Scott Weiland's addictions were well documented and were often blamed for the disintegration of Stone Temple Pilots. Frustrated with his constant relapses, the remaining Pilots formed Talk Show, whose debut album rocked hard but lacked the style and melody of prime STP. Instead of reviving the Magnificent Bastards, Weiland decided to record a solo album with producer Daniel Lanois. The teaming was unexpected but inspired -- 12 Bar Blues is an unpredictable, carnivalesque record confirming that Weiland was the visionary behind STP's sound. He's fascinated by sound, piling on layers of shredded guitars, drum loops, and keyboards, making sure that each song sounds drastically different from its predecessor. Throughout it all, a few things remain the same -- the music is rooted in glam rock, filtered through psychedelia and trip-hop, and dressed in immediate, catchy hooks and melodies. At its best, 12 Bar Blues makes a case for Weiland's talents as a songwriter and musician. At times his lyrics can be awkward, and occasionally the music collapses under its own weight, but the very best moments -- the swirling "Desperation #5," the glitter-crunch of "About Nothing," the mock-Tom Waits march "Lady, Your Roof Brings Me Down," the hook-laden "Mockingbird Girl," the stomping "Jimmy Was a Stimulator" -- are exciting modern hard rock songs propelled by hooks, attitude, and style.
12 Bar Blues Review
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine