Welsh band Stereophonics return with their 8th studio album ‘Graffiti On The Train’. The album, featuring 10 new songs, follows on from their 2009 release ‘Keep Calm & Carry On’. It seems that Stereophonics have started to think that perhaps repeating the same genre over and over with little invention, may not be the best of plans, as they seem to have tried to write something that they could be proud of on this record. ‘Graffiti On The Train’ is, in the end, very typically Stereophonics, but at the same time, it does seem to be a good Stereophonics record, which when looking at their last few albums they’ve released previously, is almost a surprising thing.
The thing that I find with Stereophonics is that they’re a capable band, who have written some brilliant songs in their career, but they just seem stuck in this rut of producing the same-sounding material over and over again. To a point, this is even true on ‘Graffiti On The Train’, where a fair few tracks on the album sound awfully similar to songs they’ve written and released before. I certainly felt this way on the last Stereophonics album ‘Keep Calm & Carry On’, which I wouldn’t mind just dismissing as a poor record. The thing is though, that although ‘Graffiti On The Train’ is very typically Stereophonics, and in a sense, isn’t anything new from the band, there’s still a fair amount to enjoy off the album. Some of the tracks just seem to draw you in, and as songs, they do work fairly well. However, on the other hand, it has to be said that there’s a fair amount of material on this album which could so easily be dismissed. I’d honestly say that for every 1 good song, there’s 2 poor ones (figuratively speaking of source, as there’s only 10 tracks on this album). They’re not poor to the point where they’re just impossible to listen too, they’re just poor to the point where they’re easily forgettable.
As an album, ‘Graffiti On The Train’ is fairly good. You can see that there has been a lot of thought put into the tracks on the album, and that they’re not just churning out whatever they can come up with. The problem with the album is that with the poor songs, it just seems to break the album up, making it go from good song to poor song and back again. That being said, most albums actually do this, and to the average Stereophonics fan, this isn’t so much of a problem. The truth is, it isn’t a problem at all. For me, it’s just a shame, that there are poor songs on the album.
Overall, ‘Graffiti On The Train’ is an album that has its moments, but for the most part, it is just a fairly average album. I do see it as a vast improvement from their last album, so Stereophonics does have that working in their favour. I just feel though that at the end of the day, ‘Graffiti On The Train’ is just another Stereophonics album, and nothing more. It isn’t a brilliant album that everyone is going to hail as being one of their best, though I can see it having a core fan base in the future. In fairness to Stereophonics though, at least they have tried, and at least they have written some good songs on this album. It isn’t something that is an abysmal failure, it’s just something that’s a little too average for it to be anything truly special.
- ★★★☆☆ 3/5
- We Share The Same Sun
- Graffiti On The Train
- Violins And Tambourines
- Been Caught Cheating