That STP not only survived but also thrived artistically through singer Scott Weiland's battles with addiction is only slightly more noteworthy than its transcendence of the capricious pop-market roller coaster.

The Southern California quartet's last album, 2000's "No. 4," was its most varied and musically rewarding, with the acoustic hit "Sour Girl" showing it had much more than just hard rock to offer.

That evolution continues on its fifth album, with guitarist Dean DeLeo's love for bossa nova integrated into the musical mix and several songs addressing both Weiland's newfound domestic contentment and underlying fears expanding the emotional range. Which isn't to say the band doesn't still rock--the album opens with "Dumb Love," perhaps STP's hardest, crunchiest riffer thus far, and several other songs maintain the intensity.

But "Days of the Week" engages in buoyant, XTC-like power-pop as it self-effacingly chronicling personal foibles, while such open-hearted expressions as "Wonderful" (a dreamy, John Lennon-like power ballad), "Bi-Polar Bear" (with a lovely, soaring DeLeo guitar solo) and "Confessions From a Lonely Room" provide the emotional threads binding the album. "Think of me as a ship that might hold you," sings Weiland, offering comfort in "Black Again." Against that, the cliched, misogynist "Hollywood Bitch" and "Too Cool Queenie" seem petulant and out of place. *

Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent). The albums are already released unless otherwise noted

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