Review Summary: The best Goo Goo Dolls work by far; features instant classics, but the singers switch off too often and leave A Boy Named Goo in an identity crisis.
The 90s; a great time for me, to be honest. Livin' large out in Houston, without a worry in the world...didn't have to worry about Iraq or Osama bin Laden; or an illgeal immigrant protest on my doorstep. All that mattered to me was high school and my music. My music; indie alternative rock; and a bit of punk. Old Green Day, Smashing Pumpkins, VAST, Tonic, and the Goo Goo Dolls. The Goo Goo Dolls, of course, before the so-called 'defining' record by the Goo Goo Dolls 'Dizzy Up the Girl' hit the shelves. I viewed that CD as the biggest sell-out and most pitiful attempt at a CD they had made...ever. Way too soft, lacking the garage sound they had, and too radio-friendly. I was disgusted and disowned the Goo Goo Dolls. I still had my favorite Goo Goo Dolls CDs, Superstar Car Wash and A Boy Named Goo.
A Boy Named Goo is raw garage-rock with it's own unique sound; let me tell you, the Goo Goo Dolls had one heck of an awesome sound back in the 90s. Their guitars just had a sound no one had. Largely unheard of other than the borderline hit, 'Name', the Goo Goo Dolls were gods to me and no one else. This is their true 'defining' album; it lacks the monotonous sound of today's Goo Goo Dolls.
The best song on A Boy Named Goo and still today my favorite Goo Goo Dolls song, 'Long Way Down' kicks this record in gear with it's loud guitar riffs and intense up, in-your-face sound; 'Naked' is another rocker that features some nice guitar riffs while adding some atmosphere to the typical sound of this record. 'Flat Top' is a fast song that feels a bit like an acoustic guitar song, and is more based off of it's vocals. 'Name' was a moderate radio hit; and it deserved it, as it was a slower, ballad song that is a classic, unforgettable Goo Goo Dolls song. With it's acoustic guitars and quieter vocals, this song was destined to be a hit the second it was recorded. 'Somethin Bad' is really good, fast, and features the old lead singer Robby Takac's vocals. , 'Ain't That Unusual' is a start-stop-start-stop slower rocker that is another typical song off of this album; but then there's the closer 'Slave Girl' which is the hardest song on A Boy Named Goo. It doesn't sound like the rest of their songs, the Goo Goo Dolls sound is absent here; but make no mistake, it's still good.
This album is good; and is the Goo Goo Dolls' best. Lacking what makes the Goo Goo Dolls popular today makes this album great; at least to me. Songs like 'Long Way Down' and 'Name' are just awesome. But, this album isn't flawless; as Johnny Rzeznik(the lead singer that everyone knows as the voice of the Goo Goo Dolls) and Robby Takac(the old lead singer) switch off too much giving this album in an identity crisis. Is this album like the original Goo Goo Dolls' albums or is this the 'new wave' of the Goo Goo Dolls albums?
But even with a few problems, this album still is the peak of the Goo Goo Dolls talent. If you like rock and indie, I'd just like to say, try this album. It's rock, not soft radio-fodder like the Goo Goo Dolls of today.