I stand firm. I will not bow beneath public disdain and suggest that my fondness for the back catalogue of the Stereophonics is a guilty pleasure. On the contrary – it is, frankly, a wholesome and honest pleasure, and one that perhaps many debauched students are not fully ready for.

No matter. Kelly Jones et al show all pub rockers with stadium-filling aspirations how it is done. A quick listen to the 2005 classic ‘Dakota’ confirms that the creators of the terminally dull ‘Have A Nice Day’ can still electrify the drive-time FM airwaves like no one else. Both songs are included in this Best Of, which naturally showcases a galaxy of mid-tempo standards: ‘Maybe Tomorrow’; ‘Just Looking’; ‘Step On My Old Size Nines.’ Okay, these are pretty unexciting songs. But the nuanced storytelling of ‘Local Boy In The Photograph’ retains its original bittersweetness, which is a feeling the ‘Phonics have always understood well.

Still not keen on the Stereophonics’s well-judged mellow guitar rock? Never mind. On the bright side, this collection could make a neat stocking filler for your relatives who remain blissfully unaware of what a ‘rave’ is.

Categories: Music

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