The 10th studio album from the American Rock band Goo Goo Dolls was released earlier this month, and we were rather anxious to get our hands on it. On Magnetic the ‘Goos’ did what we hoped they would, they went back to their roots and produced a classic radio friendly 11-song love letter.
For fans of their previous albums like “Let Love In (2006)” and “Something for the Rest of Us (2010)” Magnetic may feel like its a change in direction with being less guitar-driven (softer if you will) and noticeably poppier than some of the group’s past efforts. But for the old school 90’s fans that forgot about the band over the last 10 years and picked up Magnetic and gave it a try, they would have hardly notice a change in any direction. The band has gone full-circle back to where they where when we first fell in love with them. Magnetic is still instantly recognizably the work of the same band who brought you “Iris, “Black Balloon”, “Slide” and countless other melodic smashes over the past 20 years.
The first song on the album will undoubtedly be their highest chart climber. “Rebel Beat” is a bubbly, summery anthem that, like much of the aptly named Magnetic, features a melody that you can’t get out of your head because it’s still there from the last time round.The songs on Magnetic are punchier and more rhythmic than those on the fairly downbeat previous 2/3 albums. Instead of writing alone as he usually does, Rzeznik paired with some other hitmaking writers/producers, including Gregg Wattenberg and John Shanks. The switch has done the band good, and you get classic Goo Goo Dolls riffs and lyrics that hits the heart. The albums theme remains a love letter to whomever. With songs like “The World Breaks Your Heart”, “Slow it Down” and “Caught in the Storm” you will catch your self signing along with the timeless lyrics like “Just shut your mouth and know that you are everything to me”.
“Bringing on the Light” and “Happiest Of Days” are songs sung by bassist Robby Takac, who started the band with Rzeznik in 1986. We never really understood this break in vocals, but over the years we’ve grown accustomed to this, even if all we want to hear is more of Rznenik.
The band is without a doubt sticking to what their good at. This has lead them to the successes that they have experienced up to now. Following the same recipe over and over again sadly does take away the “freshness” that we’d hoped the album would carry. In the end it’s the same “Goos” once again in a different package. One still gets the impression that the band is trying to write another “Iris” or “Black Balloon” in more than one way with songs such as “bulletproofangel”.
While the hits may have slowed from the trio’s mid-‘90s heyday, the Goo Goo Dolls still hold the record for the most top 10 songs in the history of Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart of all acts. These guys have proven that they know how to produce music everybody loves, and magnetic is no exception. The album definitely kicks off with upbeat and fresh music, but in the end it’s the same rhythms and lyrics packaged differently. If the Goos have never been your thing before, there’s little here that will sway you to give them a listen now, but if you’re a fan of the Goo Goo Dolls’ layered pop rock, you’ll certainly feel the pull of “Magnetic.”
|2.||“When the World Breaks Your Heart”||3:33|
|3.||“Slow It Down”||3:11|
|4.||“Caught in the Storm”||3:57|
|5.||“Come to Me”||3:45|
|6.||“Bringing on the Light”||3:16|
|7.||“More of You”||3:26|
|8.||“Bullet Proof Angel”||3:23|
|9.||“Last Hot Night”||3:37|
|10.||“Happiest of Days”||3:31|
|11.||“Keep the Car Running”|