From the hype their '97 release, Word Gets Around, the Welsh three piece Stereophonics were spontaneously thrown into a never ending race for the princes of brit-pop-rock title. A fast accomplishment for any act, especially since '97 was the year that courted Radioheads OK Computer and Oasis' Be Here Now. There sophomore release, Performance and Cocktails was essentially another crowd pleaser as it essentially reflected all that was Word Gets Around. It wasn't until their third release, Just Enough Education to perform, that singer/writer Kelly Jones ventured off into his own creative desires, to juice out a compilation of his musical fusion which went widely unacknowledged despite astounding musical progression on the part of the 'phonics.
Ignoring the critics once again, now in 2003, the Welsh act have again evolved their once pop sound to a more 70's rock feel with the release of You Gotta Go there to Come Back This time around the album is filled with a soul-rock blues feel mimicking influences such as the Isley Brothers, Stevie Wonder, and Credence Clearwater to name a few. Kelly Jones still fills the LP with his intimate emo-rock charm, yet issues another step closer to the phenomenon known as 'American Radio Rock.'
The album opens up with 'Help Me," a seven minute rowdy raucous, bluesy-guitar inclined song with riffs that pay tribute to Led Zeppelin. In addition, the cut is verbally, strikingly similar to Lennon's "Cold Turkey." The following track, "Maybe Tomorrow," features guitar from the Isley Brothers' "Summer Breeze," and is a romantic, smooth and soulful ballad with lyrics that notion for a lounge sound, "It wastes time, and I'd rather be high, think I'll walk me outside, and buy a rainbow smile." "Madame Helga," the Stereophincs' first single, is a foot tapping structured, Black Crowes melody, full of energy. "You Stole My Money Honey," is a lazy tune filled with undesirable musical clichés with all its country and jazz influences. "Getaway" is a beautiful Piano driven melody backed by lo-fi guitar that is a tale of forgotten Youth. "Climbing Up the Wall" is a bass-driven, acoustic guitar number complete with a flailing guitar, and nonchalant lyrics, "What makes you and what makes me, what makes ten-ton ships sail me across the sea." The following song, "Jealousy," is west coast guitar and eccentric lyricism, "I'm just standing here looking at myself again, I'm going blind, I'm just sitting here playing with myself again - it's turning me on." "Nothing Precious at All," fuses fundamentals of American Bandstand Rock with a country-twang pop alternative fire as it entails the movements of a young girl in a coffee shop over a faces-like piano lick. „Rainbows and Pots of Gold," is string laden while "High as the Ceiling" encompasses a Black Crowes Sound. The final track, despite being the lowest song listed, ironically is the high point of the album. utilizing Horns and an acoustic approach, is the only track not produced by Jim Low, and has an Oasis "Sunday" feel.
The album is best when Jones lyrically sticks to what he is best at doing, telling stories in short verses over 70's influenced rock. At times the songs seem to drag on a bit in length, and it's no surprise that the Black Crowes sound pops up everywhere since the LP was mixed by Jack Joseph Puig. The album again covers new ground sound wise for the band, yet still manages to maintain consistency with a utilitarian rock sound.