Out of all of Stone Temple Pilots' releases, this has to be the most experimental and interesting of all of them. Their previous grunge-laden release of Core definitely showed that these guys could rock, but they were able to change significantly as well as experiment with different variations of their hard rock genre.
Purple is, perhaps, the most known of the STP albums (next to Core (1992), and has thus earned several different awards and high spots on lists around the world. It earned number six on Loudwire's "10 Best Hard Rock Albums of 1994", was ranked at number 438 in Rock Hard Magazine's "The 500 Greatest Rock & Metal Albums of All Time", as well as being ranked at number 24 on Guitar World's "Superunknown: 50 Iconic Albums That Defined 1994" list. It earned number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 in 1994, number 10 in the UK Album Chart, number one on the Australian albums chart, and number two on the Canadian RPM Albums Chart.
Needless to say, the album didn't do horribly. Not to mention several different and equally successful singles were spawned from the release. 'Interstate Love Song' in fact became their most popular song to date (next to 'Plush' [Core]). But the question is, does this album deserve all the credit and praise it has received? I would think, after listening, say yes. I definitely like this album equally, if not more, than their debut album. I've always felt like Purple had more interesting elements than Core, mostly because of Weiland's deep drug addiction that he fell into around the time of this album's release, which caused their sound to become not only more creative, but also much more weird. It must be said that Stone Temple Pilots suffered huge dislike from a wide variety of critics upon the release of their debut, most insults coming from the fact that they, as a alternative hard rock band, had blatantly ripped off the alt. rock uprising that Nirvana had lighted on back in 1991. Both alternative rock and it's metal counterpart exploded during the early 90's, with bands like Alice in Chains coming in with the release of Dirt (which was incidentally released on the same day and year as Core). So it didn't help STP out of the rut that there were numerous alternative bands around them around the time of their up-commence. But perhaps, it could be said that Stone Temple Pilots were more demeaned than other bands at the time, and Core was particularly, well, stoned because of it's (as critics said) uncreativity and lazy grunge-rock sound. So with full remembrance of the hate heaped on Core, STP released their second album, Purple, to the masses.
The album uses not only hard-rocking grunge as it's centerpiece. In fact, there is a much more acoustic and, dare I say, progressive sound on this album. It is clear upon listening to the entire album that is has psychedelic influence (as said before due to Weiland's drug addiction). This adds a somewhat richer tone to their overall sound, and automatically adds a more creative edge on the rock. The opener of 'Meatplow' is somewhat reminiscent of Core's 'Dead and Bloated', with them both being rather bland (but not bad at all) grunge track. It isn't a bad opening, but it does sort of offset you from the mood of the album. 'Vasoline' is a quick-riffing, free-flowing track. Like 'Meatplow', not too spectacular but still pretty good. The album takes a more boring turn with 'Lounge Fly', which is quickly followed up by 'Interstate Love Song'. This song sort of sounds bland and lame, mostly due to the country-influences that are clearly present. 'Pretty Penny' is an interesting acoustic, yet it does take some certain key changes which I overall find annoying. 'Silvergun Superman' heads off the heavier side of the album, and is the heaviest off of the album. Slow, slamming riffs accompany awesome guitar and bass screams. Real nice. 'Big Empty' is my second favorite track off of the album (next to 'Silvergun Superman'). Although hailed as a alternative rock song, this songs acoustics combined with grungy-riffing give it a oddly progressive sound. Highly enjoyable. 'Unglued' is another quick-riffing song, and is actually pretty catchy and nice. 'Kitchenware & Candybars' is a beautiful song that slowly falls into a hard-hitting song with crunching chords, finishing the album off well.
I think my only problem with this album preventing me from giving it 4.5 or 5, is that very much filler is present. Those songs are unenjoyable, and not worth listening to. Aside from that, this album is a really great pickup for anyone interested in the band.
Go give it a listen.