Scott Weiland has a special gift for music fans this Christmas season: his new album The Most Wonderful Time of the Year is a collection of 10 holiday musical classics is now available for a listen this holiday season. While it may be an unexpected surprise to see such an album from a rocker like Weiland, it is certainly not unwelcome.
Ed. note: Check out Scott Weiland photos with Stone Temple Pilots here!
Indeed, but while it may seem a bit odd to fans of Weiland’s work with Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver to see such an album of traditional Christmas music with the singer’s name on it, Weiland himself shrugs off such questions.
In an interview with Ontario newspaper The Sudbury Star, Weiland says, “Why not?” when asked why he would record such an album. Why not, indeed.
“The Most Wonderful Time” features a variety of musical styles that hearken back to the 1930s and 40s era of big band and Bing Crosby. In a similar form to his other solo release this year “A Compilation of Scott Weiland Cover Songs,” Weiland mostly endeavors throughout the album to capture of the spirit of such legendary Christmas singers as Crosby and Andy Williams. While it would have been nice to see Weiland put a more original spin on such holiday staples as “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” or “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”, the fact that his versions will appeal to nearly any musical audience during the Christmas season is a plus – and why shouldn’t Weiland be able to sing nice, happy songs every once in a while?
The album has a varied pace, with some songs slow and thoughtful (“The Christmas Song”), and others, upbeat and lively (“Silent Night”). The latter song particularly is a standout for its light, yet upbeat sound (and the unexpected appearance of steel drums – tropical!). Of all the songs, Weiland sounds most like himself on this track, and definitely sounds like he is having fun with it, too! Another standout is “What Child is This,” a track featuring a swingin’ beat, a flute solo, and jazzy piano throughout.
Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor certainly seems to be among the minority who object to Weiland’s foray into Christmas music. Just this past Monday during Taylor’s “An Evening with Corey Taylor” tour, the opinionated singer went on a tirade about the lack of originality in the music industry today – implicating Weiland as a symbol. “More and more people are only interested in money than f—ing doing anything good. I’m not saying everyone, but there’s a lot of f—ing people out there who would rather just take your money and leave you with nothing,” he warned the audience. “I’ll give you another example. Does anyone know who Scott Weiland is? Do you know that Scott Weiland has a Christmas album now? Oh, it’s bad. It’s bad.”
Continued Taylor, “Let me f—ing explain to you how bad it is. There is a video online of him singing, and he’s very serious. ‘Cause Christmas is serious. His hair is all slicked back and he’s in his s–tty tuxedo.” Taylor then launched into a brief imitation of Weiland’s singing before getting to the heart of the matter. “So, I’m watching this — painfully watching this, because hey, know your enemy — and I’m just like, ‘Why?’ It’s not that he’s a bad singer, ’cause he’s not. I love STP, I love some of the s–t that he did with Velvet Revolver. It’s not that he’s a bad f—ing singer. He’s a lazy piece of s–t, is what he is at this point.” (Taylor did go on to state that he loved Weiland’s work with STP and Velvet Revolver.)
In Weiland’s interview with The Sudsbury Star, he had a bit more to say about his motivations for releasing the Christmas album. “Well, you know what, man? People don’t know me. They know what someone’s opinion is. And they know my songs. But they really don’t know me. Christmas, ever since I was a kid, was a big thing. It still is a big thing.” Weiland went on to explain that some of his most cherished memories growing up included listening to all the old Christmas albums with his family, beginning with orchestral versions. “Listening to those songs is something I always remember,” he said.
In fact, contrary to what Corey Taylor may believe at present, this is definitely not the first time Weiland has recorded Christmas songs. Early in Weiland’s career, he collaborated with STP bassist Robert DeLeo on a recording of “White Christmas”. “We had no money, Weiland recalled, “So we gave it to our families as Christmas presents. I gave one to my parents, and one to my grandparents. They said it was the best present they ever got.”
Weiland seems genuine in his intentions to sing Christmas songs, and his retro approach to singing the songs is actually interesting to see from a singer known more for harder-rocking songs like “Slither” or “Sex Type Thing”. See for yourself in the music video for “Winter Wonderland”. Sure, Weiland has his hair slicked back, but he looks more like Bing Crosby than the used car saleman that Taylor seems to suggest. Certainly nothing wrong with that.
My recommendation: If you like listening to Christmas music with your family during the holiday season, then give Weiland’s album a listen!
Gene’s favorite tracks from The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
1. Silent Night
2. Winter Wonderland
3. What Child is This?
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year tracklist:
1. The Christmas Song
2. I’ll Be Home for Christmas
3. White Christmas
4. Silent Night
5. It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
6. What Child is This?
7. Winter Wonderland
8. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
9. Happy Christmas and Many More
10. O Holy Night