Tiny Music... Songs From The Vatican Gift Shop review by Stone Temple Pilots

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  • Released: Mar 26, 1996
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.5 (20 votes)
Stone Temple Pilots: Tiny Music... Songs From The Vatican Gift Shop

Sound — 9
Dean once said in an interview session on their website, that Tiny Music Songs from the Vatican Giftshop, was recorded on a property basically out in the middle of nowhere with acres of expanse and that it was probably the best time in their lives (and that it was a shame Scott didn't get to enjoy it as much as they did). And you can certainly tell that the band seems very well glued together, turning jazz chords, mellow bass, controlled drumming and a mix of Purple/No.4/Shangri-la dee da voice from Scott. I was never really fond of this album until I learnt that Dean used various Jazz chord formations, and in general that the entire band worked effortlessly to get rid of the grunge stamp using different instruments. This album has a great atmosphere and for a hard rock/jazz enthusiast like myself it's a perfect match. Come to think of it. STP and myself are always a perfect match, musically speaking.

Lyrics — 9
Scott always does a wonderful job. Core: Scott was Growly and the lyrics were dark yet introspective, Purple: Scott still growled but contained it more with a deeper set of lyrics which makes sense along with the experimentation the band used on Purple. Tiny Music had STP fans feel as though that trademark growl from the core era would never resurface again. Although it is apparent here and there in tunes such as "Adhesive", "Big Bang Baby", "Pop's Love Suicide", "Tripping On A Hole In A Paper heart" and so on, it's more gravelly but it totally works for the album and that's all that matters. Many of lyrics for Tiny Music revolve around Scott's new interest at the time as we all know. They(the lyrics) are strange and as a person who has never done drugs, you can still sort of relate to them in a wierd way. Either that or Scott translates his problems and feelings so well that you create your own story from the melange of words, which is the great part of this CD.

Overall Impression — 10
01.Press Play: excellent little instrumental. Very Loungey.
02.Pop's Love Suicide: groovy verse and Scott's gravely vocals. Dean's chord proggression's sort of mimic Big Bang Baby. Very good solo.
03.Tumble In The Rough: a fast paced tune. Fuzzy guitars and brilliant snare and hi hat hit's from Eric during the chorus.
04.Big Bang Baby: it's hard to say which song is the heaviest on this album but this is a bit more fuzzy. Dean shifts effortlessly between chords, Robert thumps his way along, Eric keeps a groovy delicious beat and Scott works his vocals to his very best.
05.Lady Pitcure Show: the first song to have Scott croon as he has done on recent albums. It may evoke the sound of the Beatles but it's certainly jazzy to an experienced ear.
06.And So I Know: I appologise for saying that is album is jazz oriented, but this takes them all as the second most jazziest song. The guys really create a super melodic landscape on this one, especially Dean's solo which could fit on a smooth jazz record.
07.Trippin' On A Hole In A Paper Heart: the rocker of the album. This could certainly fit on Purple. Not as creative as the others in my opinion.
08.Art School Girlfriend: this is probably the weakest track of the bunch. The intro/verse is good then the "chorus" turns into a mess. The only decent part is the bridge with the shimmering guitar riffs.
09.Adhesive: My favorite Track on the album. You didn't have to guess why because the answer is smooth jazz. The trumpet via Dave Ferguson really adds atomsphere and for a smooth jazz guitar player, this is a slice of musical heaven.
10.Ride The Cliche: a bouncey rocker. The riffs are excellent and maybe this qualifies as the album's heaviest song? A close second I say. Good rhythm changes here too.
11.Daisy: I prefer this short lovely instrumental over "Press Play" as it has a roots and again jazz influence in it. Although I believe this should have closed the album.
12.Seven Caged Tigers: my second favorite. This one is probably tied with "Tripping on... " as the heaviest song. Lots of little chord changes and riffs via the Deleo brothers.

All in all this album really can be enjoyed by Hard Rock lovers and I'll even go as far and say some Smooth Jazz lovers too.(Don't hold that against me though! ) A superb album which deserves more credit that was given. Now... Where's my guitar...

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