Sound — 8
After two-year silence due to the problems with their ex-drummer Stuard Cable, which led to his shock sacking from the band in September 2003 and replacement him by unknown Argentinian Javier Weyler in December 2004, Stereophonics are back with a new album. The new stickman is a great fit with Stereophonics' wicked yet sensitive personality and only makes them sound better. After the change of personnel the band gained their number one single Dakota in spring 2005, following by their fourth #1 album in the UK that achieved platinum status just one week after its release. The title of the album is borrowed from the classification code used on the backs of rental videos, and its blunt CD cover instantly pulls listeners toward Stereophonics' nonchalant impudence. You can find that everywhere ? in short clear one-word song names, in abusive lyrics, in hard-edge rock sound, in the name of the record - Language, Sex, Violence, Other? That's the record that quite possibly represents the dawning of a new era. Unlike some bands, Stereophonics never dramatically change their style, nor they stay the same. Perhaps the biggest difference is the featuring of the ugly guitar slashes and agonized falsetto on the whole album which sound fantastic. You can still hear Stereophonics' rock-n-roll roots here and it still fits the category of brit-pop, but overall it is actually rather an eclectic, giddily intoxicating synthesis of styles with very clean and polished sounding.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics on the CD are fun to listen to. I love the fact that Kelly puts some story behind the music, not some mindless tripe, made up to fill an album. The bittersweet lyrics about life are matched with sex appeal and an unshakable confidence of music. One of the best songs on the album "Doorman" is about some hapless bouncer -? Jones wrote it after a night when he was kicked out of the pub. I think everybody once felt like telling that "big guy" "Suck my banana/Suck it with cream." In the chorus Jones roars "Cuz all I wanna do/Is make a mess outta you." Listening to it, you instantly feel the need to kick the shit out of somebody. Jones has a very signature vocal and his darker way of singing on this album makes it quality rock album. I enjoyed the way he represents his voice with different effects, which adds a personality to every song.
Overall Impression — 10
It's a hard work reviewing Stereophonics album. Considering, that it's their best record ever and everything seems so quality and perfect. Even though this album has more mellow songs, than others, most of the tracks are still fast, furious and rocking. According to the publicity, Jones wrote the opening track on the album "Superman" first and was so blown away by its gritty glam rock power, that he decided to write the rest of the album with the same 'super-affirmative' attitude. The hit "Dakota" is the album's highlight. This mid-tempo song with glossy guitar hooks is totally infectious. "Pedalpusher" is built on a quirky guitar riff and features a distorted solo. You wouldn't wan to listen to it in the car, otherwise you'd be speeding without even noticing it. Morose "Lolita" slows things down for a sweeping ballad that is charming and has liquid vocals that put you to an atmosphere of a lazy summer day. It a quite successful diversion into blissful electropop. The subtle piano throughout Devil gives the song a really cool ghostly feel, God knows though what Jones meant in the lyrics ? "So be my devil angel, be my shooting star". "Feel" makes you think of the times you were deeply depressed and it brings you back to that pissy mood again. There are no cheesy catchy tunes on the record and that's one of the best features. You listen to the album again and again and it just gets better with repeated plays. The only thought the album leaves you with is "Suck my banana, suck it with cream". Language. Sex. Violence. Other? is just an excellent modern rock record and it's something the band has been dying to make. Even NME, which was offended by Kelly Jones' no-respect-to-music-press behavior, said that the record is "pretty f--king good."