Three albums in, and stereophonics have written their first truly mature work, just enough education to perform. while the cwmaman trio's first two albums were blighted by the occasional spot of facile pub-rock tub-thumping which served only to dilute kelly jones' emotive laments into ear-candy, just enough education to perform evokes the ragged croak of rod stewart or the world-weary country lament of neil young without feeling the need to unnecessarily embellish its content. it's not all good: the album's first single, 'mr writer' - a stab at dismissive music journalists - is, ironically, petulant and unwieldy, spoilt by jones' clunky lyric: "you've just enough, in my own view, education to perform / i'd like to shoot you all." far more successful are the simple semi-acoustic readings of 'nice to be out', 'step on my old size nines' and 'lying in the sun', which prove that, stripped-down, jones can match most singer-songwriters of an alt-country persuasion without breaking into a sweat. by this time in their career, oasis began losing themselves in bland bombast and a fog of hollow guitar solos; to its credit, 'just enough education to perform' does not let fame cloud the clarity of its meaning.