Better days are here again as one of America's favorite rock bands, The Goo Goo Dolls, returns with its first studio album since 2002. Opening the doors for Let Love In-with the renowned Glen Ballad producing the band for ... more »the first time. Let Love In welcomes The Goo Goo Dolls back to the top of rock.« less
Better days are here again as one of America's favorite rock bands, The Goo Goo Dolls, returns with its first studio album since 2002. Opening the doors for Let Love In-with the renowned Glen Ballad producing the band for the first time. Let Love In welcomes The Goo Goo Dolls back to the top of rock.
Goo Goo Dolls deliver the delicious with first studio album
A. G. Corwin | 04/25/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Things change a lot in 4 years. Bands come and go; groups that were once on top of the world become bargain bin material in your local record store. Averaging three years between albums hasn't hurt The Goo Goo Dolls' Johnny Rzeznik, Robbie Takac, and Mike Malinin, however. Their new release, Let Love In, which I have had on constant rotation since getting the pre-release last week, is a strongly enjoyable album. Let Love In delivers the audience a deliciously comfortable slice of pure radio-friendly music.
The album kicks off with two songs sure to be big singles. Stay With You is an amped up song, its strong melodies and uplifting beats resonate wonderfully. Let Love In is musically lush; Strong acoustic guitar and great fuzzy bass tones join ethereal strings that highlight lyrics sure to make the heart ache, "the only way we'll feel again, the only way to see again, is to let love in." Feel The Silence has an addictive beat and comforting chorus. The fourth and best track on the album, Better Days,is a plea for love and tolerance in a fractured world; A somber piano melody accompanies emotional lyrics, "Tonight's the night the world begins again" and "there's something only you can give..that's faith and trust and peace while you're alive," while a full orchestra builds to an emotionally pleasing crescendo. This song will be on every radio. Without You is a bit of a pleasant surprise musically, as if U2's Edge jumped into the studio to play lead guitar on this laid back mid-tempo song.
The album's midway point gives us Robbie's first vocal with Listen, a song sure to please the Robbie fans and infuriate the Robbie haters. Give a Little Bit follows, makes its encore return from last year's single release. As cover songs go, this is one of the best in recent years, ideally blending Rzeznik's voice and 12-string guitar. Can't Let it Go is probably the closest thing to a Black Balloon on this record, "You were no angel, and I was no saint, but somehow I can't let it go." When You're Gone feels like filler track at first but becomes better and better with every listen. Strange Love is Robbie second vocal track. This is the first real departure from the Dolls normal style, offering an 80's feel with piano notes floating over a repeating chorus. This would make a great track for a movie. The closing track Become is decent enough but leaves you with a slightly off aftertaste as it can't seem to decide what kind of song it wants to be.
For you Doll fans counting at home, this album has 9 Johnny and 2 Robbie vocals. The record as a whole is fairly laid back, without any fast tempo rock tracks that earlier albums had. Glen Ballard's production on this album gives us tighter and better melodies and smoother choruses, but the songs as a whole are more atmospheric than rocked out. More instruments and effects are used, layering the songs with more depth and complexity than the three-chord punch of yesteryear. Some feel that this album is too laid back at first play, but it grows considerably better with repeated listens. Those that don't like the softer side of Goo may be unhappy with this album, as Let Love In doesn't take dramatic risks in songwriting or stray far from the Dolls recent formula of success. It is an ear friendly album sure to be on constant rotation this year and will be a crowd pleaser. Recommended.
A.G. Corwin St.Louis, MO"
Tepid Goo - 2.5 stars
cwooden | Arlington, VA USA | 05/05/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I don't think this is a "great" CD. It's has some good moments but on the whole I'm disappointed. It's not just the over abundance of ballads (6!), the very heavy handed production or the more generic sound, but also the lackluster (at times cliche) lyricism. I've been listening to the CD for 3 whole days and I'm almost sick of it already. There are perhaps 3 songs that I really like but none that I love.
The Goos have written better songs and constructed better albums in the past. SSCW, ABNG and DUTG are CDs that I usually play from start to finish - I never hit the skip button. They aren't perfect albums but there is something magical about them - something charming in the scruffiness of the sound and the word play of the lyrics. Maybe John, in his effort not to write "Westerbergian" lyrics, has backed away from really interesting imagery and word play. When Gutterflower came out, it seemed more uneven in quality (i.e. the nine choruses of "Na Na"s on What A Scene - give me a break!). This CD is even more so - especially since 2 of the songs have been out for a while and I'm tired of them already.
There is a lack of texture across the CD. I love having an out of the box rocker to start but the video is more interesting than the song. Tracks 2-4 (all ballads) sound really similar but they do have some really catchy hooks. The chorus of "Feel the Silence" sounds so much like Creeper Lagoon (a bay-area band) that it inspired me to get that CD out again and play it. It can't be a good sign when a song from one CD makes you want to here another band's CD. Track 5 is another ballad but it does sound different. Robby's songs are really needed to break up the sameness. I skip "Better Days" and "Give a Little Bit" all the time. "Can't Let It Go" is a lovely remake of the melody for "Always Know Where You Are" (one of John's "Treasure Planet" songs) - great hook and OK lyrics. "We'll Be Here" and "Become" are well-intentioned songs but the lyrics are unremarkable.
I'm not doubting the guys intentions and I'm not saying they should not evolve but evolving shouldn't mean losing their unique qualities. There are huge leaps from SSCW to ABNG to DUTG - 3 really different CDs that are obviously from the same band.
I really wanted to love this CD which is why I spent 3 days listening to it. I hoped it would grow on me. Perhaps my expectations are too high now. I guess I've evolved into a more critical, more demanding listener. I will continue to support the band and I hope to see them in concert this summer. They are one of the best live acts I've ever seen."
The Goo Goo Dolls have grown up.
fullcircledave | Buffalo, NY USA | 05/21/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Goo Goo Dolls are in a tough position. If they write radio friendly power ballads, their old-school fans scream "sell-out". If Robbie takes over on the occassional lead vocal, new fans complain "why is that awful guy singing?" (Hey, once upon a time Robbie was the lead vocalist.) Not to mention a record label that considers the million selling "Gutterflower" a failure and is pressuring the band to repeat the phenomenal success of "Dizzy Up the Girl". That being said, I love this new CD. I feel Johnny continues to grow as a song writer and that strength is reflected in his new material. Yes, this is a very radio-friendly album. But as an adult fan who has grown up with the Goo Goo Dolls over the years, I think it is an excellent addition to their catalog. I'm glad they gave Robbie a token two songs to sing as a nod to their old fans. If you enjoyed "Gutterflower", and "Dizzy Up the Girl", you will enjoy this album. If you're waiting for the next sequel to "Jed", sorry, but that's not going to happen. The Goo Goo Dolls have grown up, and in my opinion, matured into outstanding songwriters."
Much better than Gutterflower
Leslie A. Peck | New Jersey | 05/12/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I've been a Goo fan for quite some time and really love their music . . . being a transplanted Buffalonian living far from home, this album really resonated for me. I thought it was better than Gutterflower lyrically and musically - and enjoyed the more thoughtful side of the "Goos".
I remember reading that the song "We'll Be Here" was written about the closing of the Bethlehem Steel Plant in Buffalo - something which spelled the death knell for the life of the city. I don't know if it's true - but the song is incredible. The phrase, "And now everyone is gone, to a place that won't be home" should strike a chord with everyone who has had to leave Buffalo for economic reasons . . . it does with me.
Great job guys!"
Jacob K. Lloyd | 05/05/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I felt compelled to add my voice to disillusioned Goo Goo Dolls fans who have watched a gradual decline from the explosive, innovative rock we once enjoyed. No previous GGD CD has been so lacking in intensity. Languid, mournful numbers from the talented Rzeznik are barely passable, a shadow of the greatness evidenced on previous CDs. The chord progressions are anything but inventive. I actually found myself enjoying Robbie Takac's raspy "Listen"--if only because it sticks to what Goo Goo Dolls have always done best: Bright Rock.
I hate myself for feeling this way. I really wanted to love this album, but the lack of depth and the triteness of the lyrics force me to cast a vote of disapproval. I'm willing to wait another 4 years, if somehow the next album can recapture the emotion and vibrance of Boy Named Goo and Dizzy Up the Girl."