All in all it's another Stereophonics album and you should know whether or not this will excite you before even listening to it.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. I'm a fan of the Stereophonics. Now those aren't words that I'd use if I was ever trying to act cool because, ever since Kelly started singing about caravanning holidays, they've been a band that have been slipping down the cool table for quite a while. Now, returning with their fifth album and a new Argentinian drummer it's going to be even harder to defend them as they have returned with something that sounds like a Mötley Crüe album. Seriously. Well, at least for half of it. The other half sounds like something not a million miles away from Duran Duran and early U2. Hey, come back! Don't run for the hills yet. It actually kind of suits them.
They certainly sound a lot more invigorated than they have on the last couple of albums, but I have to admit that, for a guy who's spent the past five or six years trying to act like a young Rod Stewart, hearing Kelly Jones try his hardest to be Vince Neil takes a bit of getting used to. In fact I don't think I'll ever be able to hear Doorman without bursting into fits of laughter. I mean, what else am I supposed to do when the guy's singing, "Suck my banana/ Suck it with cream." It's just hilarious! Especially when it's supposed to be an insult.
The synths will surprise people also. New single Dakota sounds like the type of song the Killers would like to write. Thankfully it's better than the Killers, but that's not saying much. It'll sound great live, but that's because it's loud and gives you a decent chorus to scream out loud. In fact, most of this stuff will sound great live. Rewind is a song taken from the "how to write songs like U2" handbook but is probably the best thing they've written since Just Looking.
All in all it's another Stereophonics album and you should know whether or not this will excite you before even listening to it. They've developed their sound a little, (into some unexpected areas it has to be said) but they've still got the ability to write some decent tunes and no matter how they try to disguise it, Kelly Jones has a great voice. Kelly's ego still needs a bit of deflating but it's not time to give up on the band yet, although I'm afraid that time may be just around the corner. I mean, where do you go after Mötley Crüe and Duran Duran? Surely there's no way back from that?