No. 4

No. 4

4.6 7
by Stone Temple Pilots
     
 

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The latest project from these quintessential pop-grungers carries boatloads of baggage, thanks to singer Scott Weiland's much-publicized move to the Big House. Indeed, several songs, such as the dirgelike "Atlanta," which deals with the troubled vocalist's relationship with his wife, percolate deeply with anomie and pain. But who listensSee more details below

Overview

The latest project from these quintessential pop-grungers carries boatloads of baggage, thanks to singer Scott Weiland's much-publicized move to the Big House. Indeed, several songs, such as the dirgelike "Atlanta," which deals with the troubled vocalist's relationship with his wife, percolate deeply with anomie and pain. But who listens to a Stone Temple Pilots album for emotional intensity? A new STP album tends to be, plain and simple, a mad hookfest, and NO. 4 is no exception. STP have always been a bit derivative, but that's part of the appeal. It's fun to play "spot the influence" on cuts like "Church on Tuesday" and "Sour Girl," both of which proudly work a Beatles mojo, while "Sex and Violence" delivers a Buzzcocks-style carnal rave-up and "MC5" gives props to the infamous '60s proto-sludge-punks. Still, even when cribbing from the history books, STP distinguish themselves as riff-master generals in their own right. Whether or not there's a massive hit single looming within this whirling dervish, the beefy guitar figures that dominate the album -- as on the piledriving opener "Down" and the fluid "Pruno" -- more than compensate. And, all told, NO. 4 is a surprisingly solid, solidly rocking statement from a band working to keep itself together against insurmountable odds.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
It would be tempting to scour No. 4, Scott Weiland's reunion with Stone Temple Pilots, for insights into his troubles, yet the group consciously avoids this throughout the album. That's for the best, since it's their hardest effort since their debut, Core. "Down" and "Heaven & Hot Rods" provide a powerful, brutal opening for No. 4 -- it's as if STP decided to compete directly with the new generation of alt-metal bands who prize aggression over hooks or riffs. With these two songs, the band's attack is as vicious as that of the new generation, but they retain their gift for gargantuan hooks. Much of the album hits pretty hard -- most explicitly on "No Way Out," "Sex & Violence," and "MC5," -- and even the ballads and neo-psychedelic pop have none of the swirling production that distinguished Tiny Music. That sense of adventure is missed, because even if the album finds STP returning to the muscular hard rock that made them, they always sounded better when they concentrated on melodicism. No. 4's most effective moments have a variety of sonic textures and color -- "Pruno" tempers its giant riffs with spacy verses; "Church on Tuesday" is a great pop tune, as are the trippy "Sour Girl" and "I Got You"; and the psychedelic "Glide" and closing ballad, "Atlanta," have a sense of majesty. These songs anchor the heavier moments, instead of the other way around, and it all plays well together. As a matter of fact, No. 4 is as tight as Tiny Music. Even if it isn't as grandiose or sonically compelling as that effort, it's a record that consolidates all their strengths.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/26/1999
Label:
Imports
UPC:
0075678325526
catalogNumber:
1050228

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Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Stone Temple Pilots   Primary Artist
Charlie Bisharat   Violin
Larry Corbett   Cello
Dean DeLeo   Acoustic Guitar,6-string bass,Lap Steel Guitar
Robert DeLeo   Bass,Guitar,Percussion,Electric Guitar,Zither,Fuzz Bass
Joel Derouin   Concert Master
Peter Kent   Violin
Eric Kretz   Percussion,Drums
Barrett Martin   Marimbas
Brendan O'Brien   Percussion,Piano,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Scott Weiland   Organ,Vocals
Evan Wilson   Viola
Suzie Katayama   Cello
Gerry Hilera   Violin
Matthew Funes   Viola

Technical Credits

Stone Temple Pilots   Art Direction,Art Conception
David Campbell   String Arrangements
Robert DeLeo   Composer
Nick DiDia   Engineer
Russ Fowler   Engineer
Brendan O'Brien   Producer
Allen Sides   Engineer
Scott Weiland   Composer
Richard Bates   Art Direction
Ryan Williams   Engineer
Dave Reed   Engineer
Andrea Brooks   Art Direction

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