Stereophonics - Language. Sex. Violence. Other?

2006-03-29 23:34

It's unlikely you'll enjoy a movie if you don't like the central character or actor. Similarly, it's not easy to enjoy an album if you find the band's frontman pretentious and annoying. But behind Kelly Jones' bloated ego lurks enough talent to produce catchy, straight-down-the-line rock, and that's exactly what he does here - mostly.

The album starts off with "Superman", "Doorman", Brother" and "Devil", all loud rockers, and all about people Kelly doesn't like very much at all. He's obviously going for the bad lad, angry young man image, but this often comes off as kind of lame, and sometimes just plain stupid. Take, for example, the lyric in "Doorman": "You look like a monkey scowling at me / Well suck my banana, suck it with cream". Ugh. That's just horrible.

The hit single "Dakota" is a synth-rock anthem about lost love, remembering how good it was to be together, and all that sentimental nonsense that's bound to make it a drive-time classic for years to come. Also worthy of possible playlist inclusion is the laid back "Rewind" and the syrupy weep-along, "Lolita".

But Jones' voice can be annoying. He's got that croaky, affected, Alanis Morisette-like little groan he makes at the beginning of certain words, which can be grating. But if you can see past the croaks and look over some of the lamer lyrics, you'll hear some loud and satisfying rock.

- Chris McEvoy


Jones still croaks out songs with that wretched voice of his, an amalgam of nicotine, alcohol and AOR
-Adam Moerder, Pitchfork Media

With Language. Sex. Violence. Other, Stereophonics' confirm their status as major players on the British music scene.
- Jack Foley for

The Welsh rock band's fifth offering is not so much an album as a collage of mostly FM-friendly noise. Heading out in all directions, Language. Sex. Violence. Other? is a new sound for the Stereophonics, as well as a return to their roots. Surprisingly, some of it is even pretty good.

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