Monday, December 05 2011 00:00


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weilandxmasSTONE TEMPLE PILOTS frontman SCOTT WEILAND recently released a Christmas album, and there's quite a lot to say about it. Released for the 2011 Holiday season by Softdrive Records via Rhino, THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR is an interesting conversation piece that contains a couple decent renditions of classic tunes alongside some of the most... unique.

When I first posted Weiland's video for Winter Wonderland last month, I wrote that "I can't tell if he's being 100% serious or not." From the liner notes contained within the CD booklet (a small pamphlet, printed on paper - which accompanied a small, round disc which contained the audio - very common in the late 20th century), it's quite clear that THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR is intended to be a serious affair, delivered with sincerity. With mention of the military that brings to mind the old Bob Hope U.S.O. specials along with the flashback sequences in the Bing Crosby/Danny Kaye WHITE CHRISTMAS, you'd expect something a little different than what's actually here.

The fedora-sporting Weiland appears on the cover striking a crooner pose - but one that looks forced, complete with an oddly awkward smile. Better, classier, more timely photos appear elsewhere in the packaging, really making you wonder why the cover looks so bad - but then you see that Weiland himself served as the art director. In the previously mentioned music video, Scott doesn't look right. He looks tired, stiff, and relatively unhappy. His face looks plastic, almost botoxed as if he can no longer smile - and maybe he has a new set of teeth as well. It's almost like the Scott Weiland we know and love has been replaced by a robot - a Stepford version of himself if the Stepford Wives were Husbands instead. 

The robo-Weiland appears throughout the album, notably displaying itself on I'll Be Home For Christmas and the above mentioned Winter Wonderland. When he loosens up we have David Bowie-Weiland, in which Scott sounds like he's got a few cocktails in him and is starting to have some fun. But he sounds like Bowie - this from the guy who covered Bowie's Fame on 2008's "HAPPY" IN GALOSHES. On just one track - the original, Happy Christmas and Many More do we hear anything resembling the STP/former VELVET REVOLVER frontman, but there it's accompanying a reggae-tinged, sorta bossa nova track - which is also how Silent Nightis presented.

Overall, THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR is a musical oddity plagued with "what was he thinking?" moments. The backing band does a great job, and the orchestral arrangements by Weiland himself are pretty solid, but you have to wonder why no one tried to reign him in on those vocals. Or, maybe they did?

Hit iTunes for the good tracks, and leave the rest.

Rating: 1.5/5 Stars

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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