Scott Weiland, '"Happy" in Galoshes' (Softdrive/New West/Red/Sony)

6
Critical Mass
Label: Softdrive/New West/Red/Sony

by William Goodman

If 12 Bar Blues, the Stone Temple Pilots singer's 1998 solo debut, saw a junkie on the lam, "Happy" makes the fantastical argument that not only isn't Weiland a washout, he's a triumphant survivor. Atop banjo-covered ballads, psychedelic epics, and spit-shined Top 40 pop rock, his nostalgic sentiments settle into wistful, if occasionally wince-inducing, melodies that bear little resemblance to Weiland's previous work. With intervention from the boys of No Doubt and production help from Steve Albini, this sprawling album earns a fair hearing.

More on SPIN.com: >> New Stone Temple Pilots Album? >> Holiday Album Guide: GNR, Killers, Kanye, and More >> The Inquisition: Scott Weiland

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