Stereophonics - Word Gets Around Review

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Stereophonics - Word Gets Around
Stereophonics - Word Gets Around


General Information

Original Author: Owen

Artist: Stereophonics

Album: Word Gets Around

Genre: Alternative/Indie Rock

Initial Release Year: 1997


01. A Thousand Trees
02. Looks Like Chaplin
03. More Life In A Tramps Vest
04. Local Boy In A Photograph
05. Traffic
06. Not Up To You
07. Check My Eyelids For Holes
08. Same Size Feet
09. Last Of The Big Time Drinkers
10. Goldfish Bowl
11. Too Many Sandwiches
12. Billy Davies Daughter


In a remarkable turn of events this week I've gone from reviewing death metal to now indie rock, what can I say? I like contrast.

In terms of their genre the Stereophonics are probably one of the best bands around and this - the debut album for the welsh trio, has its fair share of sparkle. The sound is not one of the greatest aspects of the whole affair, the music is simple and easily interpretable, we have some drums, a bass and a guitar, with little to no effects or niceties to admire or contemplate, however what is there is very well mixed, mastered and conducted with Kelly Jones's voice at the forefront of the whole operation, and my, what a voice it is (more on that later). To conclude this section - the production is pretty solid, the whole sound is very simple and at points really catchy but this is not the jewel in the crown of the whole album.


You do not honestly get any lyrics better than what is offered here for they are truly contemplative, clever and nicely metaphorical, as with most albums the opening track is perhaps the best of the whole equation with Kelly Jone's husky voice proclaiming:

"but it only takes one tree to make
a thousand matches
only takes one match to burn
a thousand trees"

Simply meaning, even the smallest of things, if overlooked, can topple everything else. Society can effectively destroy itself. Beautiful. As ever this metaphorical stanza is backed up by the human interest story:

"You see it in the classroom
In the swimming pool
Where the match stick men are made
At the scout's hall
At the football
Where the wise we trust are paid
They all honour his name
He did a lot for the game
Got his name knocked up above the sports ground gates
But they're ripping them down, stamping the ground
Picture gathers dust behind the bar in the lounge"

Its songs such as this coupled with the controversial "Check My Eyelids For Holes" that make this album truly worth purchasing, its witty, people can relate to it and its not overly burdened with complex metaphors or bizarre situations. Jones writes about real life, this much is evident and the way he conveys it across to the listener is bordering perfection.


Another excellent feature of this album is Jones's excellent vocal talent, a unique voice, good range with just the right amount of rasp/husk in his style to make it interesting whilst remaining clear enough to interpret easily. His style is indeed fairly enviable and is good fun to sing along with.

Guitar Work

As there is only one guitarist, and this again happens to be Jones who, as aforementioned, also sings, then too much technicality cannot be expected from the guitar section of this album. It's easily strummed stuff, with gentle melody lines and catchy choruses, you can't really ask for much more as it does its job perfectly and fits nicely into the grand scheme of things.

Overall Impression

Grace, intelligence and pure 'catchiness' are three of the fine qualities that make this album worth a listen, it is addictive in its composition and lyrical prowess and overpowering in its own articulate style. Additionally the unique vocals of Kelly Jones help to hit home his finely worked points with even more presence and power than most people would anticipate.

Recommended Tracks

01. A Thousand Trees
07. Check My Eyelids For Holes
12. Billy Davies Daughter


"A Thousand Trees" is available for a listen on the above Myspace.