|Goo Goo Dolls Let Love In||Warner Bros.|
My first Goo Goo Dolls record was A Boy Named Goo. A later-comer to the band yes, but that album made an immediate impact and remains my favourite from the band and one of my all time favourite modern rock albums. Subsequent releases have been a little weaker each time, but remained enjoyable.|
Dizzy Up The Girl was solid, but didn't quite have the raw power of Goo. Gutterfower got off to a flyer, but fell away towards the end.
With each record the band has mellowed a little, but with Let Love In, the move is more pronounced. The bands' success with mid and slow tempo songs has obviously influenced their thinking, with this a far more mature and mellow record.
I love a mellow record as much, if not more, than the average melodic rock fan - fabulous for certain moods and emotions.
But when it comes to the Goo Goo Dolls, I want an album full of their classic rocking sound. I want high-powered angst…I want a wall of melodic guitars and I want passion and urgency in the delivery of their anthems for the misunderstood.
Not on this record. With the exception of perhaps the opening track, Let Love In sees a band that has grown older and become all to comfortable.
I know this record is going to have a lot of fans and I don't mind going against what may prove to be the majority…we shall see.
But for me, the band has lost the intensity that drove albums like A Boy Named Goo and Superstar Carwash.
The band doesn't abandon their trademark sound, it has merely been tempered and acoustic guitars now share equal billing with the plugged in variety.
If you like the band in a mellower setting and have a preference for their ballads, this very slick record is going to appeal. The vocals of Johhny Rzeznik are certainly some of the more likeable and melodic of ay modern rock band.
But, if like me, you prefer them in a heavier setting, prepare to be disappointed.
Track By Track:
The new single Stay With You is an easy pick for an opener and the track to promote the album. It opens with all the passion, fanfare and fire you would expect of the band. This track is the closest to the band's most classic sound which really came to be on A Boy Named Goo. A fantastic, guitar fuelled wall of melody with a killer chorus, this is destined to become another classic for the band.
The title track Let Love In has an interesting intro. A different approach for the band, with lots of production effects lying underneath a soft vocal before the song bursts to life with a very commercial melodic chorus. It's hard not to like the track, but it does suggest that the band are no longer an angst filled modern rock outfit, but rather a more comfortable 'happy' band!
Feel The Silence mellows even further. We are on a slowing path here and this mid-tempo pop rocker has a feel good chorus, and replaces angst with a more mature sentimental emotion.
Better Days is the song we all know from late last year. This very commercial modern rock ballad has a great chorus of course, but I was never fully sold on this track then and haven't changed my mind.
About this stage I'm dying for a rocker. We is the GGD of old? Each track on the album has been mellower than the last and this climaxes with the ultra slow acoustic driven ballad Without You Here. I'm not a fan of this track at all. The album has slowed to a crawl after an initially promising start.
Listen sounds every bit a classic GGD rocker and could easily fit on any of the last 3 albums. Finally a great rock track, however, it does get knocked back a notch as bassist Robby is on lead vocals here. Thankfully it at least matches his input from the Boy Named Goo album and is his best vocal track of the last couple of albums.
Give A Little Bit is another track we have all heard already. The song was the one new studio track from the 2005 live album release and should not have been included on this album. We all own it already…move on…
Can't Let It Go is yet another acoustic driven mid-tempo pop rocker. It is an ok song, but again I'm searching for a killer rocker in amongst all the mid-tempo tracks.
We'll Be Here (When You're Gone) is a moody, modern rock track. It could have been darker and heavier still, but gathers a little fire towards the end.
Strange Love features Robby again. He is back to his average raspy vocals and this doesn't impress as much as his first track.
Become is yet another slow ballad and one without any redeeming virtues. I find it too plain and boring and is a repeat of what's already on offer elsewhere within the album.
Nice for an unobtrusive, safe, commercial modern rock record, but is that really what the Goo Goo Dolls are all about? My hope for this genre now falls back to Mitch Allen for his solo debut. Please let it rock!
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