Stereophonics
(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

Word Gets Around , 6/10
Performance And Cocktails , 5/10
Just Enough Education To Perform , 5/10
You Gotta Go There (2003), 4/10
Language Sex Violence Other? (2005), 3/10
Pull The Pin (2007), 3/10
Keep Calm And Carry On (2010), 3/10
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Stereophonics are three Welsh veterans who were suddenly discovered and launched with much pomp in 1997. Local Boy in the Photograph, More Life In A Tramp Vest and A Thousand Trees are the catchy ditties that tested the waters of the over-inflated Brit-pop scene. Harsher-than-average guitars, lively tempos, down-to-earth production (perhaps a legacy of compatriots Manic Street Preacher) and the rasping vocals of singer Kelly Jones (a Rod Stewart for the Liam Gallagher generation) gave them an edge over Blur and Oasis. Word Gets Around (V2, 1997) established Stereophonics as major players of Brit-pop with the ballad Traffic and the upbeat Not Up To You (and, of course, the singles).

The problem with Performance And Cocktails (V2, 1999) is that, once they run out of gas, the Stereophonics can only take shelter in the format of the ballad, and nobody sings more tedious ballads than them. The Kinks-ish rock and roll of The Bartender And The Thief and Pick a Part That's New is the medium that best supports their limited melodic and instrumental skills. They sound mediocre at best when they crank on the volume (Roll Up And Shine, Half The Lies You Tell Ain't True) and utterly trivial when they slow down (Hurry Up and Wait the best of the worst). Nonetheless, the album topped the British charts and sold over 100,000 copies.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da Walter Consonni)

Gli Stereophonics sono tre veterani gallesi che sono stati improvvisamente scoperti e lanciati in pompa magna nel 1997. Local Boy in the Photograph, More Life In A Tramp Vest ed A Thousand Trees sono accattivanti canzonette che hanno sondato il terreno dell'ipertronfio scenario Brit-pop. Le chitarre più ruvide rispetto alla media, i ritmi vivaci, una produzione coi piedi per terra (probabilmente un retaggio dei compatrioti Manic Street Preacher) e la voce stridente del cantante Kelly Jones (una specie di Rod Stewart per la generazione di Liam Gallagher) hanno dato loro un lieve vantaggio sui Blur e sugli Oasis. Word Gets Around (V2, 1997) ha consacrato gli Stereophonics come i più importanti interpreti del Brit-pop con la ballata Traffic e con la ritmata Not Up To You (e, naturalmente, con i singoli).

Il problema con Performance And Cocktails (V2, 1999) è che, una volta finita la benzina, gli Stereophonics possono solo rifugiarsi nella forma ballata, e nessuno interpreta ballate più noiose delle loro. Il rock and roll alla maniera dei Kinks di The Bartender And The Thief e Pick a Part That's New è il veicolo che meglio supporta le loro limitate capacità melodiche e strumentali. Al loro meglio, quando alzano il volume, danno l'impressione di essere mediocri (Roll Up And Shine, Half The Lies You Tell Ain't True), mentre quando rallentano risultano completamente insignificanti (Hurry Up and Wait il meglio del peggio). Ciò nonostante, l'album ha raggiunto la vetta delle charts inglesi ed ha venduto oltre 100.000 copie.

Stereophonics seems intent in producing the most ordinary rock music in the world. Slower and less crunchy, the sound of Just Enough Education To Perform has become even more predictable. Amateurish songwriting (truly worthy of a nursery school) makes it even less exciting. The sprightly rock and roll of the previous albums is turning sour, regressing to the generic pub-rock of Vegas Two Times (alternatively reminiscent of Black Crowes and Stone Temple Pilots), and further sliding down the slope of mid-tempo mainstream rock with Mr Writer (the single), Everyday I Think Of Money, Lying In The Sun and Watch Them Fly Sundays, finally reaching the bottom with the mellow, mostly acoustic Step On My Old Size Nines and Nice To Be Out. If you don't listen to the lyrics, Have A Nice Day and Caravan Holiday actually display an intriguing dynamic.

You Gotta Go There (V2, 2003) offers only third-rate blues/soul rock (Help Me, Madame Helga). The rest is as interesting as an imitation of Black Crowes's imitations of Led Zeppelin and the Faces.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da Maria Antonietta Partinico)

Gli Stereophonics sembra vogliano produrre la musica rock più ordinaria al mondo. Più lento e meno scricchiolante, il suono di Just Enough Education To Perform è divenuto ancora più prevedibile. La scrittura dei testi dilettantesca (degna davvero di una scuola elementare) la rende ancor meno eccitante. Il rock and roll brioso dei primi album si inasprisce, regredendo al pub-rock generico di Vegas Two Times (reminiscenze in modo alternativo dei Black Crows e degli Stone Temple Pilots), e scivolando, più avanti, nel precipizio della corrente principale del rock mid-tempo con Mr Writer (il singolo), Everyday I Think Of Money, Lying In The Sun e Watch Them Fly Sundays, toccando finalmente il fondo con il maturo, e più acustico, Step On My Old Size Nines e Nice To Be Out . Se non si ascoltano i testi, Have a Nice Day e Caravan Holiday mostrano in realtà una dinamica intrigante.

You Gotta Go There (V2, 2003) offer un blues/soul rock solo di terz’ordine (Help Me, Madam Helga). Il resto risulta interessante quanto potrebbe esserlo un imitazione dei Black Crows che imitano i Led zeppelin e i The Faces.

Language Sex Violence Other? (V2, 2005) is an insult to the intelligence of the public. Pull The Pin (2007) is an insult to their own intelligence because it is more of the same.

Live From Dakota (2006) is a double-disc live set.

Keep Calm And Carry On (2010) had no songs that any amateur band couldn't write and tape in its basement.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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