Third Rail Advance CD
Produced by: Rob Cavallo

Released: April 9 / Website
GENRE: Nu Breed / Modern Rock

  1. Big Machine
  2. Think About Me
  3. Here Is Gone
  4. You Never Know
  5. What A Scene
  6. Up, Up, Up
  7. It's Over
  8. Sympathy
  9. What Do You Need?
  10. Smash
  11. Tucked Away
  12. Truth Is A Whisper

Put the CD on, run through the first three tracks and tell me this isn't a candidate for album of the year. Fantastic, multi-layered, harmony filled, moody modern rock songs, filled with passion and angst, in the band's own unique brand of nu-breed delivery.
Big Machine is everything we love the Goo's for - big guitar driven, layered and anthem like, fuelled by vocalist John Rzeznik rock-perfect tone.
Think About Me is more perfect Goo, moving back to the feel of their Boy Named Goo release. Catchy as hell and ultimately very singable.
Here Is Gone is another perfect radio anthem and in reality a rocked up ballad.
Then reality hits. The less frequent second vocalist of the band kicks in on You Never Know. The song starts with promise and still musically hits the mark, but the moment Robby Takac opens his mouth, the tone and quality of the album drops.
Rob has on Ok voice and suits the more punkish songs the band still loves to turn out, but if these guys want to record an all out classic album, then Robby has to retire his voice or limit himself to maybe one track per album.
To appear here on 4 tracks places a dampener on the album.
I noticed that on the very dark and moody What A Scene and the atmospheric modern pop rocker It's Over, John Rzeznik sings in a deeper tone that normal, which pretty much relegates Robby's tone changing vocals superfluous.
Tracks like Up, Up, Up - again featuring Robby - are a world away from the stadium anthems of Big Machine and Here Is Gone.
His voice may have suited the band in their garage punk days, but they are in the big league now. Time for some changes.
That aside, there are more stand out tracks on the album. Sympathy is a fantastic acoustic track that suits the band down to the ground and it is easy to see that this song will be a single. Wonderful vocals from John.
What Do You Need is a dark, heavy, almost alternative song in the vein of the band's earlier work. And like I said, with Johnny singing alternatively on a couple of tracks, it makes Robby's vocals unnecessary.
However, Robby's track Smash is still pretty enjoyable. The music is never really a problem though.
The album ends with another dark, complex modern rocker, that features a softer chorus and is again, another example of how the Goo Goo Dolls can stand out above others as one of the best modern melodic bands recording today.
BOTTOM LINE: The problem is you don't like the tracks featuring Robby's vocals is that it places pressure on John's tracks to be all classics. They're not - there is still maybe one filler on here and that means the band are still one album short of recording that all time classic we all know they could and should deliver.
Still, for what it's worth, this is another welcome album to add to the Goo's collection and one of the best modern rock records of the year. But it could have been even better.
I think the album is almost equal to Dizzy Up The Girl, but still not as good as A Boy Named Goo.
ESSENTIAL FOR: All fans of modern rock and the Goo's.
DISCOGRAPHY:Goo Goo Dolls . Jed . Hook Me Up . Superstar Car Wash . A Boy Named Goo . Dizzy Up The Girl . Ego, Opinion, Art & Commerce . Gutterflower

01/06/05: pcplus -
Rating: 90
Great album. The best Goo Goo's album: Dizzy up the girl and this one.

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06/10/04: Robby rocks -
Rating: 99
Robby's songs are what the goos are all about. If anything he should have MORE songs on each album. He combines the past with the present which is extremely important. He is the true goo, and has 10000000000's of fans world wide that LOVE his voice. ROCK ON ROBBY!

25/05/04: h4evergirl -
Rating: 100
like i was trying to say a few months ago, Robbie is awesome!!!PRAISE ROBBIE, PRAISE GOO 4EVER!!!!!!!!

11/12/03: Cassie - h4evergirl
Rating: 100
if it werent for Robbie the goo goo dolls wouldnt be as big as they are now. Although i love Johhny and Mike i think robbie sounds amazing ( so do Johhny and Mike) but Robbie is sooooo adorable he reminds me of a puppy

27/05/03: Chrissy -
Rating: 100
It's amazing to me how Johnny and Robbie get ideas like this on these songs. I think it would be very hard for me to think of these songs. I think they write poetry and turn it into music. This album is intimate and amazing. Johnny is proving again what a musician he is in his soul. He, RObbie, and Mike were meant to do this. They are all great guys! I know they will always write music greatly. They were meant to do it. THE GOO GOO DOLLS RULE!!

18/03/03: Tom Fullbrook -
Rating: 100
this album is simply one of the best ever written, John Rzeznik proves again that he is simply one of the best singer-songwriters on the nu-breed scene, one drawback though is his ability to keep his mate Robby quiet, yes Robby your a good bassist but please leave the singing to John- 'Smash'is the best song youve ever written though! This is the album the Goo Goo Dolls have always been threatening to make- the last 2 were near classics let down by the odd useless filler song, this is ultimately nearly flawless

18/10/02: jayne -
Rating: 100

17/08/02: Erin -
Rating: 100
I don't know what's wrong with you guys!?
i absolutley LOVED Robby Takac's songs!! I listen to them every day! He just wants to put in alittle "omph" in the c.d's! i still like all of John's songs aswell but i think Robby should get as much credit as John does!! Robby works hard on those songs, and he just wants some reconition! GIVE HIM A BREAK! As i say again...I LOVED his songs!!!!!!!

19/07/02: Bobby/syd -
Rating: 40
Sorry guys,this album is a piece of CRAP.Besides the first 3 songs which are killer,the rest is garbage.Buy the 3 singles from this cd,the rest is just filler.Robbie Takac shouldnt sing at all......

02/07/02: Brad -
Rating: 94
I think this album is a fantastic melodic modern effort. While I agree that songs like the first three on the album are the best of the Goos, I think the changes in direction throughout the album make it a very interesting listen overall.

"Big Machine" gets the album off to a truly huge, catchy start--great mid-tempo melodic anthem. Then comes "Think About Me", a fantastic, acoustic-driven anthem that reminds me of late-90s Night Ranger. "Here Is Gone" is the third track and first single--a pretty song that is nonetheless a bit more uptempo than, say, "Iris".

But then...the album changes. Robby Takac, takes over the lead vocals from John Rzeznik for a track and belts out a more modern-sounding, not-so-melodic tune in "You Never Know". A couple of tracks later, Robby again sings on "Up, Up, Up"--again in the more modern, punk direction. In the meantime, John sings on more modern-sounding songs like "What A Scene" and "It's Over" before finally settling in with a true acoustic ballad, the beautiful "Sympathy".

The final four tracks are split between John and Robby on the tracks. "What Do You Need" is a truly modern-sounding effort by John which nicely shows his lower vocal range and has a heavy, distorted electric guitar sound. Robby's "Smash" and "Tucked Away" bring back a little of that punk edge, before Robby's vocals are back for the anthemic, more melodic (once again) "Truth Is A Whisper".

This is truly a variety-filled, enjoyable, mature effort by these guys. Clearly more serious than "Dizzy" but continuing in a mainstream direction. I think it is a very exciting listen in which I can get into any track depending upon my mood. To me, a very creative, musically diverse effort that shouldn't be missed.

18/06/02: Dave -
Rating: 89
Great cd! It has a mellow feel to it but has it's rocking moments. I would have given it clsoe to a 95% if it weren't for the songs that Robbie sings. They don't sound like they fit him as well as songs on previous efforts. That is the only draw back I have with this disc. Enjoy! Dj

19/04/02: echo -
Rating: 70
robby takac shouldnt sing at all :P
overall is an ok album

18/04/02: jeff boneske -
Rating: 92
real good album. johnny's song's are really strong. the guy is so cool to. makes jon bon jovi look and sound like a real wimp. the goo's are my favorite band. bon jovi used to be(when the music mattered most). was sort of hoping for something more like superstar or boy named goo but now a days this is a great album(except for robbies songs). if they were all rzeznicks' songs this probably would have been a classic. What a scene is a great song with cool grooves and lyrics(how does it feel, when you found out what your'e not gonna be?) johnny's lyrics really hit you and make you think. big machine is also great musically and lyrically(i don't need what you ain't got). also love It's over, and Truth is a whisper(more great melodic rock).

16/04/02: Richard Hall -
Rating: 92
The Goo Goo Dolls return to splendour with a new release of catchy hook-laden tunes that beg for radio airplay,at least the songs sung by Johnny Rzeznik.This would have the perfect melodic release of the month had not been for the razor throat Robby Takac's offerings.Still this is one of the best AOR/modern rock releases for the the year so far(along with Harem Scarem).Songs such as "Here Is Gone" and "Big Machine" have addictive chourus' and should be huge at radio.It's a more enjoyable fare than 'Dizzy Up The Girl', Go out and get it.

15/04/02: Glenn Shades -
Rating: 90
I have been a big Goo Goo Dolls fan ever since "A Boy Named Goo." Their latest effort, "Gutterflower" is a very solid album. I like the fact that this record is faster paced than "Dizzy Up the Girl." It has a happier tone also. It really only has one ballad, "Sympathy." I agree that maybe Robby shouldn't be singing on 4 tracks. Cigarettes have really done a number on his vocal capabilities. His songs on previous albums were more enjoyable. As his song writing progresses and his rythyms in songs get catchier, his voice gets worse. All four of his songs are decent, but in no way match the quality of John Rzeznik's. I think all of John's songs are very well written with catchy riffs and interesting lyrics. His vocal performanes on "It's Over" and "Truth is a Whisper" are very emtional and these songs seem like they came from experiences rather than just silly pop songs found all too often in today's popular music. He is a very prolific song writer and I don't believe he gets the credit he deserves. Out of the 8 of Rzeznik's songs on "Gutterflower" I think all of them are unique and great except for "What do you Need?" which sounds almost like a filler in my opinion. I don't understand what Andrew means by Johnny "singing alternatively." He does experiment with different effects which give his voice a darker, edgier sound on some tracks which adds to the diversity of the album. Even though Robby's songs don't add to the album, John's songs are so good, you won't care after about 5 listens. This album does a great job of walking the fine line between poppy and hard edged rock songs, making it very appetizing for a larger music audience. Most people can enjoy these songs regardless of what type of rock music they prefer. "Gutterflower" is a welcome addition to anyone's library who enjoys catchy, guitar-driven hard rock songs.

10/04/02: Rand -
Rating: 91
The 1st three songs are absolute classics. I agree with Andrew's review. Would like to see some more of the powerpop direction of Superstar+, but with the success that the Goo's have achieved since, it won't happen. The lyrics are the best that Johnny has ever written & are brutally honest. Big Machine is the best song that they have written in years.

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