Top of Their Game
A. Rinear | Cincinnati, OH USA | 11/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am a hardcore Goo Goo Dolls fan and, even though I think A Boy Named Goo is a masterpiece, No one will ever convince me that this album, SSCW, is not the greatest Goo Goo Dolls albums, and quite possibly one of the best albums of the 90s. Even though I like the Goo Goo Dolls recent stuff, they were at their best during SSCW and ABNG. Unfortunately, the Goos became famous off the song "Name," which was one of their slowest, most acoustic oriented songs up to that point, and were somewhat "forced" by the label to go off in that direction instead of their previous sound. Had a song like "Fallin' Down" or "So Far Away" been released as a single before "Name", I have a feeling the Goos would be a different band today.
One thing that is promising is that, when interviewed about writing the new album (post-LLI), Robby Takac said that they wanted to return to their roots. SSCW 2 would complete my life."
Right up there with the best of 1990s rock music
Sal Nudo | Champaign, Illinois | 12/29/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There's something about a good John Rzeznik-written Goo Goo Dolls tune that reminds me of hearty comfort food you crave during the winter. His voice is warm, the guitar hooks and obligatory solo are easy on the ears and often, the arena-ready chorus is the biggest draw of the song. And while Rzeznik's lyrics are usually far from joyous, his talent for capturing a mood and real-life emotion is impressive. The opening track on "Superstar Carwash," "Fallin' Down," captures all the great elements of this band, and what follows is equally great stuff.
Endearingly, Rzeznik and bass guitarist Robby Takac used to flawlessly and unselfishly switch back and forth from song to song on early albums, the former contributing larger-than-life riffs and an all-inclusive sentimental vibe that pulled at heartstrings, while the latter songwriter opted for a more punk-sounding and raspy approach. In either case, both Rzeznik and Takac seemed street smart and wary from the start, which came through in their songwriting; they simply expressed themselves in different -- though no less explosive -- ways. What's cool about this album is the way they share vocal duties on some songs. "Domino," for instance, is an fiery rocker with Takac's frantic vocals up front and Rzeznik's melodic voice in the background during the chorus. The same vocal dynamic between the two occurs on "Close Your Eyes" as well. On "String of Lies," the guys angrily trade vocals back-and forth as lightning-quick drums pave the way for a resentful tune about hurtful past relationships.
Taking a rightful and helpful cue from the loud guitar records by The Replacements, the Goo Goo Dolls were commercial-sounding right away without sacrificing their rock `n' roll integrity. Though the more polished, adult contemporary stuff would come in droves later, melodic and rocking gems like "Lucky Star" and "Girl Right Next to Me" gave the Goo Goo Dolls both street cred and major charting potential. Surprisingly, there are a few guitar moments on "Superstar Carwash" that take me back to the days of 1980s heavy metal music, though many may disagree with that assessment.
To me, it's a tossup between whether this CD or Hold Me Up is better, but one thing was clear about the Goo Good Dolls early on: They knew how to rock, and they knew how to do it with a melodic touch, just like The Replacements, a band that was a huge and obvious influence."
Find It!!! Buy It!!!
Michael J. Krizik | California | 09/08/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Don't make the mistake I made and buy it on itunes; I always find the real pleasure in purchasing an album is actually getting the CD itself from the store or ordering it online. I've rarely ever bought any album twice, and right now I am considering getting this CD. I've only done that with few albums like Moving Pictures by Rush, Superunknown and Badmotorfinger by Soundgarden. I always describe this album as if it were really a hits collection of The Goo Goo Dolls because each song on this album is good enough to fool someone into believing it really is a hits collection (though I don't actually come out and lie like that, but you know what I mean). I also find that this album goes great in the background of a lot of things like driving, playing video games, doing homework, whatever the case might be. This album may also take some time to get into; when I first got this on itunes I blew through the whole album and found that I liked the first few songs maybe. I think the best way to maneuver through this album is to do what someone else suggested in these reviews: listen to the first seven songs then take a break and finish with the next seven songs. If you like the good old-school rock 'n' roll fun stuff like The Replacements, I'd say it's essential to add this to your collection."