‘A Compilation of Scott Weiland Cover Songs’ – Album Review
You gotta hand it to Scott Weiland. The Stone Temple Pilots frontman has been accused of blatantly ripping off so many different singers over the years, you’d think he’d do everything in his power to distance himself from the work of other bands. But Scott Weiland is totally comfortable being Scott Weiland, even if that Scott Weiland is getting compared unfavorably to Kurt Cobain, Eddie Vedder, David Bowie or Mick Jagger.
He also isn’t afraid to admit which artists have had a major influence shaping his music. In fact, on his latest solo album, the digital-only release ‘A Compilation of Scott Weiland Cover Songs,’ Weiland pays homage to many of the bands he’s admired -- and been compared to -- over the years.
The 12-track set kicks off with ‘I Am the Resurrection’ by the Stone Roses, a relatively obscure but critically acclaimed British band widely credited with helping create the so-called ‘Madchester scene’ that spawned fellow Brits Oasis, Blur and the Verve. Weiland’s take falls a bit flat, neither capturing the energy of the Roses nor adding much of his own. Unfortunately, it’s a sign of things to come.
On his cover of the Nirvana tune ‘Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle'’ (inexplicably titled 'Get Her Revenge' instead of 'Have'), Weiland does an admirable job sounding exactly like late singer Kurt Cobain, but we’ve heard him do it before (and better) on STP staples like ‘Creep.’ His version of Radiohead’s ‘Let Down’ is also a bit of a let down; few singers can even come close to frontman Thom Yorke’s soaring tenor, and Weiland’s smoky snarl certainly isn’t one of them. It doesn’t help that the backing music, played in a down-tempo rhythm, comes off as a somewhat generic karaoke version of one of Radiohead's most beautiful songs.
But ‘Cover Songs’ isn’t all misses. His stab at the Rolling Stones classic ‘Dead Flowers’ has the same sexy swagger that Weiland brings to his live performances, and he gives emotional weight to Depeche Mode's 'But Not Tonight' that few others could. In fact, Weiland's voice pays tribute to Mode frontman Dave Gahan's vocals perfectly, and the accompanying band, which lags for a good portion of the album, finally comes to life. Definitely a keeper.
Sure, Weiland loves the bands he imitates and isn’t afraid to wear them on his sleeve. He loves them so much, he went out and recorded his own versions of their tunes. But he's better off leaving his rock 'n' roll homages to his own band, Stone Temple Pilots.
‘A Compilation of Scott Weiland Cover Songs’ Track Listing:
1. 'I Am The Resurrection' (Stone Roses)
2. 'Personality Crisis' (New York Dolls)
3. 'Frances Farmer Will Get Her Revenge on Seattle' (Nirvana)
4. 'Let Down' (Radiohead)
5. 'Into Your Arms' (Lemonheads)
6. 'Dead Flowers' (Rolling Stones)
7. 'Waiting for Superman' (The Flaming Lips)
8. 'Revolution' (Beatles)
9. 'But Not Tonight' (Depeche Mode)
10. 'Reel Around the Fountain' (The Smiths)
11. 'Fame' (David Bowie)
12. 'Jean Genie' (David Bowie)
Watch Scott Weiland Cover Nirvana's 'Frances Farmer' in Concert