Review: New Stone Temple Pilots Album Emotionally Deals With The Band’s Tragedies

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A day ahead of its released, Stone Temple Pilots’ self-titled comeback album has leaked, Has It Leaked reports. It is the band’s first album with third singer Jeff Gutt, and their first full length album since their last self-titled album in 2010 with Scott Weiland. The album comes after STP’s tragic last few years which saw the deaths of Scott Weiland and Chester Bennington.

Losing two singers in such a short period is really one of the biggest tragedies in rock history, to see STP come back with a new album with some really triumphant sounding songs is powerful especially on the first few listens. Scott and Chester’s spirits are definitely felt throughout the album.

The album kicks off with “Middle of Nowhere.” Jeff Gutt’s vocals here are very reminiscent of Scott Weiland’s Velvet Revolver vocals on tracks like “Sucker Train Blues” and “Let It Roll.” He totally nails it, it’s great to have a level of familiarity on the first song. Instrumentally the riff is classic DeLeos, with shades of Tiny Music, “Fast As I Can” off of the last self-titled STP album, and Talk Show’s “Hello Hello.”

“Guilty” features a great drum beat by Eric Kretz, this is definitely the most Zeppeliny song on the record instrumentally. Gutt again channels Weiland, and he does it in a way that doesn’t sound like he’s copying him, he’s staying true to the STP vocal sound. There are some similarities to material from High Rise here as well.

Everybody has heard “Meadow” by now, the album’s the lead single. I wasn’t initially blown away by this when it was released, it’s grown on me over time, and Gutt’s hooky melody is definitely the highlight of a song. While many had fears that STP working with another singer could possibly hurt new material and bring down the DeLeos’ music, he undoubtably elevates “Meadow.”

“Just a Little Lie” is by the numbers STP, featuring a sludgy riff, with some shades of “Sin” and “Hazy Daze.”

“Six Eight” is another heavy track like “Just A Little Lie” but it has a lot more energy, featuring one of Dean DeLeo’s best guitar solos on the album.

“Thought She’d Be Mine” is one of the poppiest songs on the album, and it may be the best track on Stone Temple Pilots (2018). It would feel right at home on Shangri La Dee Da. This definitely sounds like a future single, and with additional listens, it could become an essential STP song. For fans waiting for the DeLeos to bring back their more ethereal style of playing that was absent on 2010’s Stone Temple Pilots and High Rise, this will be right up your ally. There is an instrumental mid section and outro that really pushes STP into territory they have never gone before.

I’ve never really gotten into “Roll Me Under,” it leans too generic rock, though it seems like a fun live song. Especially after hearing “Thought She’d Be Mine” it’s crazy to think that STP released this as a single when there are several songs on here that totally blow it away.

“Never Enough” has a Doors “Roadhouse Blues” verse riff and vocal delivery, but the song gets a lot more interesting when it hits its dreamy chorus that gets Clash punky during its latter part.

“The Art of Letting Go” is another song in the vein of “Thought She’d Be Mine,” with the lush DeLeos sound that die hard fans love. It brings back memories of tracks like “Adhesive” and “And So I Know” off Tiny Music. The chorus is one of Gutt’s best moments on the album, and it’s hard not to think of Scott Weiland and Chester Bennington when listening to its lyrics. Robert DeLeo’s standout bassline on the album is on this track.

“Finest Hour” is a straight up tribute to Weiland and Bennington, with some of the album’s best lyrics. Its placement right after “The Art of Letting Go” is perfect. ‘You never said goodbye/you left a void that’s like no other/I know because it’s true.’ With STP being such a huge part of my life since I was a kid, this was definitely an emotional song to listen to due to the story it tells.

Jeff Gutt sings, ‘I won’t forget that smile/it was contagious like no other/I know because it’s true/I hold our precious time up to the sky I miss you brother/I hope you know it’s true.’

Gutt has some Layne Staley moments on “Good Shoes” which has an Aerosmithesque riff.

“Red & Blues” is a very laidback song. It definitely sounds like it will be a grower.

Overall this is a worthy addition to the STP catalog. It obviously is not STP with Scott Weiland, but it’s everything fans could hope for. Jeff Gutt is definitely the best singer the DeLeo brothers have worked with when it comes to fitting in with their songwriting. While Dave Coutts (Talk Show), Richard Patrick (Army of Anyone), and Chester Bennington (STP with Chester Bennington) were great singers, but Gutt has the best chemistry with them on a songwriting level they’ve had besides Weiland.

There are some truly emotional songs like “Thought She’d Be Mine,” “Finest Hour,” and “The Art of Letting Go” that are definitely the standouts on the album. There are also some fun rockers like “Middle of Nowhere,” “Guilty,” “Never Enough” and “Good Shoes.” Some tracks aren’t on the level of the standouts, but for a band that have been through everything STP has been through, this album is a home run.

  • Eddie Yarler

    Can’t wait to buy it Friday and hear bonus tracks.

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  • faith

    Impressions of a Stp fan (absolutely not an hater): after years I still think that using “Stp” brand is not a good choice and even worse using “Stp” as album title as the 2010’s album. Just personal opinion: they should have called it “Talk Show 2” or whatever. Anyway it’s true that the musicians in the band were the others and not Weiland but it’s also question of class…but in the end who has the right to judge? Only the three members of the band know what the situation was in the combo. And in the end it’s only rock and roll and life goes on and let the music do the talking…so welcome back, guys!

    • Anonymous501

      I always find that to be a tough argument. Lightning rarely strikes twice. It’s hard having one band form that can sell albums and tickets. It’s superhard doing it twice. The other STP members didn’t find much success using other names (Talk Show & Army of Anyone). They created STP as much as Scott. Sometimes I’m not into a replacement singer, but at the same time it seems unfair the rest of the band loses their careers because something went bad with the singer.

      I’ll give this new album a try…. not much else to listen to these days 🙂

      • faith

        I agree. You read my mind, man 🙂 I mean, as you wrote, “I’m not into a replacement singer but at the same time it seems unfair the rest of the band loses their careers because something went bad with singer”. It’s my opinion too. But in the past I didn’t like the ways the rest of the band went from a singer to another and another again… Anyway maybe they were pretty frustrated because they had a lot of musical ideas but couldn’t express them with singer’s bad situation. It always seemed to me that the DeLeo’s+Kretz were very focused on the profession of musician and composer and they would have product many more album if…
        For example just one year after “N.4”, they have already created material for a double album and then used it in part for “SHangri La La”. I also think that they could have waited one year more between “n.4” and “Shangri la la”…
        At the same time, as you said, Stp wouldn’t have become Stp without Scott so it’s a tough argument

    • Kay B

      Tiny Music is a fantastic album. They really showed their talents are very malleable in that one. One of the few albums I don’t have to skip through.

      • Raoul Duke

        In an interview, scott said tiny music was the album he was most proud of. Big Bang Baby

        • Kay B

          I could see him saying that. It is a masterpiece. That one and The Bends by Radiohead. In my opinion.

          • Raoul Duke

            Ohhh the bends. Just. Iron lung. Planet telex. Yea. That and OK computer changed my life/influence my guitar playing. 2 fav radiohead songs 1 Just. 2 Paranoid Android, the ending guitar solos to those songs listened to on 3 healthy doses of LSD will leave you needing a new pair of drawers. If your brain wore underwear that is, lol

          • Kay B

            The video for Just is great too.

  • rocketboy

    Kudos to DeLeos and Gutt,this album is overall pretty strong.Roll me under is worst song on the album,Art of letting go is just solid track,little bit generic,but other than that there is so much of creativity going here..Riffs,solos,melodies,arrangements,vocal delivery,just great…This album is far far superior than S/T(2010) and High rise..Pleasantly surprised.

    • faith

      Yes, I agree “Roll me under” is weak and I agree this album seems far superior than 2010’s and high rise. The problem with 2010’s album is that it seemed a collection of ideas not developed…something incomplete

      • Raoul Duke

        It’s quite obvious your not a musician… 2010 album, just the song “hazy daze” alone, one song, I’d take over this entire album, not to mention hickory dichotomy, fast as I can, bagman, peacoat, and every other song on that album pretty much

        • faith

          Ironic…it’s quite obvious you can not see the difference between a masterpiece album like “Tiny” and a good album like Stp 2010. Same old problem with people who likes King Animal at the same level of a masterpiece like Superunknown…

          • Raoul Duke

            No king animal is good, get lost in the superunknown, first you lose you mind and then….is epic. I agree. And I made a comment further down mentioning i read an interview where Scott was asked what stp album he thought was the “strongest”, and he commented he was most proud of tiny music… songs from the Vatican giftshop. Coincidence. So it seems we agree on ALOT of things. I just think “butterfly”, 2018 which I’ve been listening to for, about 2 weeks now in its entirety. Doesn’t hold a candle to 2010 “peace” album. Just the fact that there’s an stp without Scott is still baffling me so don’t be offended if my prior comment had a little hostility in it. Peace

          • faith

            I noticed this: there’s a lot of people that already thinks that the 2018 is better then 2010. Personally I hope so but I have to listen to the new one in its entire before a judge (infact I wrote that the last “seems” better, but let’s wait). I’ve tried so many times to love 2010 but I can’t…i bought the cd once and then sold and then bought it twice and thr sold again…Anyway I agree there are good tunes like hickory dickotomy and hazy daze. Peace

          • Raoul Duke

            Yea it was weird, I saw them live at crew stadium, Columbus oh, when they got back together but hadn’t released their 2010 album yet, and, well come on, when he goes back, pulls out the megaphone wearing that aviator hat he wore live and he started doin dead and Bloated, the crowd exploded. I never thought stp would get back together so just the memory gives me goose bumps, but seeing him twice with velvet revolver also was just, this isn’t just some singer, he is a “front man”, and when slash went back and came out wearing that top hat starting Mr brownstone, Scott owned that shit. Anyways the 2010 album did take alot longer to “grow” on me than any other, but once it did, Imo the only one it MIGHT, Be better than is No. 4. Which it’s not so, yea it is their “weakest” album with Scott, butt ill take that over their “strongest” album with jeff. Unless they release more albums and establish the chemistry they had with Scott live. I see Jeff as just a singer ya know, great. But no “front man”. Time will tell. Peace

          • faith

            Funny to see that you wrote me “it’s quite obvious you are not a musician”…and you such a huge fan of Scott that wasn’t exactly a musician (he couldn’t play instruments) but a talented and inspired guy like Jin Morrison and Ian Curtis. So we agree rock music is something more than just to be a good guitarist or have a nice voice

          • faith

            Ok, my dear Dr.Gonzo :-), after listening it 5-6 times, I can write to you my review of stp 2018. I agree with Brett Buchanan’s review: the “ballads” are definitely the standouts on the album. I’m not as enthusiastic about the rest of the album. I like “Meadow” but I think there are too many generic songs that sound like VR and I’m not a fan of that music. Best song “Thought she’d mine” has a fade out that reminds me “Atlanta”…I do not know whether to be happy or cry. Peace

          • Raoul Duke

            Dr. Gonzo. I like you… Nobody ever really catches that. Anyone who knows about hunter s. Thompson, and is a fan of his writing, well. Yea my favorite song so far, after about 25 thorough listens, would be 6 – 8, was “just a little lie”. So I’ve always liked their harder stuff like silvergun superman, lounge fly, one of my all time favorites by any band. Take No. 4 for example. Down. And. No way out. Are what I gravitate towards most on that album. But I also think “daisy” is one of the saddest, emotional, instrumentals ever written. Suffice to say I never skipped to the next song with stp like alot of people around me were doing, they just wanted to hear the radio hits. Any who. Let’s hope soundgarden doesn’t do something like this. Don’t know how much more bewilderment I can take after a tumultuous 2017. Happy Trails

          • faith

            I agree: Loung Fy it’s also one of my favourite by any band. Well, in Stp 2018 I can’t find nothing that does not even come close to that. But if you kill any expectation and think it’s another band…well, it’s a quite good rock album. So this is my updated Stp list: Tiny &Purple (9/10), Core (7.5/10) , N.4. (7/10), Shangrillala & Stp 2010 (6,5/10), Stp 2018 (6/10). Message to to anyone who says that Stp 2018 is at least 8/10: so you shoud give 17/10 o 18/10 to Tiny & Purple

    • Alternative Nation

      2010’s Self Title album >> this album. I like a lot of stuff on here as I wrote in the review, but the 2010 album had Maver (one of my favorite STP songs), Take a Load Off, Between The Lines, Dare if You Dare etc. Some of my favorite STP songs, and super catchy stuff like Cinnamon, Fast As I Can, and First Kiss On Mars. There’s some filler like Bagman but there was some really strong stuff on that record, despite the bullshit they had to go through making it. If Scott had actually been fully present on the album it could have been right up there with Purple and Tiny Music.

  • Niktus Acid

    Overall is a nice album… Gutt put some really nice effort here, his distinctive voice is sometimes so close to Scott that you wonder who is singing.

    But I feel that from ShangriLaDeeDa, STP as a band, is missing his ethereal musical landscapes, only Reds & Blues have it, at the very record’s end, so nice, so musical and so short. I miss that. Also, they have turned into a much more straight song rhytmic band, there is a lack of groove element that was really present on the old days. I miss that too… and of course, Brendan O Brien contributions.

    Good album, really nice job guys… but, get back those ethereal sitars and arpegios, those bossa novas, those black rhytmic grooves, Brendan O Briend onboard, and STP can really shine very close to the old days.

  • Billy

    First impressions: Most of these songs don’t reveal themselves in one listen. Good Shoes and Never Enough were immediate for me however. Meadow took 2 listens and now I absolutely love it.
    Since Gutt does such a good job handling the vocals, if I didn’t know who was different in the band I would have guessed they had a new drummer. Was listening to tons of STP leading up to this release and it just doesn’t sound like Kretz to me.

    I agree this album is much more straight forward, but I guess everyone kind of viewed this as an experiment. Now that they know they have someone who works well with them and can be long term, I’m sure they will relax and be more varied on future albums

  • Corndog

    How can they have two albums with the same name?

    • Eddie Yarler

      Zeppelin has four. Haha and Days of the New has three. Its one of those things where the fans just name it I guess. Most people i see are calling it Stone Temple Pilots II, or Stone Temple Pilots (2018). The really creative ones call the 2010 album Peace and this one Butterfly.

      • Raoul Duke

        Peace, and butterfly. Nice, that fits perfectly. Love the artwork on peace. The deluxe cd version has killer artwork. Haven’t bought butterfly yet so can’t comment on that artwork… Just pirate Bayed it to see if it was worth buying the hard copy as I still hate the idea of STP not knowing when to know enough is enough, STP died when weiland died, had they changed their name, even just a little like sublime did, now sublime with Rome. I’d of respected that ALOT more

    • Kay B

      The first one is a prelude. That is what they said anyway.

    • mike ratherson

      Weezer has 4 self-titled Albums. Peter Gabriel’s first 4 solo albums were titled “Peter Gabriel.” How can they have 4 albums with the same name? 😂 Great review btw.

  • Rich Bleicher

    I feel compelled to correct a glaring mistake in this review which I continue to see being made all over the media. He states “Losing two singers in such a short period is one of the biggest tragedies in rock history…”

    This is simply factually inaccurate. As much of a tragedy as it is what happened to Chester Bennington, he had officially left STP well before that happened. STP was well into their new singer search (if not already found him) by the time this tragic incident happened. So, to associate this as “another STP singer dying” is not true. The real and ONLY band who suffered a loss because of Chester was Linkin Park- NOT STP.

  • Michael Cunningham

    It is what it is.
    Gutt has a very strong voice, reminds me of Scott in VR, and the boys are just too damn talented not to play and record new music.
    I’ll enjoy the new stuff, think back fondly on the old and won’t compare the two.