Stereophonics has never been the most artistically challenging band to come out of the United Kingdom, nor has the band’s success at home been equaled stateside. But they fervently keep on truckin’. Even after two bland releases and the departure of boozin’ drummer Stuart Cable, Stereophonics still has the energy to forge on. With Language. Sex. Violence. Other?, the band returns to its late-’90s roots of barroom rock that the entire United Kingdom fell in love with.
Lead single “Dakota” couples the band’s rock with some god-awful lyrics. Kelly Jones has a great voice that — given the right lyrics — can really propel a song. But what the hell is going on with this chorus: “Yeah, you made me feel like the one; you made me feel like the one. The one”? A good song ruined.
Unfortunately, Language is not filled with the same characters and imagery-laden lyrics that made Word Gets Around and Performance & Cocktails so enjoyable. Narratives fall flatter than Paris Hilton’s attempt at acting, and despite some dabbling with keyboards, this is the same old Stereophonics. That may been a good thing seven years ago, but the band has squeezed all the good ideas out of the old formula that it’s going to get. Stereophonics has become England’s Goo Goo Dolls.