Review Summary: Stone Temple Pilots poppiest effort. And can probably be considered their most underrated album to date.
One day, I was looking around a local buy, sell and trade used cd store. When I noticed a lower shelf underneath the upper shelves. That had an assortment of albums on there. I have never noticed this bottom layer, as it was practically on the floor. Anyways my natural instinct was to of course, start pondering through the cd's. As I was doing my pondering, one album really caught my attention. It was Stone Temple Pilots "Tiny Music...Song For The Vatican..." I picked it up, bought it, and went home and popped it in the disc changer right away. I only paid $3.99 for this album, and I feel like I stole it.
I have to interrupt this story to tell you the Stone Temple Pilots line-up:
Scott Weiland - Vocals
Robert DeLeo - Bass
Dean Deleo - Guitar
Eric Kretz - Drums
Alright, so I came home that day with my new Stone Temple Pilots album. The cover of this album already made me wonder if its going to be anything like Stone Temple Pilots other albums (Core, Purple ect.) It just seemed a bit...of an odd album cover if you will. Especially compared to the others.
So I popped the disc in and immediately I start listening to some kind of porn/elevator musical song. At first I thought it was a bit of an odd way to start any album off with this kind of song. But after listening to this album a few more times, I learned that this opener, goes by the name of "Press Play," Actually fits the mood of the album pretty good.
So following shortly after came the song "Pop's Love Suicide." Not only did the cover seem different, but so does the music. As this album can obviously be Stone Temple Pilots most poppish effort. Most bands, when trying to make a poppish album, usually hits bottom hard. Buts thats a bit different for the terms of "Tiny Music....Songs From The Vatican." "Pop's Love Suicide," is a good example of why that effort is not a failure. It has all the normal aspects of Stone Temple Pilots band and then some. The same can be said about pretty much every track on this album.
So I guess what I'm trying to say is that, unlike Stone Temple Pilots other albums, this album, instead of the hard riffing guitar from Dean Deleo, the guitar is a bit tuned down. You can still hear the bass, but not as much as what you usually can. For examples on that reflect back to their "Thank You" album. Where most of their hits have noticable and very catchy bass lines here and there. Here on "Tiny Music....Songs From The Vatican" the bass is just there backing the guitar up. What really caught me off guard was how Scott Weiland pulled this albums sound off so well. His vocals can pretty much be considered distinct. And kind of faded every once in a while. With a quick listen, I wouldn't of even been able to tell this was Scott Weiland singing. Hell if I didnt know any better I wouldn't of been able to tell that this is Stone Temple Pilots. All of these facts and descriptions of this album are far from negative ones. I almost wish that they would have made every single one of their albums like this one.
Back to the tracks alone, after "Pop's Love Suicide" pretty much giving you a good sign of what this album is going to be like. Follows the harder riffs, and deeper vocals of "Tumple In The Rough." Still very poppy, and every once in a while Dean Deleo will give you a slide of the guitar, as if he's just having fun playing it. This is a good song and stands worthy to follow after the strong "Pop's Love Suicide." If your not drugged by the rapture of this album yet, then you might as well turn off your cd player and walk away. Because it honestly won't get any harder than these two tracks. Moving onto #4 track "Big Bang Baby," very catchy vocals by Scott. As he sings as if there's no worry in the world. If you listen close enough to this song you'll here some clapping in the background of this song, to help set the mood of it. I didnt notice how happy-feeling this album actually is with my first listen, to be honest, the day I took this home, I was very entertained. But I had to listen to it a couple more times to truely respect it for what it is. "Big Bang Baby" is sure to be a song stuck in your head after listening.
Now for the song that goes by the name of "Lady Picture Show." There is pretty much a "Wonder Years" feeling that plays with this song. It's a very calm mood with Scott's mellow vocals, that you've probably never heard from him before, from any other albums. Something that I couldn't help to notice, was the lyrics to this album. They are very simple, but not simple enough to be accused as being cheesy. Hands down, this is not Stone Temple Pilots best lyrical effort. But the lyrics do do a good job of fitting the mood of the music in which they are abiding with. "Lady Picture Show" was a good song to bring up the lyrics with, because of how simple they are. Here's my example, at the very beginning of the track, Scott sings "Lady picture show, she hides behind the bedroom door." "Lady picture show she hides behind the bedroom wall." Like I said, its very simple, but what do I know" There's probably a deep meaning behind it.
The next track "And So I know" will probably be the main slow song off of this album, if you want to see how slow Stone Temple Pilots can actually get, check this song out. It kind of reflects back to the first song "Press Play." with its porno/elevator music anthem. I wouldn't consider this my choice track, but it does fit the mood of the album quite well. To wake you up a bit, follows the up-beat song "Trippen' On A Hole In A Paper Heart." This is where Scott's vocals are at its best for the album. And if your wondering if you've ever heard a track off of this album, this track will probably be the track you've heard. There's a nice solo in the middle of this song from Dean, but only lasts a dissapointing 8 seconds. This album is like riding a roller-coaster, following very shortly after comes the song "Art School Girl." Which mellows down the pace of the album once again. "Art School Girl" for some reason will have to be my favorite track off of this album. Its truly simple, and I bet if someone tried to learn how to play this song, it wouldn't take them very long. What attracts me to this track is because of how damn catchy it is, with its sing-a-long chorus. And after every sing-a-long part, the bands has an outburst and plays as if they are all the sudden in a heavy metal band. Hitting power-chords and just going as crazy as possible. Just a very unique but entertaining as hell track.
Now for track #9 is the track "Adhesive." Just a very simple track, but its probably the longest playing track, lasting an still somewhat short 5:30. Scott's vocals in "Adhesive" are probably the closest his vocals will get to anything sung off of Core or Point #4. Mellow once again, and I'm not saying this in a bad way, but probably a good song to have your girlfriend listen to if you want her to try to get into Stone Temple Pilots. There is actually a trumpet played in this track by Dave Ferguson. So don't let that throw you off guard when you hear it. Although this song seemed sappy and bland to me when I brought it home the day I bought it, but after listening and growing, this is a highlight of the album.
Skipping onto the track called "Daisy." This is another lyric and vocal-less song, that consists of Robert strumming on the guitar in an old country-western style fashion. This track is almost like a bid-farewell, but not without the closing track "Seven Caged Tigers." Which is a tad more up-beat when compared to earlier song, but Scott's vocals won't let it get too up-beat. A great track to end this album off with, and just screams "Listen to me again!" With it being so catchy.
This album doesn't even have to be considered an album for any hardcore Stone Temple Pilot fan. Even if your not a fan of Stone Temple Pilots, chances are is that you will really enjoy the mood of this album. I would give a recommended tracks list, but I recommend every track off of this, and it's close to a classic rock album in my book, despite the poppy influence it carry's along with it. It's a shame the Stone Temple Pilots didnt always sound like this, but thats my opinion, go out and buy it and tell me what you think.