Scott Weiland’s “The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year” Album Review
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving (that came way too fast!) and if you and your family like to be entertained by holiday music while you’re gathered around a feast, try something new this year. Stone Temple Pilot’s front man Scott Weiland recently released his very own Christmas album The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, via Soft Drive Records, which is full of classic Christmas tunes with Weiland’s own personal twist.
The 10-track record includes the most classic holiday songs, minus those for the kids such as “Jingle Bells” and “The 12 Days of Christmas.” The older, more mature adult crowd would be an appropriate group for the album, as Weiland’s voice slightly mirrors the late Frank Sinatra- smooth, deep, melodic and pure. He is backed by two vocalists, as well as a vibrant arrangement of orchestrated instruments that bring the songs to life: piano, violins, trumpets, drums, flutes, saxophones, steel drums, cello’s, trombones, violas and guitars.
A few of the songs, mostly in the beginning of the album, stay true to their original roots, and Weiland
somewhat mimics the voices of the original artists, such as in the title song, “The Christmas Song,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” White Christmas” and “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.” They’re the old songs you remember, only incorporated with a bit more pizazz and filling.
However, the remaining songs stray (too much) from their originality- it’s the same lyrics, only with juxtaposed music, tempo and overall feeling, that was at times a bit cheesy and overdone, and to the point of where it started to sound like mall or elevator music. “Silent Night” is known as a soft, slow, mellow song, but Weiland turns it into a fast and catchy tune with a beachy, Jamaican sound, which is kind of confusing. The same holds true for “What Child is This” and ”Oh, Holy Night,” which would be suitable if you were spending Christmas in the caribbean, as steel drums are heard in the background. I appreciate Weiland’s need for difference and uniqueness, but it was just a bit too well done for my taste. When you listen to Christmas music you’re filled with a sense of warm, full and calm holiday spirit. With Weiland’s versions it’s more happy and upbeat and feels nothing like Christmas.
Weiland also included a song of his own, titled “Happy Christmas and Many More,” whose music reminded me of the video game Katamari.
If the album were divided into two parts, perhaps an original half and a re-done half it would make more sense, but the fact that all 10 songs are jumbled together leaves me a little puzzled. However, Weiland is very talented and fronts a very successful rock band, and I give him props for coming up with his own Christmas album. It is enjoyable, just not entirely cohesive.
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year would be a good conversation piece for you and your family’s Thanksgiving this year, so if you’re a fan, get a copy and discuss the album with your loved ones and trade stories of why you’re thankful this year.
I give this album three guitars!