Stone Temple Pilots album 'Perdida' is a quiet, understated ode to loss and the healing journey that follows
This album is totally acoustic and recorded entirely on vintage instruments, which is quite the departure from the band's previous work
Following their self-titled 2018 album, the Stone Temple Pilots are back with 'Perdida'. This album is totally acoustic and recorded entirely on vintage instruments, which is quite the departure from the band's previous work.
The 2018 self-titled album saw the band debut their new lead singer, Jeff Gutt, and marked their first release in eight years since their earlier self-titled album in 2010 as well as their first release following the deaths of the band's original lead singer Scott Weiland in 2015 and their interim lead singer Chester Bennington (of Linkin Park) in 2017.
That this album is titled 'Perdida', Spanish for 'loss', and begins with the song, 'Fare Thee Well', should come as no surprise. This isn't just any album. It is an album that sees the band reflecting on everything they've been through, a quiet and introspective recollection of both the good and the bad.
Musically, the album has some very distinct Stone Temple Pilots sounds, including some very familiar guitar riffs, and it definitely has a classic rock feel to it that really gives you a sense of where this band has come from and who their influences are. But there's also something very different about this album.
This isn't the Pilots you're used to. This isn't the album you were expecting.
And that's okay.
STP that has always taken the more experimental route when it came to creating music. They have always been authentic and unique amidst a sea of commercial releases. So they chose to try a different approach with 'Perdida' is entirely on-brand for the band.
The album is quieter, slower and far more melancholic than what we've heard from them before. 'Miles Away' is like sitting in a dark theater, watching a vintage film of a haunted carnival, yearning to be near your loved one again. It's a gut-wrenching track that beautifully captures the loneliness one feels when all they are left with are memories.
The fact that this album was recorded using vintage instruments gives it a nostalgic feel, and the band takes advantage of that with some stunning instrumental pauses (including saxophone and flute solos) throughout the album. STP is not afraid to create the space for us to grieve with them, and they don't shy away from allowing us to fully process the heart and soul behind their music.
They leave themselves open and vulnerable, allowing us to let go and experience the emotions along with them. And so, the fully instrumental 'I Once Sat at Your Table' sits towards the end of the album, between the wistful 'You Found Yourself While Losing Your Heart' and the hopeful 'Sunburst'. Because when you’re going through an emotional journey, you need moments to pause, reflect, and feel every moment pass through you.
There’s something so remarkably relatable about the STP sound on 'Perdida'. It’s like that feeling you get when you sit down huddled up in your blanket, watching the sun’s final descent as you sip a nice cup of hot tea. Or toddy. Really, it’s your setting sun, drink what your heart desires.
With this album, STP shows us that what is classic may never die. Despite contemporary music experimenting more with more intense sounds and instruments, STP goes the opposite way and strips it back entirely. When you’ve perfected your sound the way they have, you can grow and evolve as part of the exploration into your own sound without needing to make music that is seemingly the norm.
There is no need for STP to match the times. Contemporary does not define them. They create their own path, and it’s one we have been glad to follow them down on.
And 'Perdida' is a wonderful reward for those of us still here, by their side, through it all.