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Rock - Released October 25, 2019 | Parlophone UK

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Rock - Released January 1, 2001 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Prior to releasing their third effort, Stereophonics endured brief controversy under the album's title, Just Enough Education to Perform. Already having dealt with the critics' views of this being a country or acoustic record, frontman Kelly Jones wanted the album to go by the abbreviation of J.E.E.P., which captures the band's opinions of the music industry. Of course, politics played the game and Daimler-Chrysler objected to the use, claming copyright and usage of the word "Jeep." Despite the media drama, Jones isn't entirely disenchanted on Just Enough Education to Perform and the album isn't heavy with needle acoustics or twangy licks either. It's another glassy cast of rock & roll rawness (with slight acoustics) that's made them indie darlings since their inception in the mid-'90s. Performance and Cocktails (1999) was more abrasive with Jones' signature scratchy vocals, and the rough poetics on 1997's Word Gets Around were impressive; however, Just Enough Education to Perform illustrates a more mature Stereophonics. It's a monolith of 11 detailed narratives, each playing with areas of soul, aggro rock, and moody pop/rock. The band from Cwmaman, Wales is trying to be more comfortable with the gradual process of feeling out their own place. The debut single "Mr. Writer" scowls at music journalists for their quick-witted opinions, and twitching riffs carry Jones' heartfelt aggression. The gospel-tinged "Vegas Two Times" is one of the album's more ruffled tracks, but it's the old-fashioned "Step On My Old Size Nines" that makes for an enjoyable transition from rock tune to classic ballad. It's quite endearing, similar to older cuts such as "Hurry Up and Wait" and "Traffic." The Stereophonics appear to be achieving a much-welcomed calamity. Changes within their personal lives shaped the sounds found on this record, most notably "Maybe" and "Watch Them Fly Sundays." Crafted around blues-rock guitars and shimmering percussion, these swan songs reflect the demise of Jones' relationship with his longtime girlfriend. They're gorgeously haunting with emotional depictions, and the Stereophonics are okay with that. No longer into the destructive side of rock & roll, Just Enough Education to Perform exudes a peaceful sect; a charming side is more visible even though Jones has had his row with the press. He can laugh about it while wholeheartedly believing that the Stereophonics have shaped their latest work into their most stunning material yet. © MacKenzie Wilson /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 2005 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

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Pop - Released January 1, 2010 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

In the late '90s, a rash of Welsh rock bands emerged, among them Catatonia, Super Furry Animals, 60 Ft. Dolls, and the Stereophonics. On the surface, the Stereophonics' gritty rock & roll seems relatively uninspired, but upon close listen Word Gets Around proves to be a very accomplished debut. Vocalist/guitarist Kelly Jones' vocals are raw and rip the songs apart, as his loud, arena-ready guitar assault gives every track a gritty edge. Jones' lyrics are also of note; highly poetic and meaningful, he writes about the underbelly of a small town. The anthemic opener, the outrageously catchy "A Thousand Trees," details how a respected high school athletic coach ruined his career through a lurid sexual encounter with a female student, and the quick, jagged "More Life in a Tramp's Vest" displays the view of the world through the eyes of a supermarket bag boy. Word Gets Around isn't all about hard rockers, though; the hit "Traffic" is a beautifully constructed ballad that works marvelously when a juxtaposition is made between the music and Jones' rough vocal styling. While Word Gets Around occasionally suffers from blandness, it is a remarkably accomplished debut LP. © Jason Damas /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 1997 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

In the late '90s, a rash of Welsh rock bands emerged, among them Catatonia, Super Furry Animals, 60 Ft. Dolls, and the Stereophonics. On the surface, the Stereophonics' gritty rock & roll seems relatively uninspired, but upon close listen Word Gets Around proves to be a very accomplished debut. Vocalist/guitarist Kelly Jones' vocals are raw and rip the songs apart, as his loud, arena-ready guitar assault gives every track a gritty edge. Jones' lyrics are also of note; highly poetic and meaningful, he writes about the underbelly of a small town. The anthemic opener, the outrageously catchy "A Thousand Trees," details how a respected high school athletic coach ruined his career through a lurid sexual encounter with a female student, and the quick, jagged "More Life in a Tramp's Vest" displays the view of the world through the eyes of a supermarket bag boy. Word Gets Around isn't all about hard rockers, though; the hit "Traffic" is a beautifully constructed ballad that works marvelously when a juxtaposition is made between the music and Jones' rough vocal styling. While Word Gets Around occasionally suffers from blandness, it is a remarkably accomplished debut LP. © Jason Damas /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 2003 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Stereophonics frontman Kelly Jones was still licking some serious wounds due to the breakup of his 12-year relationship with his girlfriend and a fallout with a best mate. The band's 2001 release, Just Enough Education to Perform, briefly touched upon his broken heart; however, Jones' darkest period came later as the band played countless sold-out gigs across Europe throughout late 2001 and 2002. Jones found himself personally and professionally isolated -- emotionally distant from his bandmates and best friends, drummer Stuart Cable and bassist Richard Jones, and creatively exhausted. However the fire that had made this band a major force in the post-grunge English rock scene still burned. Stereophonics' fourth album, You Gotta Go There to Come Back captures Jones' soulful journey, and the band's classic rowdy rock style is as sultry as ever. While their three previous albums exuded cockiness just for the sake of being cocky, You Gotta Go There to Come Back doesn't care to be so snide. Sure, the band's classic swagger remains an integral part of its overall appeal, but moving beyond that silly behavior has somehow affected Jones and his band. Cable became a father during the recording of this album while Richard Jones settled down and got married. Perhaps Jones craves a bit of stability as well? His confidence is on par throughout these 13 blues-rock-tinged songs as his life unfolds through words. "Jealousy" and "You Stole My Money Honey" are the album's more vexed moments. "Climbing the Wall," layered in acoustic guitars and horn and string arrangements, and "Nothing Is Precious at All" continue Stereophonics' psychological sifting with warmth. "Madame Helga" is the punch in the face Jones has been waiting to deliver. Heart-pounding musicianship from the band itself makes this swanky gospel number an album standout and a career staple. It's a song that Stereophonics have been wanting to make for years, and the overall fierce presentation finds the band at its best. Stereophonics are consistent with their craft, and You Gotta Go There to Come Back highlights the band's growing talent as musicians, but the fact is that they've only made good records up to this point. They have yet to make a really great record, but that's not to say Stereophonics don't have what it takes. You Gotta Go There to Come Back is a solid rock effort, and in due time, the band will have its epic. © MacKenzie Wilson /TiVo
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Rock - Released October 27, 2017 | Parlophone UK

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For 20 years now the Welsh group Stereophonics have been excelling in their powerful rock’n’roll, placing guitars, pop melodies and the gravelly voice of Kelly Jones at the heart of their music. Produced by Jones himself, this 10th album avoids simply recycling their two decades worth of hits. The savoir-faire of Stereophonics allows them once more to peg out all the catchy singles you could wish for; nothing to revolutionize the art of the group but unstoppably energetic all the same. The work of pros! © CM/Qobuz
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Pop - Released January 1, 2010 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

In December 1998, the Stereophonics released the single "The Bartender and the Thief," which became an unexpected explosion on the charts, peaking at number three in the U.K. In March 1999, the band's sophomore effort, Performance and Cocktails, was released to impressive sales -- it was reportedly outselling Blur's 13 when that album was released. A second single, "Just Looking," also peaked within the U.K. Top Ten, making the first half of 1999 a very unexpectedly busy time for the Stereophonics. Never a favorite to become a hugely successful Brit-pop band, their noisy, raw hard rock came into favor after the more produced and calculated sound of Brit-pop had become passe. Unfortunately, however, this disc isn't quite as consistent as the debut. Part of the reason why Word Gets Around was so appealing is that there was a sense of urgency that, on this release, seems to have disappeared. There are more ballads than before, and some of the rockers don't burn with the intensity that they did on the last album. This doesn't make Performance and Cocktails a bad album, though; fans will be very pleased that the Stereophonics have released another slab of indie-flavored hard rock. Some highlights include "T Shirt Sun Tan," the acoustic "She Takes Her Clothes Off," and the poppy "Pick a Part That's New." (Japanese versions of this album include three live tracks, but the quality is mediocre and the performances are unspectacular, making this version of the release for hardcore fans only.) © Jason Damas /TiVo
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Rock - Released November 10, 2008 | EMI

One of those British phenomena that has stayed distinctly provincial -- talk all you want about Oasis or Blur never cracking the U.S. charts, Stereophonics never came close, never even managing to cobble together a cult of college students or Anglophiles -- Stereophonics managed to carve out a nice living as workaday rockers in the post-Oasis age. They were guitar rock traditionalists in the time when Radiohead and their happy followers Coldplay ruled British rock, marching just outside of the Zeitgeist but appealing to thousands anyway, probably because they never tried to compete with Radiohead's spacy explorations. Instead, Stereophonics adapted the anthemic roar of their Welsh forefathers Manic Street Preachers, substituting the Manics' Guns N' Roses fascination with a love of Nirvana, and then made big arena rock, tempered slightly with rambling acoustic singalongs straight out of Oasis and vague electronica-flavored pop. All this is chronicled on Decade in the Sun: The Best of Stereophonics, the group's first hits compilation and one that traces its evolution effectively across 20 tracks best appreciated by listeners familiar with these tunes as part of the general cultural fabric. For U.K. listeners, this is a good sampling of what they heard in the background for a decade. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 2006 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Live from Dakota captures Stereophonics' 2005 world tour in support of their fifth album, Language. Sex. Violence. Other? The double-disc set marks the band's first live album and it's an appropriate look back on what Stereophonics has achieved in the last 10 years. While they haven't impacted American audiences like they have their British followers, Stereophonics' live performance is what makes them come alive as a unit. They attract millions of U.K. fans for a reason. Frontman Kelly Jones has definitely matured as a vocalist since Word Gets Around. His best moments are when he's tough and brash; his raspy, gritty vocals fit the Stereophonics' blistering, guitar-driven sound like a glove. They're an unapologetic and swaggering band either way. If their last album didn't make that impression obvious, Live from Dakota should definitely do the trick. Stereophonics not only run through some of their biggest career-spanning hits such as "The Bartender and the Thief," "Madame Helga," "Maybe Tomorrow," and their number one U.K. favorite "Dakota," but new song, "Jayne" and the rare b-side, "Carrot Cake and Wine" add to the intensity of this 20-song set. Live from Dakota is a celebration for Stereophonics. They've grown into a reliable band after a decade together. Despite personnel shifts and media gossip, they've survived much like Oasis has. If you haven't discovered Stereophonics' live show yet, Live from Dakota is a good place to start. © MacKenzie Wilson /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 2007 | EMI

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Rock - Released October 27, 2017 | Parlophone UK

Booklet
For 20 years now the Welsh group Stereophonics have been excelling in their powerful rock’n’roll, placing guitars, pop melodies and the gravelly voice of Kelly Jones at the heart of their music. Produced by Jones himself, this 10th album avoids simply recycling their two decades worth of hits. The savoir-faire of Stereophonics allows them once more to peg out all the catchy singles you could wish for; nothing to revolutionize the art of the group but unstoppably energetic all the same. The work of pros! © CM/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 25, 2019 | Parlophone UK

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Rock - Released October 27, 2017 | Parlophone UK

For 20 years now the Welsh group Stereophonics have been excelling in their powerful rock’n’roll, placing guitars, pop melodies and the gravelly voice of Kelly Jones at the heart of their music. Produced by Jones himself, this 10th album avoids simply recycling their two decades worth of hits. The savoir-faire of Stereophonics allows them once more to peg out all the catchy singles you could wish for; nothing to revolutionize the art of the group but unstoppably energetic all the same. The work of pros! © CM/Qobuz
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Rock - Released October 27, 2017 | Parlophone UK

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For 20 years now the Welsh group Stereophonics have been excelling in their powerful rock’n’roll, placing guitars, pop melodies and the gravelly voice of Kelly Jones at the heart of their music. Produced by Jones himself, this 10th album avoids simply recycling their two decades worth of hits. The savoir-faire of Stereophonics allows them once more to peg out all the catchy singles you could wish for; nothing to revolutionize the art of the group but unstoppably energetic all the same. The work of pros! © CM/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - To be released March 4, 2022 | Ignition Records Ltd

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