I remember the Stereophonics were good. Ok, slight hyperbole. I remember when they were better. Ah yes, back in those heady days when their drummer was the marvellously afro'ed Stuart Cable and they were a bunch of good ol'Welsh boys who sung blue-collar, small town tales of Boys in Photographs. Back then they had something. Not much, but something.
Now they're two parts anonymous stadium-plod-rock band to one part misguided soul that thinks he's a star. Sorry Kelly, but you aren't even close to being cool enough to wear sunglasses inside. So stop it. And stop writing dull songs about how nasty music journalists are. And get a haircut.
Ever ones to not set trends, and having carefully watched The Killers help bring the '80s back to relevancy, they've decided to spice up their standard, meat-and-two-veg sound with a little pinch of synths. It means Dakota doesn't entirely sound like a Stereophonics song, and is therefore a small improvement. But giving a band credit for not sounding like they normally do is a bit like sleeping with your sister: just plain wrong.