GOO GOO DOLLS

"Let Love In" (Warner Bros; 2006)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

In gearing the classic words of Jim Carrey in the movie “Liar Liar” toward music, I’ll say: “I’ve heard better.” If you long for the days of music that “A Boy Named Goo” had then don’t be too discouraged when this record falls flatter than it already lies. I was disappointed when I picked this thing up, because I wanted the Goo Goo Dolls to rock like “Gutterflower” did or even “Dizzy Up The Girl.” Alas, it was not to be. 

The internal fire that caused them to tour relentlessly and capture songs from their own experiences now has them now telling tales of love gone right. I want their therapy session with guitar, not piano and wine. If Rzeznik’s songwriting wasn’t so good here I’d strap this to the next monkey they send into space and be done with it.

With "Let Love In," the Goo Goo Dolls have become background music; this could be the stuff that you might hear on hold, or before a movie starts so the place doesn’t get too rowdy. Settle down, you popcorn throwing rebels! I tried to find something I could relate to here, but I couldn't. This band has done a 180 from what they used to sound like. When they do rock on this disc (just twice) it’s because Robby Takac has a hand in the songwriting.

They do cover “Give A Little Bit” from Supertramp and I found my self liking that song but, just 3:36 later and I’m back to my initial assessment.

The only hopes are “Stay With You,” “Listen,” “Give A Little Bit,” and “We’ll Be Here (When You’re Gone).”

The Goo Goo Dolls: John Rzeznik – guitar, vocals; Robby Takac – bass, vocals; Mike Malinin – drums.

For more information, check out http://www.googoodolls.com

"Gutterflower" (Warner Bros; 2002)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

After listening to this disc, you might call it "A Boy Named Goo, Part 2." It's got the same vibe and the music is done very well. The lyrics are deep enough that you can connect with them on the same level that Johnny Rzeznik sings them. The guitar has some bite to it and a few songs sound like the Foo Fighters are singing backup. The vocal harmonies are the crème and you can sing along with just about every track.

Robby Takac (bass guitar) takes over vocal duties on four songs. Robby has a more aggressive sound than Johnny does and it works to have two different sounds because it gives the songs and the disc a more rounded feel. The Goo Goo Dolls are a tight trio and when they are in the zone you can tell a great song is going to emerge.

"Gutterflower" is the disc that has plenty of radio hits and personal favorites to keep Johnny and the gang in heavy rotation on your MP3 player.

Download these: "Big Machine," "Think About Me," "Here Is Gone," and "Sympathy."

Goo Goo Dolls: Johnny Rzeznik – lead guitar, lead vocals; Robby Takac – bass, background vocals, lead vocals on "Smash", "Tucked Away", "You Never Know" and "Up, Up, Up"; Mike Malinin – drums, percussion.

For more information, check out http://www.googoodolls.com

"Dizzy Up the Girl" (Warner Bros; 1998)

Reviewed by Jamie Kennedy

Managing to sound like a more thoughtful version of Bon Jovi, Goo Goo Dolls have provided us with a welcome slice of slick, polished, pop-rock'n'roll. This, the band's sixth full release, is their most mainstream yet. Even more mainstream than its follow ups!

The first few tracks are arena style, sing-a-long rockers which are sure to please radio listeners. Opener's "Dizzy," "Slide" and "Broadway" are all really enjoyable and serve to make you realize just how good this band can be when given room to breathe. "January Friend" is not that great a song but - at just over two minutes and 30 seconds - it is welcome filler. Picking up where "Broadway" left off is "Black Balloon." Vocalist Johnny Rzeznik begins to hit his full potential with this song. His delivery on stand-out songs such as the short but sweet "Acoustic #3" and lead single from the City Of Angels soundtrack "Iris" is just  stunning. He has this ability to connect with the audience and seem real whilst managing to come across as some kind of superstar. "Acoustic #3" just so happens to be my favorite song on the album. At only two minutes in length and featuring only an electro-acoustic and a vocalist, you'd think it would simply be filler. You'd be wrong. A great song with touching lyrics  questioning the short nature of life and the confusion people who have no place in life feel. 

In short, if you are looking for some well-produced but raw balladry, or like Bon Jovi and Tom Petty, give "Dizzy Up The Girl" a good listen. I can promise you that you will find something in there that you can connect with.

Goo Goo Dolls: Johnny Rzeznik, Robby Takac, George Tutuska and Mike Malinin.

Find out more about the Goo Goo Dolls at: www.googoodolls.com

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2011 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 19 Feb 2017 18:25:01 -0500.