The Goo Goo Dolls have been around for what seems like forever, six years before I was born to be exact! And yet, in their 27 year run without hiatus, they have gathered 14 top ten singles, sold over 10 million albums, and had their hit-song “Iris” top Billboard’s Top 100 songs of 1992-2012. In other words, this band has the credentials to scare any Belieber away.
With the release of “Magnetic” on June 11 (their tenth studio album) the Goo Goo Dolls are back, and in many ways better than they have been for quite some time. While not a massive change from the tried-and-tested formula of soft pop rock, Johnny Rzeznik and co. have produced a catchy, meaningful and emotionally upbeat record. The band chose to work with three different producers, Gregg Wattenberg, John Shanks and Greg Wells in order to get a very unique sound for each track.
Unlike their recent efforts, the band wrote much of the music on tour, without the forced nature of a record company breathing down their neck. This results in a fresh and more vibrant sounding Goo Goo Dolls that are perhaps entering an Indian summer of their careers. As I got a sneak-preview of “Magnetic” this week, I’ve chosen to break down the new record track by track.
1. Rebel Beat
Ok, so despite what I just said, completely forget the first single, “Rebel Beat”. It unfortunately clouds the tone for the rest of the record, aligning it to some kind of happy teenage mmpop (sorry Hanson) rather than something you’d expect from a rock band. One reason for this might be that the Goo Goo Dolls are signed to Warner Bros. Records, and these days all the major labels seem to think that if you have some kind of teenage choir chanting “yeah” or “hey” in the background that it’s going to be a hit. Well, no –it’s not.
Let John Rzeznik do what he does best and write evocative songs with an edgy flair to them. Thankfully, “Rebel Beat” is the only “cringe song” in that regard – the rest are vintage Goo, mixing melodic anthems with lyrics that you feel were personally written just for your life.
This article was first posted on June 11, 2013