Back in the days when landfill indie ruled the charts, Coventry trio the Enemy were hailed by some as the new working class heroes, thanks partly to a sound which at times recalled the Jam at their most rabble-rousing, and partly thanks to the demeanor of frontman Tom Clarke, who for some reason appeared to elect himself an unofficial spokesman for the people. Their third album, Streets in the Sky, confirms that such lofty sentiments were hopelessly misguided. Quite simply, they have run out of ideas. While their debut's endless tales of escaping their humdrum city were perfectly understandable for a group barely out of their teens, five years on you can't help but groan at the sheer laziness of "Saturday," yet another ever-so-incisive observation about the "living for the weekend" culture, and "It's a Race," a half-hearted statement of intent which offers such revolutionary proclamations as "I wanna live before I die." Despite a new outside interference in the shape of the Bronx producer Joby Ford, their watered-down take on the brash punk of the Buzzcocks and the Clash doesn't show any signs of progression, either. "Come Into My World" is the kind of boorish lad-rock that died out during the Brit-pop era; the frantic opener "Gimme the Sign" bears the hallmarks of a track that the band admit only took three minutes to write; while their penchant for borrowing wholesale from other artists remains intact judging by "1-2-3-4," which is basically Green Day covering Blondie's "Maria," and closer "Make a Man," whose chorus unashamedly rips-off Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire." The surprisingly sweet "2 Kids" and the Killers-esque stadium rock of "Like a Dancer" prove they're not always so offensively workmanlike. But like most of the recent releases from their mid-2000s peers, Streets in the Sky is far too pedestrian to reverse their declining fortunes.
AllMusic Review by Jon O'Brien