Review Summary: pop takes over grungemania
If, like me you were expecting stp to bring out another grunge album, you were wrong. My god, you were wrong. This album is as bubblegum pop as it gets but its pop with a soul. It has real meaning and veritably plus the awesome catchiness of pop which is overall, what I find so appealing about this album.
Even with the first track you will be surprised, because it is a jammy instrumental with a hint of jazz. stp continued to surprise and impress me all throughout this album which is why the score is so high. They really took an evolutionary step in providing their their fans with good listening (even though a fraction of them actually bought this album compared to core and purple).
The lyrics are at times teeny poppy but also very depressing and they show the pain Scott Weiland (/god) was going through at this period. He really bared his soul in wonderful songs like adhesive and trippin on a hole in a paper heart to every fan. There are some very occasional throwaway lyrics but overall it seems very meaningful and nice. He gives beautiful melodies to the songs and sweetens them up for every rock fan.
The instruments here are covered with extreme prowess (even Scott wrote the music for tumble in the rough). The guitar lines are always beautiful and but a few of the songs retain the grungy overtone they gained in the first two albums (the guitars are often crunchy and tangy which i’m told is the trademark of dean de Leo). The baselines are extremely melodic and Robert has done a nice job of serving the songs.
I have some complaints about this album but they were very minor. The album could have done with more hardcore anger (like in the first two) than it does, and sometimes the pop side can be slightly overpowering.
The song by song quality here is easily better than the last two albums; nearly every song here displays more depth and catchiness than their predecessors. Also with songs like adhesive and seven caged tigers you know you have a classic album because the sheer melodic and emotional power of these songs is enough to carry the album.
Experimentation is important in every band and her stp has mastered it. They added a horn section to a few of the songs to add more feudality and flow. Also they have almost totally gotten rid of their grunge sound which made them popular.
The stone temple pilots have definitely grown on this album, their songs have become much better and there even beginning to get their own their own psychedelic pop sound. This album really gives them their own space in which to grow in, they are no longer owned by the grunge scene or alternative scene, now they are their very own band with their own sound and message. I was kind of disappointed to see them going a bit backwards with no.4 but that was still a great record.
If you have ever considered buying an stp album then maybe you should go for purple or core first but this album will take you into a new realm of stp, one that was unimaginable in the eyes of their critics
Overall I absolutely adore this album and it’s easily one of the best in my collection because without it, if wouldn’t have bought the other great stp albums.