One of the most unwholesome things Rocks Off can think of is a Scott Weiland Christmas album, so when it was announced a few months back with the promo photo of a dapper Weiland - skull ring, tattoos, blue eyes, roguish grin - we were worried. Today, The Most Wonderful Time of the Year dropped, and we are currently spinning it, even as a brisk walk down the street here in Houston will bring about unholy pit stains.
The last time we saw Weiland, he was showing up an hour late to the Woodlands Pavilion for a Stone Temple Pilots gig. He then preceded to tell the crowd he had started drinking again and then he tried to climb an LED screen like a kitty.
Now his Latin-jazz version of "Silent Night" is filling our ears. He even uses the bullhorn like he does on STP records. It's freaking us out.
Yeah we get it, "White Christmas," indeed but this isn't an awful Christmas disc. At least it's not 'N Sync's Home For Christmas, but it's not as iconic as the trove of Elvis Presley holiday cuts that begin seeping into our brains by November 15. This album has a relaxed, nasal, swinging quality that makes you forget the relapses, the canceled gigs, the last STP album, and the second Velvet Revolver album.
That's Rocks Off's second VR reference in a week. Odd.
For us, Weiland's voice on his slower solo stuff always had a Bing Crosby, fuddy-duddy feel. Even his first solo disc, 1998's 12 Bar Blues, had a crooner air that makes us come back for more, even against some of the best STP stuff available.
Half the time you wouldn't know that the voice on The Most Wonderful Time of the Year was coming from the same man who once sang "I am smellin' like the rose that somebody gave me 'cause I'm dead and bloated," save the stray bullhorn effects and when he papery tenor breaks.
Jesus, why do we like this album? His take on "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" is beautiful, dammit.
The only thing we have to balk about this disc is that he didn't cut into his solo, STP, and VR work and re-write some of their best singles. We would have loved to hear "Christmas Type Thing" (sample lyric: "I am, I am, I am I said I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas...") or even "Big Empty Stocking" about bad kids who don't brush their teeth and don't listen to their parents.
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There is always next year, but for now pick up Weiland's holiday disc to soundtrack the next few months of your life. Even in June or April, this should be one that will chill your bones.