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4.1 out of 5 stars
124
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 4 June 2003
Having brought the first two stereophonic cd's when they first came out, i now class myself as a fan. Although not as good as the first two, their third album still had some great tunes but had to many filler tracks.
When i heard that there new album was taking them back to their best, being both original and more heavy rock orientated (rather than slow paced) i couldn't help but get excited, but to my slight disappointment this new offering is basically "just enough education to perform" part 2.
After a few lisens however i have now grown really fond of this cd.
Stand out tracks being: maybe tomorrow (superb summer track), madame helga (current rock single) and "nothing precious at all" (another superb laid back track)
So to cap it all off, great laid back lazy tunes, but not enough of the promised "rock" tracks. Better than their last offering, but way behind their first two efforts.
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on 4 June 2003
With their fourth album The Stereophonics tread the familiar line of the well-worn groove that sounds tired against the rock vitality and energy of new bands such as The Strokes. The penchant for catchy guitar rifts was set with the fourth single from their previous album (Vegas Two Times)and these songs rarely adds anything to that canon. Occasionally, such as in the smouldering "Jealousy" the band move into another, altogether darker direction that suggests an interesting musical change, but these moments are all too brief. Instead the album positively wanes against their tired rock values with titles such as "You Stole My Money Honey" sounding naff and considearbly outdated. Generally the album is worth listening to, but sounds a little tedious and monotonous in places, and is a disappointing outing for a band capable of much more.
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on 2 June 2003
Okay, I appreciate I'm Welsh, and as such I have a special part of my brain dedicated to loving the 'Phonics. It's next to the 'Supporting Constantly Losing Rugby Teams' Centre, and the 'Unhealthy Beer Consumption' Cortex.
However, it has to be said that You've Got to Come there to Come Back is the album that should see The Stereophonics gain the recognition they deserve nationally. Not as a Top of the Pops band, but as the Jools Holland stars they should be. The incredible simplicity of the hook in 'Madame Helga' and the throwback track 'You Stole My Money Honey' make this a fan's dream.
It's no Word Gets Around, and it's not got the instant effect of Performace and Cocktails, but it'll be gracing my player for a good few weeks yet.
Maybe I am biased...
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on 18 June 2009
I think alot of people don't give this album a second chance. For me the first time I listened to it I thought it was rubbish, but I perserviered and after a few more listens I loved this album.

Songs like 'Help Me', 'Madame Helga', 'Getaway', 'I'm Alright (You Gotta Go There To Come Back)', 'Rainbows And Pots Of Gold' and 'High As The Ceiling' are fantastic songs and I'd say they are some of the best Stereophonics songs to date.

Yes there are a few week tracks 'I Miss You Now', 'Jealousy' and thanks to the reissued version 'Movie Star' but they're far out numbered by cracking tracks.

The design is great too, often with Stereophonics albums the artwork isn't brilliant. I would advise any Stereophonics fan to get this great album.
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on 16 October 2003
I am a huge fan of the Stereophonics and maintain my view that they are one of the best live bands I have ever seen, in fact I'm seeing them again in December.
Word Gets Around and Performance & Cocktails were both superb albums which I have listened to and enjoyed many many times. JEEP on the other hand was slightly more disappointing and now comes the fourth album which I believe is even less interesting than the last!
I bought the album as soon as it came out and on the first listen my mind was made up that this is NOT the Stereophonics that we know and love. Now, several months on and after several more listens, I am of the same opinion.
Unfortunately - disappointing and bland!
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on 18 January 2011
The title of this album is absolutely perfect in describing both the content and the situation the band were in when this LP was released. Having made a startling burst onto the scene with their first LP before cementing their reputation on their 2nd, Sterephonics reached a crossroad and had to make a tough decision for their future, one which eventually paid off.

The band have always had two major skils; bouncy feel good rock and sorrowful acoustic numbers. Whilst their first 2 LP's explored both avenues, as they matured they decided to concentrate purely on the acoustic side of things and this saw them hit a wall for album's three and four. That's not to say the album isn't quality material, in fact some of the songs here are among the best Stereophonics have ever recorded, however with an LP featuring almost ALL acoustic tracks there is alway a danger that it will enter 'sleepy' territory.

This is a problem which held back it's predecessor, the equally talented yet dreary "J.E.E.P." (2001) which simply suffered not from a lack of quality songs but from an abscence of any changes of pace or high tempo numbers to break up the acoustic set. This led to the band's then drummer, Stuart Cable, describing the band as 'bland' and quitting on the eve of the album's tour. Many thought it would be the end of the band but thankfully they turned things around and are now solidly established long-term.

There are a selection of great tracks here. Kelly Jones has always had a talent for writing excellent acoustic numbers which connect with the user on a personal level and the standouts of this LP include the guitar driven "Maybe Tomorrow" (one of the band's colossal hits), the humorous "You Stole My Money, Honey", and the album's closer "Since I Told You It's Over".

One of the most notable things on the LP is the band's much rawer sound, which makes the album feel already like a good return to form from their highly polished third album despite the fact that it's set at the same slower pace. It is also a very personal affair, with Jones really opening up. He is reknowned for creating characters and telling the listener a story in his lyrics however here we see him speaking of his own feelings for the first time, and the incredible "Rainbows And Pots Of Gold" is eaily a career highpoint for the Welsh frontman. The album's title track (aka "I'm Alright") reveals a slightly darker side to the band which we had not previously heard and it is territory which they explore quite well, however the track would not truly come into it's own until played live.

Whilst listening to "You Gotta Go There To Come Back" two things will happen. Firstly there is plenty of Stereophonics' trademark excellent acoustic work to marvel at and Jones is on fine songwriting form, and secondly there is a distinct lack of any real rock songs. This is where the LP really falters. At times when the track is changing you'll be praying for the next tune to start with a big drum beat and Kelly Jones' great hacksaw rock voice but unfortunately, this feat goes unaccomplished.... Even when a rock track is attempted it is set at the same pace and therefore ineffective (the great funk guitar riff of opener "Help Me" is destroyed by the length of the track and lack of pace)

However, the title is very apt indeed. It is often said that a band is not proven until they lose their way a little and manage to return from the brink. After this LP the band lost their drummer and it looked to be all but over for them. Thankfully, this was not the case, replacing Cable with a new dummer and finding a new lease of life, Stereophonice returned in 2005 with the absolutely superb LP "Language, Sex, Violence, Other". It would seem the band's 3rd and 4th LP's had perhaps exhausted Kelly Jones' desire for acoustic numbers, as the follow-up saw the band ditch the acoustic numbers altogether in favour of a surprise return to a much more rock approach and they have not really looked back since.

All in all, this is a great album which hinders itself by sheer lack of pace, however the quality of the tracks is outstanding.
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on 9 June 2003
I used to love Oasis - eventually I got bored of them and went back to the roots and have been following Stereophonics ever since. I got the latest Oasis album, hoping something would come of it - no luck. In all honesty Stereophonics were the only band to actually change my whole perspective on life (when I was going through a rough patch). The first album I got was J.E.E.P when it came out. Then I went back to get the previous two and I was amazed at how they had changed over the albums. Their best is Word Gets Around - that is without a doubt. Their are some good songs on Performance and Cocktails, but not as good as their first as a whole! Anyway the more I listened to the first two albums the less I listened to J.E.E.P, some songs were great, but they didn't "feel" the same as they did before, only one rock song on the album :( However this album shows promise, that they actually want to change their style and perhaps ease their way into the style of Word Gets Around again. All the songs are class, but naturally there will be faves. The best songs are undoubtedly the rockier songs such as Madame Helga, Help Me and Climbing The Walls, the other songs are just classic J.E.E.P songs that actually sound much better and surprisingly come out very strong indeed. You have to listen to it a couple of times before you get used to it, but at least Stereophonics are changing their style and doing something different. Take the album with a light hearted spirit and take from the album what Kelly gives to it. Think of it as a collection, not individual songs. Because J.E.E.P didn't have a collective meaning and this album does, but I will leave you to work it out for yourself...
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on 8 June 2003
It’s been two years since Stereophonics previous long player ‘Just Enough Education To Perform’ was released to mixed reviews. Since that time, the Jones/Jones/Cable combination have toured, fell out with a certain music publication, hung out with various celebrities, headlined festivals and grown their hair a lot longer.
The result of the all the above is new album ‘You Gotta Go There To Come Back’. Which a week into its release also looks to have been met with the same luke-warm reaction.
It would seem fair to say that after one spin of ‘YGGTTCB’ some fans may be grabbing uncontrollably for their copy of debut album ‘Word Gets Around’ for some form of comfort. Luckily for these people craving another dose of indie rock with a pop sensibility, God created ‘Ash’. Kelly Jones however, seems determined to move on from the style of music that grabbed our attention in the first place, in favour of something with more depth.
Unfortunately where other bands are considered to be pioneers for this approach and praised to the Nth degree for their ability to alter styles, Stereophonics and others like them will always be condemned.
This is not to say that this a massive departure from the bands previous album. Musically Stereophonics have kept true to their roots. But there is enough new direction to keep things moving forward.
In ‘Madame Helga’ (the albums most instantly likeable offering) and ‘Jealousy’ the welsh three-piece once again doth their caps to the influence of both Led Zeppelin and The Black Crowes. Kelly also acknowledges his people watching skills on ‘Nothing Precious At All’ which is slightly reminiscent of ‘She Takes Her Clothes Off’ from second album ‘Performance and Cocktails’.
For the main part though, their earlier work is a distant memory and that should be something to be applauded not sneered at. Stereophonics have grown up, seen places, met people and (no doubt) experienced an awful lot. To summarize - they’ve moved on.
As well as writing about others, Kelly Jones also draws upon his own vulnerability, best realized in the string laden ‘Rainbows and Pots of Gold’, ‘I Miss You Now’ and album closer ‘Since I Told You It’s Over’ (a quick glance at the sleeve notes on the latter shows it was written on St. Valentines Day).
There is also a thought that Kelly Jones would like to return to a time where his life was less complicated and more innocent (‘Getaway’). He almost sounds bewildered with the present state of things on ‘Climbing The Wall’ and talks about finding his way home on ‘YGGTTCB’ finest moment ‘Maybe Tomorrow’. Arguably the bands best work since ‘Traffic’.
In conclusion, Stereophonics have produced their most personal, honest and eclectic album to date but are still able to retain a sense in the listener that this is a Stereophonics album.
On track eight Kelly declares ‘I’m alright’. Indeed you are sir!
And if you can’t find your way home, then you can always stop at my house.
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on 3 June 2003
Contrary to popular belief, I am one of the few who didn't think that J.E.E.P. was an overall bad album. I thought it had everything that has been associated with the Stereophonics over the years included in it; great riffs (Vegas Two Times), mellow ballads (caravan Holiday) and upbeat tunes (Have A Nice Day). Though it wasn't in the way that we have become accustomed to hearing. Constant comparisons to Word Gets Around and Performance and Cocktails are innevitable, but like so many other bands, their earlier music is much better than what they have grown into (with exceptions, like the Red Hot Chili Peppers for example).
You've Gotta Go There To Come Back, in my view, is what J.E.E.P. should have been. It shows a reminiscence back to the 70's that many bands, like the Datsuns, have tried. Personally, I think that this album is a perfectly modern and reputable representation of that decade, by a band who have grown up a lot over the past few years. Songs like 'Since I Told You It's Over' and 'Maybe Tomorrow' are the contrast which show the new and old 'Phonics. 'Since I....' shows Kelly Jones at his best singing wise, because it makes everybody see just how good he was/and still is while 'Maybe To...' could perhaps show the future of the band. Other songs like the stand out track 'Madame Helga' and 'Climbing The Wall' are also classic examples of the way forward for the Stereophonics.
Although they can, in my opinion, never produce an album of such high quality as Word Gets Around, the Stereophonics are showing that they can still make good, classic rock tunes (whether it be a ballad or full out ballsy rock), in a world which at the moment is dominated by pop and dance. In terms of where they go next, I don't think even they themselves know for sure.
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on 17 November 2012
Having read the two miles-off reviews by Ben Johncock and Jack Smith on various versions of this astonishing album, I am forced to add my tuppence worth to the pot.

You Gotta Go There... is, first off, unlike any other Stereophonics record to date. Following the (rather special, these days) trend of evolving as a songwriter through his already remarkable career, Kelly Jones has created an all-at-once beautifully reflective, grittily sleazy, and roaringly soulful collage of pure Welsh rock n' roll.

The record can be split into two halves, stylistically speaking. One half of the record manifests itself in the form of tracks such as "Help Me (She's Out Of Her Mind)", "Madame Helga", "High As The Ceiling", "Jealousy", and "Moviestar" (on some versions). These songs are a different breed of rock to the anthemic A Thousand Trees, etc, from the early days. A darker edge exists here, and a more distinctly bluesey and soulful one too - Kelly's wailing Crybaby makes itself heard more often of this record than any other. The influence of Neil Young and The Rolling Stones can be strongly felt here, all the while through the distinct filter of The Phonics' unique sound and interpretation. "Madame Helga" in particular marks one of the high points of the album, screaming and slithering through distorted vocals, wah-drenched riffs and grin-splitting hooks, drawing one of many deserved comparisons to The Stones' "Exile On Main St" - you can almost taste the sweat in the room; feel the musicianship tingling in the air when they coined this one. One of their very best.

The other half of the album would be safely called "The Soft Side", without taking anything away from the sheer majesty of numbers like "Since I Told You It's Over", "Rainbows And Pots Of Gold", "I'm Alright (You Gotta Go There To Come Back)", "Nothing Precious At All", "You Stole My Money Honey", "I Miss You Now", "Climbing The Wall" and "Getaway". Listed here in descending order of memorable excellence, "Since I Told You It's Over" is another peak. The simplistic lyricism and softly layered mix sets up perhaps Jones' very best vocal performance on record, wrenching every molecule of melancholia out of the best break-up song since "Shine A Light". "Rainbows And Pots Of Gold" works a remarkable companion piece, utilising strings to perfection. Throughout the album, lyrically Kelly is on top form. Stories remain in tracks like "Nothing Precious At All", with lines reminding us of the masterfully simple poeticisms still in Kelly's artistic vocabulary such as, "I've been people-watching again... think they watch me too", etc. The man and his band are on fire, and I haven't even mentioned the best moment on the record yet.

Serving as a stylistic border between the two 'halves' sits "Maybe Tomorrow". Perhaps finding closest companionship with "Mr Writer" from 2001's "Just Enough Education To Peform" than any other Phonics song, I might put myself out on a limb and call it the band's best ever song. It's certainly up there. Jones produced this album, and his mark is felt in the way the tracks feel almost aged, like paper dipped in tea. Nothing is crystal clear, and the blurred edges of each part allow the whole to come together seamlessly, providing the stirring sensation of feeling the band in the room. "Maybe Tomorrow" may be the best example of this. It's very difficult to explain how such a simple song is worth so much. All the little things come together on this one: the layered guitars, the layered vocals, the relaxed rhythm section, the perfect wah-soaked solo. Everything. All the 'truth' in the band is exposed on the record. The musicianship, the feeling, the faith in their craft. There is no syncopated electronic trash, no auto-correction or compression. It really feels like a live session, and a remarkable one at that.

YGGTTCB may be the least talked-about album from Stereophonics, but trust me - it might be the best.
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