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The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living

The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living is the third album by The Streets, released on 10 April 2006 in the United Kingdom and 25 April 2006 in North America. It is also the shortest The Streets album released so far, with a running time of just 37 minutes and 12 seconds. The Mitchell Brothers and Ted Mayhem, two of Skinner's protégés, make guest appearances on the album.

The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living
The Streets-thehardestwaytomakeaneasyliving.jpg
Studio album by
Released10 April 2006
RecordedOctober–November 2005
GenreAlternative hip hop, electronica
LabelLocked On
ProducerMike Skinner
The Streets chronology
A Grand Don't Come for Free
The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living
Everything Is Borrowed

The final track, "Fake Streets Hats", is about an incident that happened during the 2004 edition of the Dutch Lowlands festival, where a drunk Mike Skinner openly protested against the handing out of white hats with "The Streets" written on them, because he thought they were fake, and thus illegal merchandise. The hats actually were promotional material from his label, Warner.[1] Mike Skinner also sees the song as a personal reflection on plagiarism in general.

Three singles were released from the album in order to promote it- When You Wasn't Famous, Never Went To Church and Prangin' Out.

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic     [3]
The A.V. ClubB−[4]
Entertainment WeeklyA−[5]
Q     [8]
Robert ChristgauA[9]
Rolling Stone     [10]
Slant Magazine     [11]
Under the Radar9/10[12]

Critical response for the album was generally positive, scoring 72/100 on Metacritic. However, this score is lower than his previous two albums, scoring 90/100 and 91/100 respectively. In a mixed review, Prefix Magazine said "With about half the tracks on this record falling short, Skinner would seem to be teetering on the edge of irrelevance. But even the failed tracks here sound interesting, and if he's lost his way somewhat thematically, it's all in the name of searching for his new voice." In a much more positive review, The Village Voice Consumer Guide said "His comic timing and mixture of slangs--not to mention his musical conception... are all so much more fully developed that he's actually made a record that's fun to play in the background." Spin named Skinner "the perfect poet for this snooze of a topic." In a negative review, Stylus Magazine described the album as "an exercise in empty nothingness. But it’s not Bacchanalian coked-out excess nothingness, it's the joyless hollow-eyed actions of a man who is waiting for the next fix and doesn't care what bullshit has to come out of his lips in order to get paid."

Track listingEdit

  1. "Prangin' Out" – 3:49
  2. "War of the Sexes" – 3:26
  3. "The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living" – 3:13
  4. "All Goes Out the Window" – 3:32
  5. "Memento Mori" – 2:36
  6. "Can't Con an Honest John" – 3:40
  7. "When You Wasn't Famous" – 3:18
  8. "Never Went to Church" – 3:32
  9. "Hotel Expressionism" – 3:33
  10. "Two Nations" – 3:05
  11. "Fake Streets Hats" – 3:12


  1. ^ "Een gelouterde Skinner". De Volkskrant. 13 April 2006.
  2. ^ "Reviews for The Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living by The Streets – Metacritic". Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  3. ^ [
  4. ^ "The Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living · The Streets · Music Review The Streets: The Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living · Music Review · The A.V. Club". Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  5. ^ "The Streets Producer - Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living CD Album". Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  6. ^ "The Streets: The Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living |". Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  7. ^ Pytlik, Mark. "The Streets: The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living",, April 10, 2006.
  8. ^ May 2006, p.116
  9. ^ "Robert Christgau: Album: The Streets: The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living". Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  10. ^ 05/04/06
  11. ^ "Music | Slant Magazine". Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  12. ^ Throughout, Skinner's production is more precise, his hooks more pointed and polished, and his writing more clever and poignant. [#13, p.89]