Tiny Music Songs From The Vatican Gift Shop was the third full length studio album by San Diego Grunge band Stone Temple Pilots. It was released in 1996 and produced by Brendan O’Brian. This third album continues their trend of not having two albums in a row sound much like each other. The first album was a weighty, almost Metallic mixture of Alice In Chains, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam’s styles, blended together. Their second was a moody, mid-paced, thoughtful record that embraced “Alternative” more than Grunge specifically. This third album is a breezy, summery album, with pleasant melodies, jangly psychedelic moments and a bit more speed than Purple had.
The album is almost in two halves, firstly of enjoyable, slightly heavy Rock songs with enough bite to satisfy but simple and easily digestible enough to be memorable and entertaining, and the rest is more laid back, mildly trippy music that evokes Gentle Giant’s less complex moments, or indeed The Beatles. It’s a very good mixture that balances well together and makes for a strong record overall. Experimental enough to sound fresh but grounded enough to give you what you want.
Highlights include ‘Tumble In The Rough,’ ‘Lady Picture Show’ and the famous ‘Trippin On A Hole In A Paper Heart’ …three tracks equally as strong and memorable as anything off the excellent debut Core, and as separate from the styles of other bands as anything on Purple. These sit alongside the likes of ‘Dead And Bloated’ and ‘Sex Type Thing’ as some of the most fun songs the band have released, but without losing the artsy identity the band found for themselves with tracks like ‘Silvergun Superman.’ A best of both worlds, if no stylistically then at least in terms of quality.
Overall; Tiny Music has all the benefits of pleasant disposable summery fun music, but with the talent and backing to make it last. If you like this band, or this sort of music, its an absolute must. Its probably the band’s most fun and easily accessible album and its absolutely worth your time. Don’t let the headlines or anything put you off. Don’t miss out!