Monday, October 3, 2011

What happened to the Stereophonics?

What happened to the Stereophonics?

Where did they go?  In the fall of 2001, one the bands to watch was the Stereophonics.  They had a minor hit on rock stations with Mr Writer and then a heavy rotation with Have a Nice Day.  MTV and VH1 amply named them artist to watch for.  There was a promise of something good with this band.

There was hope and promise that they might continue to usher in the new way of rock music.  They were blending rock, soul and in small chunks country music sentiment.

They seemed to have a great future in America and with a few well made videos that seemed to understand the marketing strategy of music.  But most importantly, the lead singer Kelly Jones has the rock voice.

It's not loud and rambunctious.  It is actually soft and smooth.  There is  raspy or critics have said "whisky" voice that is very soothing and ease to listen and absorb.

Face it, the voice defines the band and this band a a rapsy soulful sound that is both interesting and engaging.

As a welsh band with strong roots in blues and soul, Stereophonics seemed to blend musical genres in a cool and different way.  They had much more success in the UK than America.

Their third LP Just Enough Education to Perform is definitely a triumph.  It's a great piece of work with great rock vocals.  Lead singer Kelly Jones has a raspy voice that seems to sooth your soul.  It's hard to sing with that raspy voice and have control as well.

He seems to be able to balance both the raspy and the well sung.  The tough thing is that he allows his voice to move in and out of that raspy rock sound to a more controlled smooth voice.

In their most successful single Dakota, Kelly demonstrates his vocal talent the most. What's so good about this song is his ability to deliver the sentiment.  Really that is the other great trait of his voice.  He has a unique soft sentiment that lingers and holds the attention while telling the story and conjuring a sadness that is thoughtful, sweet and remorseful.

Kelly Jones is definitely a good vocalist that is underrated in rock music. He is not given credit for his vocal talents for being able to move in and out of raspy voice and controlled sound and make it seem so effortless.

Only time will tell if the story for the Stereophonics is over in America.  It only takes the one song and the right package at the right time to bring a resurgence in interest.  I think if it does happen as it has for other bands, America will be able to embrace the soulful talents of a rock band worth it's weight.