Stereophonics - You Gotta Go There To Come Back
User Reviews and CommentsLog In or Register to Rate Albums
Tell us why this album is great or sucks ass, or correct the reviewer. If you write enough quality reviews you may find yourself on the editorial staff.
Reviews have to be over 100 words, shorter ones are classed as comments.
on 2007-03-10 paperslut Said:
At the end of Casablanca, Humphrey Bogart looks at a longing Ingrid Bergman and tells her that she'll realise that if she doesn't leave him for the other man, she'll regret it. "Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life." The scene encapsulated the romanticism of real life and cinema in only the most perfect and historic way possible. At the same time, it was possibly the biggest tear-jerker till ET had to, sadly, go away. Popular culture and fleeting emotions in a fast paced world. Stereophonics' fourth album sums it up perfectly.
With their first three albums, the Welsh trio established themselves as one of Britain's finest mainstream acts along the likes of Oasis, Radiohead and Blur. Of course, the aftermath of the Britpop era and the rise of acts like Coldplay and Franz Ferdinand saw a new threat emerging to the old guard - Rock obsolescence.
So what does Stereophonics go and do? Throw up an old school, out and out 70s Rock 'n Roll record of course. Right from the blistering opening riff of Help Me (She's Out Of Her Mind) to the brilliant ballad at the close Since I Told You It's Over the album reeks Zeppelin, late-The Who and tonnes of Guinness. The intention is absolutely clear on the opener. The riff is infectious and the song (nearly seven minutes long) is packed with bluesy leads and vocals that never tire.
Kelly Jones falsetto is unfailing and he manages to easily pull off tracks like You Stole My Money Honey and Jealousy that someone like a Liam G or a Damon A wouldn't be able to. Which is not to say that he's not as big a pompous jackass as the two earlier, but he's got the requisite talent to boot. However, at times, it's overdone and for casual listeners, multiple listens may lead to annoyance.
The 70s influence is blatently evident throughout the album with motown backing on tracks and flourishing acoustic to electric rhythms. The only departure from this mould is the heartfelt, Massive Attack meets Portishead I'm Alright. It's a loungy, laid-back four minuter that's a pleasantly surprising change from the earlier tracks.
In the strictest sense of the term, the album is heavier. Bad Monkey leads on tracks like High As The Ceiling give the band a sound that they earlier would not have considered having, and in this case, that's a good thing. It lends to a sturdy live act with catchy choruses and silent moments.
If we do need to point fingers, we can at the extravagance. Miss You Now is a wonderful track that's spoiled with the frills - Wurlitzer, chorus, et al. There is a need to have a 'bigger' sound, but Kelly, not with more instruments. Fortunately it's a mistake seldom made on this record. The band has explored a road less traveled and come up with the goods.
What if Ilsa had stayed with the suave Rick? Would the fairytale have ended the way we all wanted it to? Stereophonics prove that maybe, it's a better idea to do the wrong thing once in a while. You Gotta is the picture of a band understanding that they know that regardless of what they do, it's going to pay off. And instead of playing it safe, the answer may lie in the risk not taken.