ALBUM REVIEW : *** STONE TEMPLE PILOTS; "Purple" ( Atlantic )

Thanks to meaty, memorable and introspective songs, the Southern California band's cohesive sophomore outing should eradicate references to its "Seattle" sound. "Purple" is dark but transcendent, as the band grapples musically and lyrically with issues surrounding sudden success.

While there's a pervasive melancholy, "Purple" is full of compelling and disquieting musical landscapes. In addition to such brawny songs as "Vaseline" and "Lounge Fly," the band shines on the beautiful, spare, Celtic-tinged "Pretty Penny." A "hidden" track--a high-camp tune performed by a Washington-based lounge singer--hints at the band's heretofore unseen humor. With "Purple," Stone Temple Pilots have come into their own--painfully, perhaps, but with an undeniable sureness and power.

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