Sound — 7
I have always been a huge fan of Stereophonics' abilities to combine classic rock tunes with more interesting lyrics than just, booze, sex, drugs and violence! Which is ironic in way. To begin, this album kicks off with Vegas Two Times, a very typical AC/DC style song with the signature addition of weird chords and the swirling growl of Kelly Jones' vocals. The album suddenly then falls down a small step and lands onto a relatively, exhausting song, Lying in the Sun. Although it contains the obviously awesome lyrics that Mr Jones consistently procures and a nice slide guitar in the chorus, it does not compete with the following brilliance of Mr Writer. Clearly one of their best ever tracks. And personally one of my favorite songs of all time. That introduction with the slow build of drums and the "wah wah" induced guitar is so tasty! Followed by the epic growl of the chorus and immaculately timed and played piano solo that neither begs for attention and overcrowds the back drop of the acoustic guitar, or trails to far off into the distance of the recording. There is too much acoustic rythme in this album, it yearns for some classic rock, such as the final song, Rooftops. Although there would be no diversity in the album at all if you used the same electric guitars on each track, it would at least create a short rock n' roll wonder with sly lyrics and agitated vocals. Which would be more authoritative and authentic.
Lyrics — 8
The song Step on my Old Size Nines is proof of how down to earth the lyrics are on all the Stereophonics albums. "Are you so lonely, you don't even know me but you'd like to stone me" is a perfect example of how poetic, poignant, but yet grounded way, Kelly Jones writes his lyrics. Another interesting point to note is the way he writes a story with his notes, like Have a Nice Day, and always with a point as well, which is always necessary. This song in discussion, in my opinion is about how people crave for money, something that Kelly often writes about.
Overall Impression — 7
I would rank this band along with Feeder and The White Stripes. There pop leanings and secretive scents of more classic rock, derived from Led Zeppelin and Guns N' Roses are such an easy to wind down an evening. Unfortunately though, this album doesn't compare with the others in that respect. It's lack of variety and spike to the music really lets down an excellent band, who have always seemed to erect classic, sing along songs with deep and thoughtful meanings. The slightly dull Watch Them Fly Sundays with it's simple lyrics and overused system of writing, serenades down through the same route that Stereophonics and hundreds of other bands follow. But all hope is not lost as the beautifully crafted song, Everyday I Think of Money sails into your ear drums slowly and perfectly. it's potent lyrics and change of feel, from it's depressing low verse's to a more upbeat chorus, is an artistic way in which to alter the mood of a song entirely, but still maintaining it's dark, and ever so slightly benighted tones. it's a shame though as it then retracts to the dull acoustic ballad of Maybe and Caravan Holiday. Mr Writer and Everyday I Think of Money is almost reason to buy this album alone. They are truly brilliant! If you are looking for the same spark that you felt from listening to Word Get Around and Language. Sex. Violence. Other, then you will only find those two songs I mentioned before hand with any real character and difference. Overall though I'd rather actually just download those two songs and be happy with it instead of spending 15 euro on an album of acoustic, but poetic ramblings.