Stereophonics J.E.E.P. (Just Enough Education to Perform)

Back with their third album in four years, Wales's Stereophonics have released their version of young adult contemporary rock'n'roll. While their debut album, Word Gets Around, was a great album, full of well crafted, loud rock songs, pop singles and ballads, their sophomore release, Performance and Cocktails, sold millions to people who like to drink lots of lager. But album number two was a dull album, full of toned down pub rock anthems that sold truckloads in the UK and brought acclaimed reviews and impressive sales here in North America. The step from sophomore to junior is not a big one because J.E.E.P. is nothing new and fans should not expect much of a difference. The sound has been turned down even more and it seems as if the band is trying to appeal to an even wider audience. The single, "Mr. Writer," is a slow guitar jam attacking poor, defenceless music critics, with singer Kelly Jones repeating "I'd like to shoot you all." Probably the best example of how convenient the band has made this record for everyone to listen to is "Have A Nice Day," the tune that could have kept Hootie and the Blowfish's career going. To those who remember when the Manic Street Preachers pumped out the George Michael-esque This Is My Truth, Tell Me Yours, J.E.E.P. is very much the same: an album by a band who have shown plenty of talent but for some reason just decide to deliver another album of radio-friendly, mediocre soft rock. (V2)