x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 29 July 2017

Scott Weiland: Happy in Galoshes

Scott Weiland clearly has an ear for pop. But the impression you are left with is of someone still searching for his own voice.

Scott Weiland... Where is his own voice?
Scott Weiland... Where is his own voice?


Scott Weiland, the former frontman of Stone Temple Pilots, has spent most of the past 15 years tied up with a troubled personal life that has pretty much overshadowed his career, involving the usual rock star excesses, tempestuous band relationships, numerous arrests and time in jail. Since the beginning of 2007 alone he has separated from his second wife, been arrested again, lost his younger brother and seen Velvet Revolver, the band he has been fronting with former members of Guns N' Roses, split. Not surprising after all that he decided to put "happy" into inverted commas in the title of his first solo album since 1998's left-field 12-Bar Blues. But the album turns out not to be the self-pitying dirge that it could well have been, getting off to a very good start with the high-energy guitar driven Missing Cleveland. It sounds quite a bit like an offcut from Weezer's Green Album, and that's the curious thing about Happy; at least half of the songs sound like they're looking for a home with another band. Tangle With Your Mind has a guitar hook that irresistibly calls to mind the Red Hot Chili Peppers on Californication. The chorus of She Sold Her System is vaguely reminiscent of Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb. Fame, the strangest of all, sounds like Prince doing a cover of a Talking Heads song. There is some good stuff here and Weiland clearly has an ear for pop, but it doesn't really add up to a satisfying whole. The impression you are left with is of someone still searching for his own voice.
estimson@thenational.ae