Paper, Scissors, Stone
released: 08.06.01 (european)
our score: 4.5 out of 5.0
naldrett - u.k. correspondent
wanted to take a couple of years away from the perpetual demands
of rock stardom after promoting the wearily sounding album Equally
Cursed and Blessed - and so she did! The idea was that the
Welsh icon would return to the business fully refreshed and produce
a record that was as brimming with life as 1997s classic
a break," she said. "It was necessary to go back, read
books, watch TV, play chess, go to ballet lessons, go horse riding,
meet new people, cut your hair, romp in the countryside and come
back with a fresh palette."
It could have
gone horribly wrong, the band could have split up, she could have
been forgotten, and they would have been remembered for their
last, below par outing. Fortunately, it was worth taking the time
off because Paper, Scissors, Stone leapfrogs over the last
CD to return to the glory days of Mulder and Scully and
Road Rage, providing us with zeitgeisty lyrics, cracking
music and Cerys throwing herself into each and every line with
on Paper, Scissors, Stone has something going for it, from
the catchy "What It Is" to the haunting opener "Godspeed,"
to the romping "Imaginary Friend." But the real gems
are the ones that stick in your head and become instant classics,
none more so than "Immediate Circle" and "Stone
By Stone," both recently performed live on Jools Hollands
show. And for a classic Catatonia track, check out "The Mother
Of Misogyny." I defy anyone not to sing along to the "M-I-S-O-G-Y-N-Y
misogyny" chorus while being moved by the serious message
it has to offer.
Cerys adamantly insists that the song is not about the fuel protests
that rocked the nation last year, saying that she wrote the words
beforehand. But the influence of the protests, which hit as Catatonia
recorded the track, are obvious, especially in the line "Go
ask the government you voted in on trust, where is our fuel?"
half of Paper, Scissors, Stone is so astonishingly good
that it takes the pressure off the second half, allowing "Blues
Song" and "Village Idiots" to shine in the freedom
afforded to them. An over-riding theme is the anger within Catatonia
with certain aspects of society, seen in "Immediate Circle,"
"Is Everybody Here On Drugs?" and "Arabian Derby,"
but thankfully the venom they spit in these tracks materialises
in the form of creative excellence.
Cerys is back,
shes as good as ever and if this is the result of a couple
of years playing chess and ballet dancing, then maybe everybody
should have a go!
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