12 Bar Blues

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April 03, 1998 at 05:00 AM EST

A history of drug addiction has famously plagued Scott Weiland’s personal life, but his musical career suffers from something more strange: schizophrenia. As the singer for Stone Temple Pilots, Weiland offered karaokelike versions of Eddie Vedder’s growl and John Lennon’s sneer. For his solo debut, he perfects Michael Stipe’s whine, Richard Butler’s croak, and David Bowie’s bellow. Which makes us wonder: Who is Weiland himself? 12 Bar Blues‘ sole connection to STP comes in its relentlessly catchy melodies, which even the weird production can’t distort. The producers (including Daniel Lanois) bleed every bass line, fuzz every guitar, and shatter every drumbeat. The star’s lyrics seem just as desperate for attention. If the result seems ostentatious, perverse, and needy, the LP’s sheer invention and hooks will make your indulgence worthwhile. B

12 Bar Blues

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12 Bar Blues

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