Keep the Village Alive

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Keep the Village Alive
Stereophonics - Keep the Village Alive (Album cover).png
Studio album by Stereophonics
Released 11 September 2015 (2015-09-11)
Recorded 2011–2014
Studio ICP Studios (Brussels, Belgium)
Stylus Studios (London)[1]
Genre Rock[2][3]
Length 40:35
Label Stylus Records
Producer
Stereophonics chronology
Graffiti on the Train
(2013)Graffiti on the Train2013
Keep the Village Alive
(2015)
Scream Above the Sounds
(2017)Scream Above the Sounds2017
Singles from Keep the Village Alive
  1. "C'est la Vie"
    Released: 12 May 2015
  2. "I Wanna Get Lost with You"
    Released: 21 July 2015
  3. "Song for the Summer"
    Released: 27 November 2015
  4. "White Lies"
    Released: 19 February 2016
  5. "Mr and Mrs Smith"
    Released: 24 June 2016

Keep the Village Alive is the ninth studio album by Welsh rock band Stereophonics. Released on 11 September 2015, it was produced by lead singer and guitarist Kelly Jones, along with Jim Lowe. It is intended to be the second of two album volumes, with its predecessor Graffiti on the Train being the first. It is the first album to feature Jamie Morrison, who joined during the production of Graffiti on the Train in 2012. Keep the Village Alive was met with a similar positive response as Graffiti on the Train and topped the UK Albums Chart, becoming the band's first to do so since Pull the Pin (2007).

Background[edit]

During the writing process for the band's previous album Graffiti on the Train (2013), Kelly Jones had written 40 song ideas, 30 of which were recorded and completed.[4][5] With the intention of releasing an album trilogy, the band decided against this idea after Green Day released their ¡Uno! ¡Dos! ¡Tré! series,[6] instead planning to release another album with ten songs.[7] Tracks from these sessions were included in Keep the Village Alive, though these track names are not stated.[8] Stereophonics had finished their Graffiti on the Train Tour on 28 November 2013 and in late February 2014 they went into the studio to start working on the album.[9][10]

Writing and recording[edit]

Speaking about "I Wanna Get Lost With You", Kelly Jones mentioned the track is about "wanting to lose yourself personally, and lose yourself with somebody, and then just literally get out there."[11] Jones came up with the melody for "Song for the Summer" while sleeping in the studio after listening to another track for half a day. The next day he wrote the lyrics in a short time and it took 45 minutes to record.[12] Jones approved the album for mass production on 22 June 2015.[13]

Promotion and release[edit]

After the band decided against the album trilogy, the following album was due to be released some point between the release of Graffiti on the Train and January 2014.[14] Kelly Jones tweeted in late September 2014 that the album had been mixed and was to be released in autumn 2015 and have new songs released in May.[15] True to their word, it was later announced in May 2015 that a new song ("C'est la Vie") would be released a day later and the album on 11 September 2015.[1][16] This harkens back to when Stereophonics' studio albums were released every two years from Word Gets Around (1997) to Keep Calm and Carry On (2009).[17] Between the final mix and lead single release, the band played the opening night of the Teenage Cancer Trust 2015 concert – during this they debuted three new songs from this album: "C'est la Vie", "Song for the Summer" and "I Wanna Get Lost With You".[18]

On 17 July Gigwise announced the next single from the album would be "I Wanna Get Lost With You" and they would have an exclusive showing of the band's music video for it on 20 July; a trailer for the video was released on the day of announcement.[11]

Singles[edit]

The lead-single from the album, "C'est la Vie", was first played on The Chris Evans Breakfast Show and was released the following day.[19][20] A music video was released the same day on Stereophonics' Vevo channel, it was directed by Kelly Jones with cinematography by John Conroy and stars Antonia Thomas, Aneurin Barnard and Mathew Aubrey.[1][21] The second single, "I Wanna Get Lost With You", was released on 21 July 2015[22] – the music video was released the day before, starring Barnard and Sophie Kennedy Clark.[11] The third single, "Song for the Summer", was released on 27 November 2015 but the music video was uploaded to the band's YouTube channel a month before and stars only them.[23][24] "White Lies" was released as the fourth single on 19 February 2016,[25] the music video was uploaded to YouTube a day before, directed by Jones and features the band performing live at one of their December 2015 shows.[26]

Critical response[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic(63/100)[27]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3/5 stars[28]
Clash Music(6/10)[2]
Classic Rock3.5/5 stars[29]
The Daily Mail4/5 stars[30]
Drowned in Sound(6/10)[31]
The Independent2/5 stars[32]
Mojo3/5 stars[33]
Q3/5 stars[34]
PopMatters8/10 stars[35]
Uncut3/5 stars[36]

Keep the Village Alive has received generally favourable reviews. At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 63 based on 10 reviews.[27] Jedd Beaudoin of PopMatters gave a four-star review of the album and called it an "impressive yield of ace tracks" while complimenting they sound "as fresh as anything the Phonics have done in the entirety of their career."[35] In his review for Drowned in Sound, Dan Lucas praised several of the tracks, stating they "make this the best Stereophonics album since You Gotta Go There to Come Back" while calling the album as a whole a variety of "straightforward piano, [...] rhythms [...] electric and acoustic guitars."[31]

In a mixed response for Clash Music, Luke Winstanley summarised the album as "enjoyable and solid, if unadventurous rock record anchored, as always, by that tremendous voice."[2] Senior Editor for AllMusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine declared the opening track "comes crashing out of the gates" but summarised "the power trio still trades on the hybrids of Coldplay and U2". In a much less enthusiastic review, Andy Gill from The Independent regarded Kelly Jones' writing "bereft of inspiration [...] with insipid lyric clichés".[32]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Kelly Jones.

No.TitleLength
1."C'est la Vie"3:41
2."White Lies"3:57
3."Sing Little Sister"3:27
4."I Wanna Get Lost with You"3:50
5."Song for the Summer"2:56
6."Fight or Flight"3:42
7."My Hero"3:48
8."Sunny"4:20
9."Into the World"4:04
10."Mr and Mrs Smith"6:50
Total length:40:35
Notes

Personnel[edit]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Version Format Label
United Kingdom[37] 11 September 2015 (2015-09-11)
  • Standard edition
  • deluxe edition
Stylus Records[a]

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ Stylus Records is under exclusive license to Ignition Records Ltd. This is stated on the back of the Graffiti on the Train vinyl cover and its singles.[55][56]
Footnotes
  1. ^ a b c d Davidson, Amy (11 May 2015). "Stereophonics are back with new album Keep the Village Alive". Digital Spy. Retrieved 11 May 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c Winstanley, Luke (14 September 2015). "Stereophonic - Keep the Village Alive". Clash Music. Retrieved 20 September 2015. 
  3. ^ "Keep the Village Alive". Amoeba Music. Retrieved January 8, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Graffiti on the Train". Piccadilly Records. Archived from the original on 19 October 2013. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  5. ^ McCormick, Neil (28 February 2013). "Stereophonics interview with Kelly Jones: 'This album is the truest thing I've ever written'". The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Archived from the original on 17 October 2013. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  6. ^ "Stereophonics – Stereophonics Dismissed Album Trilogy After Green Day Project". WENN. Contactmusic.com. 11 March 2013. Archived from the original on 20 October 2013. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  7. ^ Showbiz, Bang (7 July 2012). "Stereophonics – Stereophonics' Two-part Album". Contactmusic.com. Archived from the original on 19 October 2013. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  8. ^ "Stereophonics want 'hot girls' on rider". BANG Showbiz. The List. 27 January 2015. Archived from the original on 20 February 2015. Retrieved 20 February 2015. 
  9. ^ "Stereophonics head out on UK Graffiti on the Train Arena Tour". Premier. 30 October 2013. Archived from the original on 9 March 2014. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  10. ^ "Back in the studio - music and screenplay are coming on strong!!! Kelly". The Stereophonics Ltd. Facebook. 20 February 2014. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  11. ^ a b c Trendell, Andrew (17 July 2015). "Stereophonics' New Video to premier on Gigwise on Monday". Gigwise. Retrieved 17 July 2015. 
  12. ^ "Song for the Summer - Stereophonics". Jo Ostermeyer. 22 March 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2015. 
  13. ^ Campbell, Lex (23 June 2015). "Stereophonics' Kelly Jones Chats New Music, Aussie Tours, & Douchey Hipsters With Triple M's Ugly Phil". Triple M LocalWorks. Retrieved 17 July 2015. 
  14. ^ Showbiz, Bang (7 July 2012). "Stereophonics – Stereophonics' Two-part Album". Contactmusic.com. Archived from the original on 19 October 2013. Retrieved 25 July 2013. 
  15. ^ Derbyshire, James (29 September 2014). "Stereophonics Tease 2015 Album". Fortitude Magazine. Archived from the original on 11 February 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2015. 
  16. ^ "Stereophonics Shop". The Stereophonics Ltd. 11 May 2015. Retrieved 11 May 2015. 
  17. ^ Burrows, Marc (8 March 2013). "Album by Album: Kelly Jones on the Stereophonics' back catalogue". Drowned in Sound. Archived from the original on 28 October 2013. Retrieved 5 June 2015. 
  18. ^ Griffin, Matt (24 March 2015). "Stereophonics open the Teenage Cancer Trust season with some very special guests". Royal Albert Hall. Retrieved 5 June 2015. 
  19. ^ Williams, Kathryn (11 May 2015). "Listen to Stereophonics' new song C'est La Vie". Wales Online. Archived from the original on 14 May 2015. Retrieved 11 May 2015. 
  20. ^ "C'est la Vie - New single (available May 12th)". The Stereophonics Ltd. 11 May 2015. Archived from the original on 13 May 2015. Retrieved 11 May 2015. 
  21. ^ Kelly Jones (Director), John Conroy (Cinematography), Richard Jones, Adam Zindani, Jamie Morrison, Antonia Thomas, Aneurin Barnard, Mathew Aubrey (2015). Stereophonics - C'est La Vie (Music Video). Retrieved 11 May 2015. 
  22. ^ Lee, Ben (20 July 2015). "Stereophonics unveil the music video for new single 'I Wanna Get Lost with You'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 20 July 2015. 
  23. ^ "Premiere: Welsh rockers release video for third single from number one album". Team Rock. 2015. Retrieved 17 January 2016. 
  24. ^ "Stereophonics - Song For The Summer". The Stereophonics Ltd. YouTube. 15 October 2015. Retrieved 17 January 2016. 
  25. ^ "Stereophonics - White Lies (single)". The Stereophonics Ltd. 19 February 2016. Retrieved 21 April 2016. 
  26. ^ "Stereophonics - White Lies". YouTube. 18 February 2016. Retrieved 26 March 2016. 
  27. ^ a b "Keep the Village Alive by Stereophonics". Metacritic. 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2016. 
  28. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (2015). "Keep the Village Alive - Stereophonics". AllMusic. Retrieved 20 September 2015. 
  29. ^ Batcup, Tim (12 August 2015). "Stereophonic: Keep the Village Alive". Classic Rock Magazine. Retrieved 20 September 2015. 
  30. ^ Thrills, Adrian (4 September 2015). "The Bruce Springsteen of the Welsh Valleys! ADRIAN THRILLS on the Stereophonics' new album Keep The Village Alive". The Daily Mail. Retrieved 9 July 2016. 
  31. ^ a b Lucas, Dan (15 September 2015). "Stereophonic - Keep the Village Alive". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 20 September 2015. 
  32. ^ a b Gill, Andy (11 September 2015). "Stereophonics, Keep the Village Alive - Album review". The Independent. Retrieved 20 September 2015. 
  33. ^ "Stereophonics: Keep the Village Alive". Mojo. October 2015. p. 96. 
  34. ^ "Stereophonics: Keep the Village Alive". Q. October 2015. p. 114. 
  35. ^ a b Beaudoin, Jedd (17 September 2015). "Stereophonics Keep the Village Alive". PopMatters. Retrieved 20 September 2015. 
  36. ^ "Stereophonics: Keep the Village Alive". Q. October 2015. p. 83. 
  37. ^ a b "Keep The Village Alive [Deluxe Edition]". Amazon.co.uk. 11 May 2015. Retrieved 11 May 2015. 
  38. ^ a b c d Keep the Village Alive (Deluxe CD). Stereophonics. Stylus Records. 2015. 
  39. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Stereophonics – Keep the Village Alive". Hung Medien. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  40. ^ "Ö3 Austria Top40: Longplay-Charts". orf.at. 
  41. ^ "Ultratop.be – Stereophonics – Keep the Village Alive" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  42. ^ "Ultratop.be – Stereophonics – Keep the Village Alive" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  43. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Stereophonics – Keep the Village Alive" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  44. ^ "Lescharts.com – Stereophonics – Keep the Village Alive". Hung Medien. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  45. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  46. ^ "GFK Chart-Track Albums: Week 38, 2015". Chart-Track. IRMA. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  47. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Stereophonics – Keep the Village Alive". Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  48. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  49. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Stereophonics – Keep the Village Alive". Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  50. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  51. ^ "Official Independent Albums Chart Top 50". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  52. ^ "Stereophonics Chart History (Heatseekers Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
  53. ^ "British album certifications – Stereophonics – Keep the Village Alive". British Phonographic Industry.  Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Enter Keep the Village Alive in the search field and then press Enter.
  54. ^ Jones, Alan (3 November 2017). "Official Charts Analysis: Camila Cabello ascends to singles summit". Music Week. Retrieved 12 November 2017. (Subscription required (help)). 
  55. ^ Graffiti on the Train (Deluxe CD). Stereophonics. Stylus Records. 2013. 
  56. ^ We Share the Same Sun (10" vinyl). Stereophonics. United Kingdom: Universal Music Publishing. 2013. STYLUS6TE. 

External links[edit]