The Man

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The Man Review

by Greg Prato

Although initially written off as merely Pearl Jam rip-offs, Stone Temple Pilots certainly spawned their share of imitators, as countless STP-influenced outfits sprung up on the scene during the mid- to late '90s. Sponge could easily be classified as one such band, especially with their 1995 hit release Rotting Pinata, which spawned such MTV/rock radio favorites as "Plowed" and "Molly (Sixteen Candles)." After taking a break during the early part of the early 21st century, Sponge returned with a vengeance -- releasing two albums in a three-year span, 2003's For All the Drugs in the World and 2005's The Man. The latter release sees longtime Sponge leader/vocalist Vinnie Dombrowski assume full control, as he also serves as the album's producer. The end result is an album not unlike what you'd expect from Sponge -- melodic hard rockin' tunes (the album opening title track, "Sh*ttier Day Than Me") broken up with bits of tranquility ("Unlucky" and "All the Drugs in the World"). The Man is certainly not going to be mistaken for a groundbreaking rock record any time soon, but for longtime Sponge fans, Dombrowski has done an admirable job keeping the band on the same sonic course as their previous releases.

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