Stone Temple Pilots – ‘Perdida’ – Album Review

Stone Temple Pilots release their first album of the new decade which is their eighth album overall and second with new lead singer Jeff Gutt.  ‘Perdida’ is quite a departure for the band as the album is an all acoustic affair of 10 new songs.  This is either a bold step in a new direction or a complete and utter misstep in a stellar career.

When I heard several months back that this was all acoustic, I had my reservations.  I was curious as to the reason why with only one album under their belts with Jeff Gutt as the singer would they change course so dramatically.  I still don’t know why, but it is an interesting choice.

The album title “Perdida” struck me as odd until I found out what it meant.  The word is Spanish and means “lost’.  Take that word with the image of the cover, which I find to be spectacular, and everything starts to fall in to place.  Is the band lost in who they are as group or our they spiritually lost.  Is the album them trying to find their way or is it a statement that they have no idea what to do anymore and it is a cry for help?  So many questions.

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Before I talk about the music, production on the album is wonderful.  The recording and mixing of the album couldn’t sound better.  Now of course I am biased as my brother-in-law, Ryan Williams, is the engineer and mixer on the album.  But don’t worry, that doesn’t impact my review as I am brutally honest with my opinions on the album…good or bad.

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Now the music.  It starts off quite beautifully with the song “Fare the Well” which is one of Jeff’s best vocal performances he has done with the band.  And even “Three Wishes” was pretty good. But that is where the niceties will end.  I found the album to become a lot of the same. It was quite boring at times and very uninspiring.  Most of the time, Jeff’s vocals lacked character (thanks J.) and was lacking any kind of charisma or true passion.  It fell flat for me.  The album ended up with the feeling that is all really just one, very long song.

I would have thought that although it is all acoustic, there would be some variety…there is not!  They are all pretty much slow ballad type songs.  There is a song with a little Spanish flare, “Perdida”, and “Miles Away” stands out with some European style.  But nothing with any punch. And if you are listening to this on the way to work at 6:30 in the morning, this is not the album you want to play to wake you up.

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That isn’t to say the playing wasn’t any good.  There is no denying the talents of Dean and Robert DeLeo.  But poor Eric Kretz on drums.  What did he think when the band said…”you know what, let’s do an acoustic album”.  Poor Eric couldn’t pound away at the skins.  He is on the album, but that talent is pretty much put on the back burner and wasted.

There were moments that I found intriguing with the adding of flutes on a couple song and even an alto saxophone.  It at least attempted to change things up, but with the overall tempo not really changing, it was never able to capitalize on that improvement.  The moments of the flute and sax are my favorite parts as at least it gave me something new to hear.

I know this has been all rosy and I apologize. I wanted to like this album, but it is difficult.  I still bought it as I am a fan of the band and plus I like to collect albums that Ryan is on as I feel my daughters will hopefully one day appreciate the fact their Uncle was a part of so many great albums.

Overall, it is a valiant effort at trying to do something very different for the band, but they do sound “lost”.   The album has some shining moments, but overall it is too underwhelming.  It might be great for having some background music that won’t distract from what you are actually doing, but that is about it.  I hope that it will grow on me over time as I did end up liking the 2018 album “Stone Temple Pilots” which was Jeff’s debut with the band.  I am going to be generous and give it a 2.5 out 5.0 Stars as the Flute and Saxophone were a much needed add to the music!  Oh well, you can’t win them all.

 

31 thoughts on “Stone Temple Pilots – ‘Perdida’ – Album Review

  1. You’ve been really generous there. I’ve given this four goes, but it’s done nothing for me. I’ve tried twice just focussing on the album, but I’ve drifted each time. It doesn’t hold me. Gutt isn’t an engaging vocalist or lyricist and this album badly needs that. Its very bland and, like you say, it sorta merges into one long song… there’s nothing lighting it up (not even the flute or sax). Not all his fault, mind.

    You make a good point about them being lost. I get that bands can make a real statement by making an album like this, but I think they sound uninspired and uninspiring… and it’s clear Gutt doesn’t have the presence or creativity to lead that band. Which is a shame.

    They should stop fucking around and get on the phone to Coutts and see if he’d be at all interested in making a new Talk Show album.

    If that doesn’t work, they should reach out to Joss Stone and see if she’s interested in making a go of Joss Stone Temple Pilots.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! I would dig a Joss Stone Temple Pilots. She’s awesome! I’m there with you. I wanted to like this and give it a fair shake, but like I you, I kept losing focus and it all sounded the same. The headphones were a better listen as I got more out of it, but still I would drift away in to other thoughts. I will throw it on in a few months to see if anything changes for me.

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      1. I’m not much of a fan, but I reckon she’d do a better job than Gutt:

        My listens have all been via headphones. No distractions and still distracted. And I know I was critical of the last album, but I thought I’d give this a go… allow Gutt a chance to find his own voice and show what he can do. I went in with open ears, cause, truthfully, STP are one of my all time favourite bands. I’m disappointed that they’re now the band many painted them as (generic grunge-lite bandwagon jumpers).

        Hopefully it grows on you though, cause there’s nothing worse than spending on new vinyl and the album is rotten.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, you gave it a go at least John and maybe over time this album will grow on you. Thanks for explaining the title and your right it goes hand in hand with the theme of the cover.
    I will give STP credit as they went outside the box on this one but I’m not too sure it will be what I would want to here.
    Great honest review.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. And what Deke says… even if you were generous, it’s a great honest review and there wasn’t much I could disagree with (other than your feeling that there are a couple of good songs – but we all like different things and that’s cool).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t think there was much left from those sessions, but I’d love to hear Tiny Music demos especially.

        I’d also like to see the documentary and book they were making during Shangri-La Dee Da get a release. I don’t know what stage it was all at when it was abandoned, but that’s likely the best thing in the vaults.

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  3. I think there was a line in High Fidelity where John Cusack said something along the lines of, ‘I just want something I can ignore.’
    And as I like to have ignore-able background music when I’m marking/planning, this may work in that context at least!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I was neither a fan of these guys nor not a fan if you catch my drift. If I heard them on the radio and liked something I listened. If it’s any consolation I always thought their acoustic version of Dancing Days was better than the original.

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    1. I love acoustic albums that cover their old songs. I get those, but this is different in making a whole acoustic album of new material. If it wasn’t for the vocals, I would say this was fantastic. Gutt doesn’t cut it for me.

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  5. It’s actually a decent, albeit very low-key, album on its own face. The problem is that it just doesn’t sound at all like the Stone Temple Pilots we all knew and loved. The best thing would probably have been to reform the band under a totally new name after the death of Scott Weiland. After all, lots of artists form different bands for their various music projects all the time – e.g. Arctic Monkeys front man Alex Turner’s project Last Shadow Puppets, Nikki Sixx’s Sixx:A.M. or Tom Morello’s Prophets of Rage are three to come to mind. Of course, they wouldn’t have had a big name as a front man, but at least many of the original members would still have been part of the band.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I get why they haven’t changed the name. They have so much sweat and equity in to that brand, they still deserve to earn off of it. It is so hard to start over under a name that no one knows. I don’t fault them for that. They are trying something new and good for them. I personally won’t be along for the ride. They need a singer that sounds nothing like Scott and one that is engaging enough to hold your attention. It worked with Van Halen (at least once) and Deep Purple and a lot of other bands.

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  6. I’ve always liked these guys better than most ’90s bands, but never a huge fan. I’m happy with copies of Tiny Music, Purple, and Core on CD. No need to get them on vinyl for me. With that said, I gave this a spin as some “background music that won’t distract from what [I’m] actually doing” and didn’t find it too bad.

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  7. I’m going to listen to this with an open mind. Have not yet. I’ll tell you one thing – this band is not dead. Last summer I heard them with Rival Sons opening for them. I love Rival Sons and that’s why I went, with STP as a bonus. Rival Sons were great, but then STP blew them away! They really rocked the house! They weren’t playing any of this new album yet, and it wouldn’t have fit in such a high energy live show anyway. Scott and Chester are dead (RIP) but the band lives on and I see great things in their future. Maybe this is just them taking a breath.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Please keep an open mind. I hope you like it, there are some interesting moments musically and some cool chances they took. I couldn’t get in to it myself. I had high hops for them and I hope they prove me wrong down the road.

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