Various artists

So, yeah, Spider-Man is one of the more realistic comic-book heroes fighting crime today: He lives in New York, not Gotham City or Metropolis; he's motivated by rage and guilt, not a heart of gold; he's a nerd, not a stud. Plus, his superpowers derive from a bug bite. Still, it's depressing to think that Spidey's imaginary world is as overrun with whiny white dudes clutching guitars as ours. This soundtrack to Tobey Maguire's second swing through the role leads off with 11 of 'em in a row: Dashboard Confessional, scrubbed to a stainless-steel sheen by producer Don Gilmore; Hoobastank, who should stick to power ballads; Train, desperate to become somebody's Goo Goo Dolls; Maroon 5, creepier than they think, but funkier, too; Smile Empty Soul, guilty of "digital editing" and proud of it. Can't we get a little Black Eyed Peas up in here? The manly moaning finally recedes with a top-heavy Evanescence rip by Ana, whose name resists Google like a definite article. Then we're back in it: "Someone to Die For" is a Rick Rubin-produced, Chris Cornell-penned, Brian May-featuring gem sung with bare-chested agony by Ours front man Jimmy Gnecco. This is how I want my superheroes to complain.
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Mikael Wood

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