Review Summary: The best way to describe Scott Weiland's debut solo album, 12 Bar Blues, would be Stone Temple Pilots' "Tiny Music...Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop" if it was given an acid bath. A great work of art, 12 Bar Blues deserves to be given a chance.
Going into this album, you can't really compare it in terms of quality to Stone Temple Pilots. It obviously doesn't match up to most of STP's catalog. That doesn't, however, mean that this is a bad album. In fact, it's a stellar album.
Perhaps the most emotional song on the album is "Barbarella" where Weiland pleads to be saved from his misery. Of course, the album was released at the peak of his drug addiction, so it's easy to hear his pain and sadness.
"Where's The Man" finds Weiland trying to regain control ("As I get behind the wheel again"), while "About Nothing" samples different guitar loops and makes for a relatively upbeat tune.
More drug induced songs include "Cool Kiss" and "The Date". The former wouldn't be out of place at some sort of rave, while the latter displays a vulnerable Weiland telling the story about his estranged relationship from his then-wife. The climax of the song features Weiland screaming, "Oh, how I love you," over and over.
"Lady, Your Roof Brings Me Down" is a medieval affair featuring Sheryl Crow on the accordion. The vibe quickly changes in the chorus, which adapts to a more 1950's style groove. Following "Lady..." is a new version of "Mockingbird Girl" which features a bit of a fun, summer vibe. One of the better choruses on the album, Weiland sings, "Hey, hey rocketboy/Gotta lotta light behind ya/Hey, hey mockingbird girl/Gotta fly don't let him hold you".
According to Weiland himself, the lyrics to "Opposite Octave Reaction" have no particular meaning, but is still a good rocker to close out the album. The song's highlight is the bridge Weiland's distorted screams ("She always gets me/Goin' yeah").
The overall product is a masterpiece in it's own right. While not comparable in terms of quality to Weiland's other projects (STP, Velvet Revolver, etc), it does have a bit of a "Tiny Music..." vibe to it. Go into this album with an open mind and enjoy.