The seeds of You Gotta Go There to Come Back
, the Stereophonics fourth album, can be found both in the band's love for 1970s rock (manifested in their increasingly ludicrous hairstyles--a grand metaphor of how out of touch with reality they've become) and the riff-laden, tuneless hulk of "Vegas Two Times", the last single released from previous album Just Enough Education to Perform
. Despite its phenomenal success, Just Enough...
was primarily known (and criticised) for its mellow, languid songs. If nothing else, You Gotta Go There...
is both a partial antithesis of this and an ill-advised, nostalgia-fuelled revival of 70s riffage, but with none of the cool posturing or style of, say, the Datsuns
Foregoing the reliable staple of Bush and Birds' production, Kelly Jones somewhat audaciously takes the reins himself, which should set alarm bells off in anyone's head. Lead single "Madame Helga" is nothing but a dull foot-stomping rocker where it could have been an iron-clad "Bartender and the Thief" (Performance and Cocktails' blistering standout), and all six minutes of "Help Me (She's Out of Her Mind)" are laden with painfully slow, nasal proclamations. However, there is the sense that the band are trying to move on, as some of the more experimental sounds attest to ("I'm Alright", "Maybe Tomorrow"). The results are interesting, but they might have benefited from another producer to lead them into this new territory (Nigel Goodrich for instance).
Tracks such as "You Stole My Money Honey" and "Jealousy" don't sound like they were written by Kelly Jones, the same man who brought us Word Gets Around's excellent "Traffic". This is nothing more than an exhumed corpse of something that was once great. At the moment, the Stereophonics are way out there, let's just hope that they come back soon. --Ben Johncock
STEREOPHONICS You Gotta Go There To Come Back (2003 UK 13-track CD album) This the bands fourth album has them taking more steps forward away from the pub rock tag. The sound is said to have been influenced more by electronica and soul tracks.