Goo Goo Dolls
Magnetic


3.0
good

Review

by ZackSh33 USER (21 Reviews)
June 6th, 2013 | 23 replies | 4,161 views


Release Date: 06/05/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Goo Goo Dolls stay the same, but so what?

5 of 5 thought this review was well written

The Goo Goo Dolls remain one of the last mainstays from the heyday of the alternative rock era of the late nineties. Since their breakthrough album Dizzy Up the Girl (1998), the Dolls have been churning out new material like clockwork every four years. First was the upbeat, yet deceptively dark Gutterflower (2002), next came the soft rock polish of Let Love In (2006), and their most recent album up to now, Something For the Rest of Us (2010), showed, if nothing else, the Dolls consistency at making their own brand of radio friendly soft rock. The music was never terrible, never even unfriendly to most listeners, but after Gutterflower, the music became more and more typical, since all their songs mainly just stuck to the band's tried and true sound.

It being the first Goo Goo Dolls studio album released in an odd numbered year since 1995, the band's tenth album, Magnetic, was supposed to be the album that could have changed it all for the Dolls. Its orange album artwork features a cigarette-smoking girl dressed in military gear; its slightly warped portrait being the brightest colored artwork that the Dolls have utilized in a while, rekindling fond memories of the girl on the bright red artwork of Gutterflower. Would this change in color also mark a shift in the sound for the Goo Goo Dolls?

Well, that's a hard question to answer. Lead single and first track “Rebel Beat” certainly gives the indication of a slight change in sound (albeit a small one) for the Goo Goo Dolls. The arrangement of “Rebel Beat” sounds like it has been directly influenced by a band like OneRepublic, but still is a typical album opener in that it utilizes a nice intro into the upbeat, acoustic guitar driven strumming in the chorus. It certainly doesn't illustrate the dramatic change that some may have been hoping for, and it certainly does not end up representing Magnetic as a whole. Throughout the album, instances of a change in the Goo Goo Dolls sound remain small, yet sometimes become extremely evident to a careful listener. On a track like “More of You,” lead singer Johnny Rzeznik ends up sounding more like the Dolls' radio friends Matchbox 20, and the arrangement features the prominent shouting of "Hey!" in the style of some of the bands looking to the Dolls' place such as the Lumineers. It is also tough to see bassist Robby Takac still only gets his traditional two track limit on Magnetic even though he has been writing some of the better songs that the Goo Goo Dolls have released recently. But, even Takac shows some changes of his own on “Happiest of Days,” a straight up string ballad that shows off his distinct gravelly voice.

But for every step forward, there's a step back, and in this case, the step back is the Goo Goo Dolls reverting to what has been safe for them. “Last Hot Night” is essentially a rewrite of 2006's album opener “Stay With You,” “Slow it Down” features guitar reminiscent of the Let Love In album track “Can't Let It Go,” and the other Rzeznik written tracks mainly are upbeat, sonically layered, soft rock anthems. This stickiness in songwriting could come off as being a little mundane for some, but, don't get the wrong idea: these are solid songs that have no real faults other than sounding similar while sometimes getting lost in their own lyrical vagueness and stumbling (the most notable lyrical fault being on “Slow it Down” where Rzeznik states: “I still remember you/the dizzy dance with me and you/we lived our lives without a clue/and never tried to find the meaning”). There are some songs on this album that even shine through above the other average ones, namely “Keep the Car Running,” a Rzeznik sung anthem that actually hits the mark, and “Bringing On the Light,” which is Takac's only other appearance on the album, still shows that he has the ability to write songs that contrast and complement Rzeznik's slower, more dramatic ballads.

In the end, Magnetic, while not life-altering or experimental in any way, is an album that once again shows that the Goo Goo Dolls still have the ability to do what they have always done relatively well. Give Rzeznik, Takac, and drummer Mike Malanin some credit, the trio as it is has lasted for 18 years, (and the band itself has been around for 25), but on Magnetic, the sound of an increasingly weary band is beginning to become apparent. No one is asking for the Goo Goo Dolls to do something completely off the wall, but obviously, Rzeznik's voice no longer has the same pop as it used to back in the nineties, the guitar work is less intricate, and the drumming is not as hard hitting as it used to be. But, throughout all the monotony, all the even numbered years gone by, all the predictable track listings, and all the album artworks prominently featuring raven haired girls, the Goo Goo Dolls somehow remain a band that still show a great talent in staying chart and radio relevant just doing what they do best.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
ZackSh33
June 5th 2013



201 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The album is available for streaming via iHeartRadio:

http://www.warnerbrosrecords.com/news/goo-goo-dolls-magnetic-album-stream-exclusively-iheartradio

I don't want to come off as being too critical of these guys cause this album is certainly not
terrible, but it's just more of the same so it's hard to be too positive.

CK
June 6th 2013



4532 Comments


Wait woah these guys still exist what

SitarHero
June 6th 2013



4020 Comments


Good review! Pos.

ZackSh33
June 6th 2013



201 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks! Any comments or feedback would be appreciated!

KILL
June 6th 2013



67082 Comments


worst band ever

CK
June 6th 2013



4532 Comments


Could be worse, really. They could be Maroon 5

NapalmCrusader
June 6th 2013



1737 Comments


Maroon 5 is abysmal as fuck, they make some of the worst ripoffs of the police and jamiroquai and they
add to the mixture shitty pop. Never cared about this band and only payed attention to iris so I can't
hate goo goo dolls.

CK
June 6th 2013



4532 Comments


Lol they went from awful to how can a band suck this much

ZackSh33
June 6th 2013



201 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This should be no contest: the goo goo dolls will always be better than Maroon 5 or any of their former or current counterparts strictly because of iris and black balloon

MrGooseyMoose
June 7th 2013



4 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thought this was a great review. As for the album...the songs seem really solid for the most part. It's just a shame, I think, that they computerized his voice so much.

Ecnalzen
June 7th 2013



5859 Comments


I haven't heard much from these guys since Gutterflower, which I surprisingly liked quite a bit, but I wasn't a fan of that lead single they did for this. Rzeznik just cant seem to write a chrous like he used to anymore.

ZackSh33
June 7th 2013



201 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

@ecnalzen I feel like every chorus on this album is the same. There are some that work, there are some that don't. Rzeznik is still a decent songwriter, but his formula is worn out. I don't know what happened after about 2006, but that's when things started to get really stale.

@goosey His voice is getting older, and he can't get to those high notes as well, which is why I wish they would give Robby a couple more songs so Rzeznik can focus on his good compositions.

Ecnalzen
June 7th 2013



5859 Comments


Ugh, I can't stand Robby's voice. I usually end up skipping his songs.

Well, that song they had from the last album... I am pretty sure it was Home; I know it was a single. I loved the verse/pre-chorus, but the chorus ruins it for me a little bit every time. The only song I can really think of from Dizzy/Gutter that has a bit of a shite chorus is Here is Gone. Maybe it just kind of snowballed after that, lol.

That's too bad his voice is going out. He sounded great on all of their 90s stuff and Gutterflower.

Ecnalzen
June 7th 2013



5859 Comments


Couple of things I noticed after reading:

-Magnetic isn't italicized in the second paragraph like the rest of your album titles.

"Lead single and first track “Rebel Beat” certainly gives the indication of a slight change in sound (albeit a small one), for the Goo Goo Dolls."
-That comma isn't really needed. If you took 'albeit a small one' out of parenthesis, you would need a comma before and after it, but with the parenthesis you are fine without it.

"It certainly doesn't illustrate the dramatic change that some may have been hoping for, and, it certainly does not end up representing Magnetic as a whole."
-You don't need a comma on both sides of and; just the first one is fine. Same goes for the sentence with the colon in the 4th paragraph.

Nice review. I might stream this at some point just to hear it, but I will probably just end up occasionally going back to the older stuff like I usually do. Bullet Proof is my favorite song by them, as well as Fallin Down and Cuz You're Gone from the pre Iris stuff.

ZackSh33
June 7th 2013



201 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Whoa! So much to respond to. Thanks for the punctuation check! I usually go a bit crazy with
commas just to play it safe.

I used to skip Robby's songs almost always. Dizzy Up the Girl and Gutterflower are two of my
favorite albums period, but I still end up skipping Full Forever and Amigone all the time when
listening to it straight through. Those albums are the ones with Robby's best songs too. Robby has
taken an interesting turn throughout the years; he used to be so committed to having the punky side
of the band, and slowly but surely he's turning into Johnny Rzeznik more and more, especially on
this album, which has made me skip his stuff less and less haha

Home was kind of disappointing. I completely agree that the chorus was NOT up to par on that song.
Why it was chosen as the lead single from that album I'll never know.

You don't like Here is Gone?! One of the best songs on Gutterflower because
of its chorus. Probably their most forgotten hit, actually. I still stick with Black
Balloon as my favorite of theirs, but anything from 1995-2002 is straight up gold. Their older stuff
is good too. Superstar Car Wash is a good album pretty much all around. Most of the older stuff that
I know is from "What I Learned..." which I just found out you already commented on when I reviewed
it.

You should absolutely stream it. It's worth listening to once. I'd love to know what you think.
Sorry for the long rant haha

Ecnalzen
June 7th 2013



5859 Comments


It's cool. There probably aren't too many other fans of this band's work on Sputnik, lol, so we might as well have it out here.

Don't get me wrong; I love the rest of the song (Here is Gone). The lyrics and some of the vocal lines he does just irritate me on the chorus (the "want to get free, talk to me" part especially). Big Machine, on the other hand, is frickin great all the way through for that poppier side. Truth is a Whisper is probably my favorite from Gutter though; that song is amazing.

I haven't heard a lot from before A Boy Named Goo except for what is on that compilation album.

I will listen to this when I get a chance and let you know what I think. I may have to try out their last two as well since I still haven't heard anything but one song from each.

henryChinaski
June 8th 2013



2457 Comments


Loved these guys back in the days. Always had some great rock songs. Gonna check this out. Artwork rules.

Digging: The War on Drugs - Lost in the Dream

ZackSh33
June 8th 2013



201 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

@Ecnalzen But that's the best part of the song!! The chorus of that song is seriously the best single thing on Gutterflower. Truth Is A Whisper is a great song--especially after hearing two back to back good Robby songs. Big Machine is f-ing great. Awesome guitar work and straight up amazing all the way through. Probably my second favorite after Here is Gone. I'm thinking about writing a Gutterflower review next--I'll make sure to tell you when it goes up!

@henry This is probably the best album art they've had since 2002, probably the second best overall in their career.



Ecnalzen
June 10th 2013



5859 Comments


Awesome, Zack. I look forward to reading it! I might have to give some of the Robby songs another shot since I have been ignoring them for so many years, lol.

I really dug the darker side of Gutterflower; What Do You Need, Truth is a Whisper, It's Over, and What a Scene are all such great songs.

Gave about half of this a listen; it wasn't bad, but nothing jumped out to me at all. Definitely on the forgettable side for me.

badgerYA232
June 11th 2013



11 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"Last Hot Night" might actually be my favorite song on the album.

I really dug this album. While not a masterpiece by any means, it is loads better than anything else similar artists try to crank out. I can't explain why, but this album sounds like the sound of a band that still does have another masterpiece in them somewhere. It gets me pumped for its eventual followup.

Easily their most solid complete batch of songs since Gutterflower.



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