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They’re not standing around the watercooler, but Cheryl Sadler, Mark Meszoros, Mark Podolski and Nicole Franz are talking about what they’ve been watching, listening to and playing during their free time.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Stone Temple Pilots: Self-titled

By Nick Carrabine

It’s been nine years since Stone Temple Pilots have released an album, seven years since they broke up and two years since they reformed.

When I was growing up, STP was my favorite band around. Purple and Tiny Music... Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop were two of my favorite albums as a kid and the tracks — "Creep" and "Atlanta" — are two of my favorite songs of all time.

The band started to crumble with subpar releases, No. 4 and the truly awful, Shangri-La Dee Da until finally hating one another enough to break-up in 2003.

From there Scott Weiland formed Velvet Revolver with former Guns N’ Roses members, had some quick success, until that finally came to a screeching halt in 2008, leading Weiland to then regroup with STP.

Weiland hasn’t always been the ideal front man. Obviously, he is a talented singer/song-writer as STP has released some of the biggest hits in the past 20 years, but he was never one to lay off the drugs. And a lot of drugs he did.

When the band announced they were reuniting in early 2008, I was pretty ecstatic. As time passed and no new music was being released throughout the past 18 months, I kind of lost some of that excitement and upon hearing the new album I had mixed emotions.

I originally started writing this review days ago, but put it on the back burner and am glad that I did.

At first listen, I thought the first half of the album was significantly better than the second half. Now, that I’ve listened to it straight through about two dozen times the second half is nearly catching up with the first.

Without a doubt, this is a good album. However, I’m not sure I can say it is great. I can say with full confidence it is better than No. 4 and Shangri-La Dee Da.

There is less experimentation on this album as it is a more straight-forward pop-rock album and doesn’t stray far from the formula that made STP one of the biggest bands in the world in the mid-90s.

Having all that said, when you’re releasing your first album in almost a decade, there are going to be expectations no matter what your last record sounded like. And at this point, it’s probably next to impossible to please everyone’s high expectations.

However the above statement may not be fair either, because if they had released this album two years after Shangri-La Dee Da, it would have came out with low expectations and blown everyone away.

Whatever expectations anyone had for the album, the band has redeemed themselves from their past two efforts, made themselves relevant again and added an impressive record to their already storied career.

"Between the lines" music video

"Huckleberry Crumble"

"Dare if you dare"



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