Ms Banks collab ‘You Can’t Afford Me’ and the Chris Lorenzo-featured ‘Take Me As I Am’ imbue the album with a huge sense of self empowerment.
It also has its poignant moments; ‘The Poison I Take Hoping You Will Suffer’ deals with resentment, while ‘Phone Is Always In My Hand’ perfectly distills a feeling of isolation in the ‘always on’ era. It’s offset though, balanced brilliantly by the filthy bassline of ‘Eskimo Ice’ and the lilting, nostalgic piano from ‘Falling Down.’ It’s an album that sees The Streets return to their brilliant best, stream below via SoundCloud.