on May 25, 2010
Well I can see alot of ppl dissing this record saying it's not heavy STP and so on, but if you let the material sink in after a few listens you'll get the genius that is Stone Temple Pilots. Personally I love this album from start to finish - it's mostly straight up rock n' roll with poppy melodies, of course STP songs have always been about the melodic hook that makes them so infectious... There are also elements of Velvet Revolver on tracks such as Peacoat complete with wah effect laden guitar solo. Speaking of guitars, the guitars on this album is phenomenal, lately Dean has become my favourite rock guitar player as I now truly realize how great he is not just on this record but on all the previous ones. He plays a really superb and thrilling slide guitar solo and ending on Hickory Dichotomy that blows me away. Hickory Dichotomy is a personal highlight, but every song is beautiful in its own right. Another great, lovely, aurally orgasmic slide guitar on album closer Maver which will make you smile, well I purchased the deluxe version which includes Samba Nova which is not new to me and it seems like they didn't re-record it for this release but it's a another fantastic, laid back track. Too bad they didn't release About A Fool which was advertised at first as being on the deluxe version. The three live tracks of Vasoline, Hickory and Between the Lines are nice to own and fun to listen to but I don't think they are essential. But still, I gotta say, if you're an STP fan and by that I mean someone who also likes the less grungy/heavy material on Tiny Music (Bagman would have fitted perfectly on that album) and Shangri, this album is recommended. And I hope people give this album a few spins first to assimilate and digest the work of art Stone Temple Pilots have produced for our listening pleasure, as I doubt many people will fall in love and totally get it after just one listen. Scott sings great, Dean is on fire, Robert is amazing as always, Kretz is banging, Stone Temple Pilots is the bomb! (Both the band and album) :)
on January 11, 2015
While this album is just a bit above average for STP, it's still one of the top rock albums of this decade. It has some great and memorable harmony, solid lyrics and amazing musicianship.
Dean's guitars on Take A Load Off and Huckleberry Crumble are novel and impressive. His slide guitar on Hickory Dichotomy and Maver are killer. The latter has beautiful melodic touch and the former has the fiery, open G barrage of slide licks. Bagman is so infectious. Its rhythm is a gas! Peacoat is a ball breaking rocker.
Bassist Robert is amazing as always, and he also wrote the music for Maver, Cinnamon and Between The Lines. The drumming is great, as always with Eric Kretz.
I would rank this record 4th in the group's canon, slightly above No.4, which is tough because there is no mega-hit like Sour Girl, but has more solid work overall. Plus I give it points for being a comeback record and the fabulous slide guitar.
I rank em this way: Purple, Tiny Music, Core, STP, No.4, Shangri La Dee Da.
on May 25, 2010
Okay, honestly, this is more of a three-and-a-half star review. As a fan of STP over the years, I love that they've stayed on course..... ironically meaning that they've released another album that sounds like none of their other albums.
That being said, there are some tracks that sound like what you'd call "vintage STP." "Take A Load Off," for example, has the soaring chorus (with Scott once again employing the use of the word "Yeah" in place of something with meaning....... I'm so glad he's out of Velvet Revolver......), with a grungy verse.
As soon as you move on to "Huckleberry Crumble," it becomes more obvious that the DeLeo's have been thinking 60's and 70's rock. While some people lament the fact that some of the tracks on here sound like old Aerosmith and Bowie ("First Kiss On Mars"), I ask "why lament?" Bowie and Aerosmith haven't done music as good as their seventies stuff since.... well... the seventies, so why not get some great music in that style done by somebody else?
"Hickory Dichotomy" has a great funky groove and is definitely among the best tracks on the album. Not surprisingly, they released the best tracks for streaming about three weeks before the album was available, so it's when you move on to the other tracks, the disappointment sets in. "Dare If You Dare" has a great, very DeLeo guitar riff and verse melody ripped from what could be an unreleased "Sgt. Pepper" song, but the chorus is so insipid both in lyrics and vocal delivery, that it's almost worth skipping altogether.
"Cinnamon" is a gem, though. Does it sound like good Oasis? It does. But note the word "good." (But Scott's back to his "I can use the word 'Yeah' for a full chorus!' thing....)
"Hazy Daze" has a similar problem to "Dare If You Dare" - it's got an amazing riff, good verse and bridge, but the chorus doesn't fit the music. (Am I being nitpicky? Yes. But I've had these opinions about all of Weiland's material...... back to when he ruined some great music on Contraband with bad melodies.)
"Bagman." Straightforward rocker. Another early streaming track and concert teaser that's great as a shout-along.
"Peacoat." The first truly forgettable song on here. I liken it to the songs on "Shangri-La-Di-Da" that I can hum along to but don't know lyrics or title, as they weren't impressive enough to learn. I will never know that this song is called "Peacoat."
"Fast As I Can" is not, as I'd thought, a recording of a song of the same name done by STP's former moniker "Mighty Joe Young." It's fun, but fits in the exact place as other songs of this type.... for some reason, his is the place in the album (third or so from the end) where all rock bands drop a track that's a forgettable rocker. It's not bad, and it's got a great beat, but it's placed on the album in a way that it disappears.
"First Kiss On Mars" is a Beatles tune sung by David Bowie. And it's awesome. I haven't listened to the lyrics enough to be sure that they mean absolutely nothing in relation to the title, but this one has it all - good 60's riff, good verses and a flowing chorus (which could very easily have been "Yeah, it's over," but maybe Scott's expanding his vocabulary).
"Maver" - the usual mellow finale to the album. Glam rock neuvo-country. Decent. Forgettable.
As I said, three and a half out of five. When it's good, it's great, but there's the usual amount of dead wood.
Worth a listen, though. And if you're open to something that isn't exactly like what you remember STP to be, it's pretty solid.
on November 17, 2010
Although many tunes may have similarities to other artists, the album is truly one of a kind. People who complain that it may have been influenced by other artists should think about the other bands who have done the same. The Beatles even sounded a bit like their predecessors, and during their later years were influenced by the new bands of that era.
If you liked their later albums like Shangri-La Dee Da and No.4, you will definitely like this album. If you are looking for a lot of Core type stuff, you might be disappointed. This is a band that is growing musically. They are not going to put out songs and albums with sophomoric lyrics. Silverchair grew up, too.
Like all new albums from any artist, it may take a few listens to really get into it, so don't pass judgment until you listen to it for a while. There are, however, some tunes that are really catchy right away, one being Cinnamon.
By the way, I saw them in concert last month and they rocked.
Seven dollars! This album is now seven dollars! Wtf! I paid over sixteen dollars when this thing came out. Who wants to be a musician these days? Not me. I'd rather be a plumber.
on May 25, 2010
For many years, I have craved for a rock record that is good and enjoyable. This is one of them. I want to listen to an album that is bathed with strong, vibrant melodies, chugging, colorful rhythm sections and lyrics espousing love, life and yearning. I want to listen to an album that does not merely serve as a backdrop for a few enticing singles. More importantly, I want to listen to an album that sounds pure and fresh every time I hear it. The Stone Temple Pilots' self-titled album fits all these categories perfectly. If this album does anything good, hopefully two of those things will be being a commercial success and restoring the reputation of a great, unfairly undervalued rock band who have not worked together since 2001.
Any idea that a band reforms and decides to make a retro record opens themselves to ridicule. We have seen many artists look to the past for inspiration and they have been castigated by critics and fans for being "nostalgic" instead of "making something new". Indeed, throughout the entire album, there are references to the Animals, the Zombies, T. Rex, Mott the Hoople, Joy Division, Speedy West, the Raiders, Led Zeppelin, Tom Petty, and of course, the two rock icons that the band admires and loves: The Beatles and David Bowie. This album makes no apologies in admitting that it is merely a retro record: the lunk-headed, delightful "Huckleberry Crumble" makes no attempt to hide that it features the guitar riffs of Aerosmith's "Same Old Song and Dance"; and the charmingly weird country ditty "Hickory Dichotomy" has so many Jimmy Page-like chords that one would be hard pressed to wonder if it is a Zeppelin parody the same way "Back in the U.S.S.R" was a Chuck Berry parody and "Why Don't We Do It On the Road" was a Little Richard parody in The Beatles.
But the Stone Temple Pilots are too smart to just borrow other pieces of music for the sake of making songs, a talent that was unfortunately overlooked by many critics when the band was around by the time Nirvana and Pearl Jam dominated the pop charts. Long dismissed as knockoffs of their grunge contemporaries, the STP were able to change things a bit by incorporating elements of psychedelic rock, 60's hard rock, jangle pop and power pop in their later albums, particularly the underrated Tiny Music...Songs From the Vatican Shop. Unfortunately, band frictions and Weiland's drug addictions stopped the band dead in its track just as they were growing out of that critical rut, and by 2001, the group was no more, at least at that time.
When Scott Weiland left Stone Temple Pilots, he joined ex-Guns N' Roses members guitarist Slash, bassist Duff McKagan and drummer Matt Sorum and Wasted Youth guitarist Dave Kushner to former super group Velvet Revolver, which resulted in two uneven but fascinating rock records Contraband and Libertad. Yet for all their virtues, Weiland felt lost with the albums' classic-rock sound, as if his sonic adventurousness and pop sensibilities were muted, which was not the case in his solo album, Happy in Galoshes. Weiland left the group in 2008 and returned to the Stone Temple Pilots and by listening to this album, it's quite obvious where he feels more comfortable in.
It would have been tempting to make a simple comeback album that merely captures the sound of their previous records, as was the case in the Verve's disappointingly pedestrian Forth. But the Stone Temple Pilots have done something better: instead of re-threading their previous records, they go to music of the past (particularly the 60's-70's classic rock) and use them as platforms for, to quote Stephen Thomas Erlewine, "Weiland's insanely hooky neo-psychedelic melodies" and "DeLeo's knack for catchy, monstrous riffs", two factors that were the cores of many of the band's songs in the past. And indeed, this album is dominated with searing guitar solos, riffs as sweet as a honey pie and hooks so plentiful that you won't get many out of your head. Hookiest of these songs is "Between the Lines", a catchy and irresistible Zombies-Animals crossover in which Weiland declares that all he wants to do is talk about love, even when he used to take drugs, a not-so-subtle reference to the summer of love of 1960's.
The issue of love becomes a central theme in Stone Temple Pilots. That yearning and lamenting for that optimistic feeling over cynical intellect is demonstrated not only in "Between the Lines" but also in "Take a Load Off", in which Weiland howls at the media pundits as thinkers while praising the artists as figures with feelings; the sweet, sugary love letter "Cinnamon"; "Bagman", where its seemingly fun, hokey acoustic vibes hide Weiland's dark lyrics of dealing with certain people of his past; the spiteful "Fast As I Can"; "First Kiss of Mars", (arguably the strongest track on the album), a pretty, down-to-earth ballad that recalls David Bowie`s "Space Oddity" and "Changes"; and the terrific album closer, "Maver", which features Robert DeLeo playing piano and Weiland singing about the title character in the same sighing heartbreak that recalls that other beautiful song the Stone Temple Pilots made, "Sour Girl".
Some people may groan over the songs' perceived hackneyed messages about love and comfort and indeed, there have been negative comments all over the Internet that this sounds like a record that belonged in the past. But at a time when people seem to have lost hope in their dreams and when rock n' roll seems to the greatest escape from this murk that is reality, Stone Temple Pilots is the kind of record that many of us today desire for, an album that let us forget our problems and be proud of ourselves, an album filled with optimism to quell our frustrations and anger and make us believe. As the exquisite Beatlesque ballad "Dare If You Dare" illustrates, the band dares us to be strong, to believe and to be something.
Despite the critical hatred, the Stone Temple Pilots were responsible for some of the most successful and harmonious singles of the 1990`s. Each of these singles ("Plush", "Big Empty", "Down", "Big Bang Baby", "Creep", "Lady Picture Show", "Interstate Love Song", "Days in the Week", "Sour Girl") were so good that they made you forgive the wadding tracks that filtered many of their albums like Core and Purple. But Stone Temple Pilots has become a charitable achievement in the Stone Temple Pilots' library: not an album with some strong tracks and some filler but an album in which every song is good and sparkling with life. It's a grower, indeed (as were the Pilots' previous records), but compared to Hole's tedious Nobody's Daughter and the miserable post-grunge sludge of today like Nickelback and Puddle of Mudd, Stone Temple Pilots shimmers with warmth, exhilaration and melodies so strong that even after you dislike a certain song, you appreciate it further after repeated listening. And what a concept, to make an album that yearns for the days of love in this dark age of angst-ridden adolescent rock!
Like Pearl Jam's Backspacer and Green Day's American Idiot, Stone Temple Pilots is more than a throwback to the past; it is a heartfelt attempt to converge the musical styles of the past with the feel and sound of modern rock. In going "nostalgic", the Stone Temple Pilots have "made something new": they have created a tight, sophisticated hard rock album that merges the sensibilities of their influences with a strong keen of melody for a tasty concoction in a contemporary setting. They want to bring classic rock of the past to the masses of today. And they have succeeded. This is one of the best albums of the year.
on May 25, 2010
When I first popped in the first new album from Stone Temple Pilots in 9 years, the first thought that came to my mind was not "Boy this is awesome!" or "WTF this sucks!", but "Wow, this album is REALLY going to get divided opinions!" Like Pearl Jam as well as most other prog groups, Stone Temple Pilots are one of those bands that like to push themselves into new heights and new directions with each album, and their self-titled album is no exception.
On their first new album in nearly a decade, STP has crafted what may be their most straight-forward rock album, but with their typical psychedelic stylings, one that almost directly mimics their influences from the '60s and '70s. I like to view this album's style as the "in-between" of Shangri-La Dee Da and Tiny Music..., crossing the psychedelic and experimental with the straight-up rock and roll, and what you get is another new direction that will nonetheless divide its listeners. Those who are bigger fans of the band's early material, most notably Core and Purple, probably won't go for this album. But the rest who prefer the band's more pop and psychedelic work, as well as those who have stuck with the band all these years and appreciate everything they do, will dig it.
I've appreciated everything this band has done through the years, and on my first listen of this album I found myself truly enjoying it, and on my second listen I was enjoying it even more. Every song is incredibly catchy, instantly memorable, and well written. I love the old school vibe this album has and its overall level of intensity; this is an album to rock out to. Scott's lyrics are as strangely clever as ever, Robert and Eric have amped up the rhythm section even more, and Dean as REALLY improved as a player; this is truly his best performance. I'm excited to say that I'd rank this album as one of the band's overall better outings; I slightly prefer the band's more psychedelic and experimental albums like SLDD (my favorite from them, believe it or not) as well as Purple, but their self-titled album comes VERY close within their catalogue of great material.
In the end, it's all about taste really, and this is an album that is destined to be divided. Those who prefer their rock more grungy and heavy will probably find themselves scratching their heads while listening to this album, while others who are more fond of their psychedelic stylings of the '60s and '70s will love it, and those who's tastes are more varied and more appreciative toward all styles will like it nonetheless. I like to think my tastes vary, that's why I've been able to enjoy everything STP has done, and this new album shows a bright future for the band and I'm glad to see them once again producing some kickin' tunes. My only hope is that others can listen to this album and enjoy it for what it is, and that's a great rock and roll album.
on October 11, 2010
THIS STUFF IS AWESOME!!! I Should have been a review guy but my eloquence (and grammar) is pretty bad. So i'll speak from the heart.
The first time i heard this album i was like OMG!...this is sick!!!! These guys never disappoint me. This album is like if they want to tell us "Hey people this is what we are!!!this music reflects where we come from!!"....:
* Take a load off: My favorite. This is a classic melody meets heaviness. I love heavy- harmony stuff, and this is what STP do best.
* Hickory Dichotomy: uuuuh! tribute to the sound of The Velvet Underground and more precisely Lou Reed...awesome!!!
* Dare if you Dare: god! Lennon still lives!
* Cinnamon: I love New Order. New Order's and STP's sound mixed together! genius
* Bagman: Oh man! right on 1:24 they make you go back in time with some of the best hair metal sound, i was like "oh sh..RATT?" Beautiful!
* The rest of the songs are just full of pure STP greatness.! This album is already a classic. Hope the beginning of the resurrection of Rock. We all know what happened this decade. It was like if there was a conspiracy to destroy rock, STP comes to the rescue brothers!
Thanks Pilots!!!! thanks a lot.
on July 15, 2010
The musicianship on this recording is tremendous. Anyone who is dissing this record is not listening with an open mind (or ears for that matter). Scott Weiland proves time and time again (even on his solo records) that he is the best rock lead vocalist alive today. And, thank goodness he is still alive. The songwriting is top-notch and the sound is great. Considering that the music is coming from a super tight 3 piece is even more impressive. Put the cd in the player, crank it up and listen. Then you will get it.
Stone Temple pilots have never been able to please everyone. From their first album "Core" in 1992 when the critics bashed them (but the fans got it!) to their groundbreaking "Tiny Music.." and the style change, STP have been naturally progressing as a band.
I submit that this new record is an awesome next phase in their development as a band. Do I long for the harder edge sound from Core, Purple, and No. 4? Sure, I love the tunes from those cds. But at the same time it's not like I disliked Tiny Music... or Shangri-La Dee Da. Still there is something brave about the guys doing a 70s rock inspired record. It's bold. It's loud, and it's fresh.
Let's break it down:
Between the Lines (5/5) Excellent lead single from the record. Lyrics are meaningful if you know what kind of past Scott has had. Video is cool too.
Take a Load Off (5/5) Another fun 70s rock tune amd the second single. The chorus is jangly and poppy. By this time in the record you realize they are going to have a theme going...
Huckleberry Crumble (4/5) I can see Aerosmith writing this song. Has a dirty southern rock vibe. Excellent song.
Hickory Dichotomy (5/5) Another great bluesy rock tune. I agree with the other reviewer, could have easily been a single.
Dare If You Dare (3/5) A bit forgettable in my opinion. Not that it's bad or anything. Just a bit of a letdown after the first four tracks. Still a great chorus though.
Cinnamon (4/5) The third single off the record. People are split on this song, and rightfully so. On one hand it is a masterfully crafted sugary, poppy sounding song. Some people hate it, and would say this is why STP isn't very good anymore. I don't agree with that camp. While I don't normally like songs like this, it completely works. Sounds like a tune STP would have written if they had been a band in the 60s. And it's so darn catchy too! I give it two thumbs up myself.
Hazy Daze (5/5) Another dirty rock song in the vein of Huckleberry and Hickory. Love the sound of the guitar in this one. One of my favorite tracks on the album.
Bagman (4/5) It would surprise me if this song doesn't become a concert staple. I love the swagger in this song.
Peacoat (5/5) This song could easily have been a hard rocking song. The guitar riff that opens the song sounds so menacing. The chorus is a bit poppy, but I think it is a solid rock tune. Worth listening to 50 or more times.
Fast As I Can (3/5) One of the weakest tunes on the cd in my opinion. It's just a rock tune. Slightly boring even.
First Kiss On Mars (5/5) Love Weiland's vocals on this one. Another heavily inspired classic rock sounding song.
Maver (4/5) Solid song. Slower.
BONUS TRACKS from the deluxe edition:
Samba Nova (1/5) Ugh. I know why this song didn't make the regular edition of the album. In my opinion it might be the weakest song STP have ever made. Trippy sounding, and yet boring.
Vasoline - Live (5/5) I'm normally not a huge fan of live tracks. But it's such a good song, and the band sounds spot on. Good addition.
Hickory Dichotomy - Live (5/5) Being live only adds to how awesome this tune is!
Between the Lines - Live (5/5) They hit this song hard! Sounds great.
OVER ALL SCORE: 68/80. Pretty good. Definitely a 5 star cd. Don't listen to all the haters. They are the people who hate when a band evolves. And if you hate a band's sound evolving, it makes me wonder why you would be a Stone Temple Pilot fan anyway. Worth picking up.
For the next record I do hope they add a little more punch to it. But even if they made another just like this one, I would still love it. Good job guys. Thanks for the new album.
on July 14, 2010
What a brilliant album Scott & the boys have created. Nothing like rock & roll with a hint of pop melodies thrown in and you have brilliance!
You can hear influences such as David Bowie and Aerosmith, but STP have their own spin on their influences. My fave album this year so far....by far. Brilliant!
After repeated listenings, still holds up and will go down as one of my fave albums of all time. Good job boys!