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

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