Few, if any bands can truly capture the spirit of individuality and freedom quite like the Stone Temple Pilots. Although berated by critics early in their career for being too derivative of the early Seattle grunge scene and perhaps borrowing the secret spice recipe of angst and hard-hitting riffs, the Pilots make a statement in grandeur with the masterpiece that is. Purple.
The sonic journey commences with the kickin' opener "Meat Plow". Despite the strange name, this is the perfect track to get that long mane of hair of yours in a frenzied mess (think Robert Pattinson style) through rock-induced convulsions. STP keeps the good times rolling with song #2, "Vasoline". If you aren't familiar with this tune then you must not have listened to the radio for the past 16 or so years; needless to say, the song has earned its fame for good reason. "Lounge Fly" shows the early roots of STP's more psychedelic and experimental side with a trippy and eerie chorus. "Interstate Love Song" is easily my favorite song on the album and possibly my favorite song of all time. Yes. it is that good. The perfect song to have on the radio as you speed down the highway with the windows down and let all of your worries melt away.
Tracks #5 and 6 are "Still Remains" and "Pretty Penny", with "Still Remains" being perhaps the most beautiful and dreamy song in the Pilots' arsenal and Pretty Penny balancing it out with a calm and sensible type of candor. But just when you think the Pilots have gone soft, "Silvergun Superman" shows that the band is as serious as ever with out of this world guitar work courtesy of the DeLeo brothers; cementing this track as a classic hard rock staple. "Big Empty", although one of the more quiet and subdued tracks on this album, is certainly the most powerful and moving. Just as the title implies, this song sympathizes with anyone facing loneliness, loss, or desperation and could talk the most determined jumper down from the ledge.
We are to track 9, so the album MUST be winding down by now right? Wrong! "Unglued" is about the hardest rocker on this album, weighing in at 2:34 with lots of lean, mean pure rocking muscle. If you are wearing socks, this song will rock them right off! "Army Ants" doesn't let down either, with intense guitar solos from Dean DeLeo and harsh vocals from Scott Weiland, Army Ants deserves a play or two back-to-back to get full appreciation. "Kitchenware & Candybars" closes the album in typical Pilots fashion. Ahh but don't forget about the hidden track. The real gem of "Kitchenware" is that about 4:30 into the song after some silence, you get you hear Weiland's majestic vocals accompanied by a very atypical jazzy sounding instrument arrangement from the band. Sounds like 1950's jazz soul and is really something unique from the band.
In conclusion, "Purple" by Stone Temple Pilots is one of the top 5 albums of the 90's and is worth a listen for anybody with functioning auditory reception. This is an extremely rare album in the fact that there is no filler or weak tracks. But what makes this album extraordinary is the fact that you can put it in your car CD player and have it stay there, making traffic and those long drives much more enjoyable. Whether or not you're a fan of grunge, the 90's, or even rock at all, everybody will find something to enjoy with "Purple".