Saturday, November 22, 2008

Album Review: Scott Weiland - Happy in Galoshes

I have to admit it - I'm a Scott Weiland homer. Growing up in the 80s and 90s I was a huge STP fan. I enjoyed his 1998 solo album 12 Bar Blues. Instead of making music similar to the alternative rock sound of STP the album offered a variety of tempo, sound and instrumentation. Much of this can be attributed to the producer Blair Lamb, but as co-producer and artist I admired Weiland's work.

STP went on hiatus and Weiland joined Velvet Revolver. I will be blunt - I hated their music. Stripped creativity and testosterone rock is how I would describe their music. I believe that Velvet Revolver was more of a project to assemble rock legends for money than to create true music.

With this in mind I was cautious but hopeful when I learned that Weiland would be releasing another solo album. I couldn't help but get excited when I received my copy. I was longing for a trip down memory lane enjoying what made 12 Bar Blues so good.

Disappointment. Happy in Galoshes simply sucks. While listening to the album I couldn't help but feel sorry for Weiland. Had the years of hard drugs and Velvet Revolver stripped Weiland of talent?

Vocals - 60%

If there was one thing Weiland could contribute to his solo project it would be his vocals. Unfortunately, this is the worst part of the album. Known for the raw energy and emotion in his voice, Weiland sounds like a washed-up Brian Wilson.

Instrumentation - 70%

I hate the music. I only give it 70% because I assume there are some that like a harder beat and heavy guitars.

Creativity - 40%
I have no idea what the inspiration was behind Happy in Galoshes. Was Weiland trying to make a Velvet Revolver album without the band? I'm sad to say that as bad as Velvet Revolver was, the creativity on Weiland's solo album is worse.

Melody - 80%

There are some catchy melodies in this album. But when the music is crappy do you really wont those melodies in your head?

Overall - 62.5%

I can sum up this album by recommending that Scott Weiland focus on STP's music for the rest of his career. That is, if he is still even good enough for them.




35 comments:

Anonymous said...

Granted, Golashes is not as good as 12 bar blues. 12 bar blues has an adventurous sense of urgency that gives a cohesiveness to the album that is missing from this album. The production on 12 bar is also superior, with the vocals more up front than in Golashes. That having been said, Golashes is not a throw-away album deserving of an F. Minus the poorer tracks on the album (Fame most notable among them) it is a reasonably enjoyable listen. There are a few standout tracks which really should be mentioned here. "Killing Me Sweetly," "Crash," "Hyper-Fuzz-Funny-Car," and "Beautiful Day."

Vocals: 85. A few lacklustre moments, but overall, Weiland's vocals hit the spot. In "Killing Me Sweetly," Weiland gives one of his most beautiful vocal performances to date. Very simple but effective. I suppose that if you only appreciate the louder, throatier side of Weiland's vocals, or his more angst-riddent fair, this album will be a dissapointment. But his clear/undistorted vocals, particularly in the high register, are nowhere better developed than on this album. A major problem with the vocals, however, is that they are sometimes (frustratingly) hidden in the mix.

Instrumentation: 70. Hit or miss. Some of the songs are well-composed, whereas others are not. "Beautiful day," "Hyper-Fuzz-Funny-Car," "Pictures and Computers," and, again, "Killing Me Sweetly" are well-composed. Some of the other tracks, however, fall into predictable patterns of composition and are musically rather forgetable. On some of these tracks (Tangle With Your Mind, Missing Cleveland), it is really Weiland's vocals that save the day.

Creativity: 70. Again, hit or miss. "The Man I Didn't Know," "Missing in Cleveland," and "Blister on My Soul" are either lacking in creativity or formulaic versions of their respective genres. "Fame," and "Reel Around the Fountain" are covers. In the songs I listed favorably in the "Instrumentality" section, there is some notable creativity.

Melody: 90. There is no shortage of memorable melodies on this album. Weiland lends life to some of the more musically mediocre tracks on the album with his melodic gifts.

Overall: 78.75. The album is a mixed bag. Some songs (like "Fame:" F-) should be skipped; others (like "Tangle With Your Mind:" C) are ok or mediocre, and still others (like "Killing Me Sweetly:" A)are excellent. What is clear from listening to the album is that Weiland's vocals/melodies, where they are not hidden by bad production, are the saving grace of the album.

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