Stereophonics - Word Gets Around
Posted by Guest Writer on Wed, 09 Nov 2005.
The Stereophonics have enjoyed a meteoric rise to stardom since the end of the 1990’s and into the first half of this decade but have the welsh band improved since then or been chucking out half baked potatoes ever since?
The recent album, “language, sex, violence, other?” Was seen by many as a significant improvement on the huge disappointment which was “You Gotta Go there to come Back” in 2003. With a change of drummer in the winter of 2004 that came after a year of stand-ins after Stuart Cable was sacked in September 2003, there's no one who can say this years album was a change of direction for the band. The success of their newest release left many fans feeling that in the summer of 2005 their favourite band is back on song. In particular the number one hit “Dakota” which is regarded by many as one of the songs of the year.
Now rewind back to 1997 and the bands first album. This coming 5 years after a group of school friends had formed their band. Their friendship seems to have stood the test of time with only Stuart cable not being in the original quartet in 2005. The Stereophonics raised the eyebrows of many music critics. Thanks to the raw energetic sound produced and the very first demonstration of Kelly Jones outstanding singing and song-writing talent. The singles such as “Thousand Trees” may have come too early in a world where oasis and pulp were battling for indie-rock honours. But to hear “word gets around” in the summer of 2005 at a time when the Manchester bands’ could be seen to be far from their best. “Word Gets Around” is a truly decent piece of music, “Local boy in a photograph” is by far the standout track, re-released in February of 1998 the emotion and feeling within Jones voice is vibrant and deep. As for the lyrics after playing through it several times a story emerges within the song about a local man whom was killed and the passing of time that followed. “He’ll always be 23, yet the train runs on and on past the place he found his calling.” A phrase that stirred my soul the first time, I heard it and despite the rapid nature of the song it struck a chord that many other songs don’t.
But despite containing some real gems the first album isn’t brilliant all the way through, if to you the first Stereophonics song you can name is ‘Dakota’ or ‘Devil’ then it will come as a culture shock. Some songs such as ‘More life in a tramps vest’ and ‘Looks Like Chaplin’ are a huge disappointment whether you’re new to the band or not. But there’s no denying that if you have listened to the bands second album ‘Performance and cocktails’ and enjoyed it then there’s no reason why ‘word gets around’ won’t fit perfectly into your collection.
So then ‘Word gets around’, is it the really as good as this years release? Well personally I think it’s a different level, admittedly its got its flaws in fact Kelly Jones voice at times sounds like he’s trying just a little too hard. But for the amount of mediocre songs there’s a great amount of stunning tracks that can’t be ignored. Compared to the new album, which bubbles above the ‘really good’ bubble without hitting the heights of their very first.
A definite 10 out of 10!