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Stone Temple Pilots don’t have to prove anything to anyone. After two immensely successful records, they can take their sweet time to put out the next one—and it doesn’t have to be very original when it’s done. Besides, in pop, kleptomania all but guarantees success. Sure enough, almost everything on Tiny Music has already been done—just on somebody else’s record. The first single, “Big Bang Baby,” steals quite obviously from “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” (“Big Bang Baby, it’s a crash crash crash” is syllabically and melodically faithful to the original) and the bridge is lifted—although perhaps not intentionally—from Lush’s 1992 single “For Love.” “Trippin on a Hole in a Paper Heart” steals Jimmy Page’s guitar riff from “Dancing Days,” the track STP contributed to the Led Zeppelin tribute, Encomium. They copy Oasis, the Posies, and everyone else who’s ever copied the Beatles (on “Lady Picture Show”) and they even ape themselves (on “Tumble in the Rough”). It’s surprising, then, that Tiny Music is one heck of a hit record, perhaps STP’s best yet. Producer Brendan O’Brien toned down the guitar crunch that ran rampant through Purple and Core, and balances the ballads with the rockers, making them complement each other. And after their acoustic performances on tour and on Unplugged, the band’s members clearly know how to play their instruments. It seems rather idiotic that it’s critically incorrect to give STP the thumbs-up. So what if their songs are stolen? There’s no reason not to like them all over again.—Tina Plottel