Grunge was the Stone Temple Pilots' stock-in-trade on their first two albums, but Tiny Music takes the group beyond such stylistic limitations. There's still plenty of grinding, metallic alt-rock here, thanks to "Pop's Lov... more »e Suicide," "Big Bang Baby," and "Trippin' on a Hole in a Paper Heart." "Lady Picture Show" is a bracing blast of Beatlesesque pop, however, while "And So I Know" finds Weiland crooning over, of all things, cocktail jazz. The album's dozen tracks find the troubled singer musing (rather creepily) about the price of fame on "Adhesive" ("Sell more records if I'm dead... Hope it's sooner / Hope it's near corporate records' fiscal year"), and not apologizing for his bad behavior ("Tumble in the Rough" asserts, "I'm looking for a new stimulation"; bet you are, Scott). But they're rock stars, not role models, and Tiny Music is STP's edgiest, most accomplished effort. --Daniel Durchholz« less
Grunge was the Stone Temple Pilots' stock-in-trade on their first two albums, but Tiny Music takes the group beyond such stylistic limitations. There's still plenty of grinding, metallic alt-rock here, thanks to "Pop's Love Suicide," "Big Bang Baby," and "Trippin' on a Hole in a Paper Heart." "Lady Picture Show" is a bracing blast of Beatlesesque pop, however, while "And So I Know" finds Weiland crooning over, of all things, cocktail jazz. The album's dozen tracks find the troubled singer musing (rather creepily) about the price of fame on "Adhesive" ("Sell more records if I'm dead... Hope it's sooner / Hope it's near corporate records' fiscal year"), and not apologizing for his bad behavior ("Tumble in the Rough" asserts, "I'm looking for a new stimulation"; bet you are, Scott). But they're rock stars, not role models, and Tiny Music is STP's edgiest, most accomplished effort. --Daniel Durchholz
Jerry B. from LOS ANGELES, CA Reviewed on 11/21/2015...
Along with "Purple", this is STP's last great batch of catchy loud pop songs, and represents one of the seminal non-Nirvanva grunge albums of the late 90's.
Seth D. (4wallz) from SPARTA, TN Reviewed on 2/23/2012...
It seems that bands reach a dangerous ground once they start working on their third album. Either they can stick with their tried and true formula that has been working for the previous records, or switch it up and try to grow as a band. With option 1 they risk being decried as a one trick pony. With option 2 they risk alienating their original fan base. So in some ways it is a loose - loose situation.
From the outside looking in, it seems STP had this ahead of them with Tiny Music... They had made two straight up grungy rock records. What would they do for number three? Happily for us music fans, they decided to try something new. And it sounds great. It still sounds like the Pilots, but it also sounds like a natural progression for them as well. The heavy riffs are still there (Tripping on a Hole in a Paper Heart), but now pop licks are added (Big Bang Baby), more soft thoughtful rock (Lady Picture Show), and even some weirdly compelling jazzy tunes (And So I know)! And guess what? It works.
I remember when this first came out I was in a local record store, and the owner tried to convince me that The Verve Pipe's new cd was going to be a better buy for me than STP's new one. I choose that one then, and bought Verve Pipe's later. Guess which tunes grace my ipod today?
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
STP find their own sound with album #3
Daniel Maltzman | Arlington, MA, USA | 04/27/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Stone Temple Pilots proved that they were no one-hit-wonder or Pearl Jam clones with their classic second album "Purple." It was with their third album, however, that the band reinvented themselves and found their own sound. The DeLeo brothers still had their signature killer hooks and riffs, but "Tiny Music" is noticeably more eclectic than its predecessors. "Tiny Music...Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop" mixes alternative rock and grunge with Bowie-like 70s retro glam, pop, and Beatles-ish harmonies and melodies to create a terrific album.
One thing that strikes the listener is that lead singer Scott Weiland sounds notably different on "Tiny Music" than he did on its predecessors. The baritone growl of "Core" and "Purple" has been replaced by a much higher pitched, more melodic voice. Not that one is better than the other, it's just different.
"Press Play" an instrumental sets the mood for the album. The album starts out strong with poppy grunge "Pop Loves Suicide." The similarly poppy grunge "Tumble in the Rough" keeps up the momentum and could have easily have been made a single. The glammy "Big Bang Baby" was one of the album's biggest hits and remains one of the band finest, catchiest songs. "Lady Picture Show" shows the band paying homage to "Sgt. Pepper" era Beatles and was another hit off the album. The soft and melodic "And So I Know" is an interesting break and sets the album up for its other centerpiece "Trippin' on a Hole in a Paper Heart," a defiant, no-holds-bar rocker that is another one of the bands finest, most memorable songs. The avant-garde "Art School Girl" shows the band branching out and exploring new terrain. Although the songs lyrics make no sense, it's still an interesting listen. The leisurely, morose "Adhesive" is a welcome change of pace. Its cool saxophone solos are a nice touch to the song, and to the album overall. The album winds down with the subdued "Ride the Cliché," "Daisy" (instrumental) and "Seven Caged Tigers."
"Tiny Music...Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop" is an eclectic, invigorating album that combines many styles in a melting pot and never looses momentum. Although this album is adventures, the mix of styles and genres works together perfectly. "Tiny Music" is undoubtedly one of the finest rock albums from the 1990s.
An underrated and diverse effort from STP
howzat | 01/13/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Tiny Music...Songs From The Vatican Gift Shop (1996.), the Stone Temple Pilots' third studio album
The 1990's was an age of great success for alternative rock bands. The Stone Temple Pilots were one band which had such success and achieved great fame with their first two releases, 1992's 'Core' and 1994's 'Purple'. Both albums, with pretty much a grunge styled angle to them sold phenominally well. No doubt about it, early on the band did a lot of borrowing from their peers, such as Pearl Jam but the band ultimately found their sound with their masterpiece 'Purple'. However, like many a band before them and after them, following up a legendary album is no easy task, to put it lightly. So, when 1996 rolled around, so came STP's newly anticipated release. So what did it have in store for the fans?
'Tiny Music' without doubt shows a much more developed band putting out some pretty diverse music. Even though this is not my favourite STP album, as that honour will always go to 'Purple', it is definitely a creative peak for the band. STP, with 'Tiny Music' finally assured the world they were no one album wonders and could develop like other great bands. They also were able to totally shake off the 'grunge copycat' tag fully with this album - afterall, just look at the difference between STP and Pearl Jam's music in 1996. Like other reviewers have pointed out too, PJ's 1996 masterpiece 'No Code' is a mile away from 'Tiny Music'. Both are diverse efforts but show two bands who once sounded similar moving in completely different directions. STP try out all sorts of different styles in this 12 track outing. The work comes fully equipped with rocking tunes, country styled instumentals, bossanovas and even a bit of jazz fusion! Some songs work better than others but there are no poor tracks on this work; it's great. In fact, my only real complaint, a similar one I have of which with the band's next album 'No.4', is that there isn't enough of this great music. At 41 minutes the albums run time does fall on the short side. However, these complaints aside, you have to give the band enormous credit for breaking their original mold and developing. Individually, the 4 members are playing on top form. Scott Weiland gives plenty of moody but energetic performances, showing his development as a vocalist and the deLeo brothers faultlessly tackle different guitar/bass styles on the work. 'Tiny Music' is an album full of surprises; I just wish it had the god damn tracklisting printed on the CD back (a problem found also with 'Purple').
So, what about the 12 songs on this album? 'Press Play' is a clever and interesting start. The opener is a 1 minute fade in of sorts, with a quirky, funky synthesizer part driving the song. It sounds more like a song you'd hear being played in a hotel reception! Next though, the album full begins to mean business with 'Pop's Love Suicide'. This a catchy rock song with the classic STP riff sound to it. Similarly, 'Tumble In The Rough' keeps the album rocking. A stunted guitar start builds into another song with a catchy riff to it; more good vocals from Weiland on this one. 'Big Bang Baby' was the big hit off the album and it's not hard to see why. It's catchy rolling riff with 'Nothing for free' chorus makes this one a winner. Scott Weiland's gravelly vocals coupled with some almost glam styled guitar work are a great combination on this song. Things then slow down for the more balladic 'Lady Picture Show' where Weiland gives a more controlled vocal performance over some great riffs and funky chorus. Then, 'And So I Know' follows. A refreshingly surprising track - the song has an almost jazzy/bossanova beat. It's a great song and is awesome to relax to with it's gentle and light feel.
'Tripping On A Hole' then picks up the pace of the album again. Snarling guitars, call and response vocals and another catchy chorus makes this song a solid effort. Then follows for me what is the best track on the album in 'Art School Girl'. A great guitar riff with a cool beat and bassline gives the song a superb start. The sudden turn of aggression in the choruses of the song is a clever change. Then, we have the slow but epic 'Adhesive'. Scott Weiland get's reflective and looks at fame on this song. The grand guitar chords and chorus and the jazz saxophone interlude makes this song a real diverse work. 'Ride The Cliche' is a return to more melodic rock and classic STP trademark music. But...just to throw you, a slow country styled instrumental in 'Daisy' follows. Again a great track to chill out to with plenty of slide guitar. 'Seven Caged Tigers' then provides the finishing track to the album and what an awesome closing song it is. More catchy guitar riffs, especially in the chorus and another deep, inspired vocal performance from Weiland feature in this song. The oriental sounding fade out at the end of the track marks an interesting end to an interesting but very well executed album.
STP are no joke. Beyond the attacks they sometimes get for being grunge 'rip offs' in their really early work lies a band which produced more than their fair share of original music during their time. 'Tiny Music...', STP's most diverse work, is proof of this. It's just a shame that this is perhaps the band's most underrated work in their catalogue. Any fan of alternative 90's rock should pick up this album or any music fan in general in all truth. This catchy, likable work is full of surprises and shouldn't disappoint.
MY RATING: 8.5/10"
Can't you figure out what I want?
Crow Winters | Detroit, MI | 12/02/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Every once in a long while, there comes an album from a band whose in limbo between the unique and the contrivted, that is so itself, so daring, and so challenging that it will, undoubtbly, alienate as many listeners as it does garner them. The band, and album, in refernce here is "Tiny Music..." by Stone Temple Pilots.When Stone Temple Pilots first penetrated the mainstream media with thier sweat drenched grunge rock hits like "Dead and Bloated" and "Sex Type Thing", they gained a lot of attention and hype: much of it, unwelcomed comparisions to Peral Jam. While they may not have been the "Peral Jam v. 2.0." people made them out to be, the comparisions were still there, and to a certain degree, it would inevitably hurt them if they so choose to branch out of thier preconcieved mold. A risky manuver, to break free of the mold people have cast you in, but STP did it flawlessly.The CD opens up subtley enough. "Press Play" is a short, jazzy insturmental melody that slowly seeps in and out, provideing more of a prelude to the CD then anything else. "Pop's Love Suicide" is where the CD actually begins; A powerful alt-rocker that features Scott Weildan providing silky vocals and tounge in cheek, albeit very serious lyrics of various things that may drive one to suicide. ("Can't you figure out what I want?" are the first things Scott says on this entire album, and nothing could be more apporiate.)Right off the bat, the listener notices a couple of very unique things- first off, the quality of the recording is purposely ever-so-slightly under done. Wether it was recorded in lower quality or if it was recorded in normal quality and then reduced, it is apparent. This creates an atomsphere very, very different from any other Stone Temple Pilots release to date. The most powerful affect it has is on Scott's vocals, which is the next readily apparent attarction (or detraction)- he, more so then ever, simply let's himself go in his songs, and thus, creates a persona that is completly unlike anything ever heard in STP recording and the music business in general. The vocals on this album shoot down any and all comparisions to Peral Jam, period. The last, and possibily most important difference, is the musical complexity of the album. STP is found expirmenting with pick slides, keyboards, echos, megaphones, quality recording, off-time beats, unique haromnies, falesettos, and surprising genres. (As if to completly throw off anyone in a five mile radius, the popular radio rocked "Big Bang Baby" is followed by a coffee house jazz routine, "And So I Know". The result is marvelous.)For those familar with the STP sound, you aren't completly lost- grunge still has it's profound impact on the band, only now, STP is twisting it and contorting it into something they can completly call thier own. Pop's Love Suicide, Tumble in the Rough, Big Bang Baby, and Tripping on a Hole in a Paper Heart are all prime examples of this. They still have ever drop of ability to write in your face rock songs that they always have, only now, it's heightened by a creative intregetiy that was lost in previous albums.Scott's lyrics, as they always tend to be, are a mess of emotional baggage and inner questions. Scott, as eccentric and confusing he tries to make himself appear on stage, reveals himself as more of a human then I've heard most rockers admit to being in thier lyrics. Scott expirments with falesettos a lot on this album, and his voice is more soulful then ever.If there is any single complaint I can give to this album, it's that I don't.. quite understand why Seven Caged Tigers is the last track. It feels unconclusive, even in it's trailing off echos and ambient noises. This is entirely subjective, however.As both a music fan and a music critic, I feel this is one of the strongest examples of creativy I've heard in a while, partially because of what is done on here, and partially because of what it didn't do that the band did on previous albums. If your willing to open yourself up, so is STP to you."
Beautiful Statement From An Exceptional Band
CJ Carter | Decatur, AL USA | 02/27/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In my opinion STP's third career offering is nothing short of a masterpiece. The music is surreal, each chord and note touching your very essence. On this album, despite battling his own personal demons, Scott Weiland, I believe, writes some of his most memorable and thought provoking lyrics, all the while showcasing the many different facets of his awesome voice. No doubt when it's all said and done he will go down as one of the best singers/frontmen that rock has ever known. Kretz and the Brothers DeLeo show once again that they are much more than just a one-dimensional alt. grunge band with songs derivative of Pearl Jam. The band grinds out their most melodic, free spirited tunes on this energetic opus that shouldn't be taken for granted by those who are only used to STP'S "Core" and "Purple" eras. There are some absolute killer little 'ditties' on this gem. "Big Bang Baby", "And So I Know", Trippin' On A Hole in A Paper Heart" are just a few of my favorites. Quite simply,the package as a whole sounds completely fresh and inspired and will no doubt leave the average STP fan happy. Listening to this album only makes me long that these guys were still making kick-a music together, and so, I am keeping my fingers crossed. Army of Anyone and Velvet Revolver rock, but there is just something very special about Scott, Robert, Dean, and Eric working together as unit. Absolutely beautiful."
Hold Me Closer Let Me Be
G. Versch | Omaha | 06/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Something always pulls me back to Tiny Music. Suddenly this band that so far has just rocked, this band has attitude. I mean, they still rock, but now it's with a swagger or a snarl or something like that, anyway. Suddenly the production gets worse for the better and the riffs get simpler but more alive in time.
And yeah, it all works for me. I guess this album inspired one of the meaner album reviews that I've seen on Pitchfork (check it out, it's worth reading if you like heroin jokes and suggestions that people should die) and it's greatly labeled and knocked as a "glam" album. I guess I don't really see it like that, since there aren't any real sing-alongs or songs to hold your lighter up to(as there are on the earlier two and later two albums).
Of all the STP, I like this the best. It's got the rock, but it's also got groove.