Goo Goo Dolls
Hold Me Up



by Patrick USER (37 Reviews)
October 27th, 2006 | 4 replies

Release Date: 1990 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This album shows exactly what the early Goo Goo Dolls were all about, heavy, aggressive metal mixed with punk and grunge.

Back in 1990, the Goo Goo Dolls were an unheard of bunch of crazy headbangers who were just trying to make their way in the music business. After creating two painfully unsuccessful albums, Goo Goo Dolls in 1987 and Jed in 1989, the Goo Goo Dolls started messing with their sound for the first time. Instead of being completely heavy metal, this album shows a transition to more of a grunge-like sound. Hold Me Up was the first Goo record where Robby Takac was no longer the primary lead vocalist. This album, like all of the band’s pre-sellout discs, went completely under the radar. To tell you just how good it is, it doesn’t even come close to the classic Superstar Carwash, but you can see that the band is really making improvements. Robby’s bass playing is still pretty far from generic. John Rzeznik’s guitar shredding is just, to put it into simple words, fabulous. It’s also a shame that George Tutuska was kicked out five years later, and this album shows just that.

I guess I’ll be doing a track by track for this one only because the Goo Goo Dolls are hard to do an overall for.

Robby sings this, and his voice really isn’t bad at all. As long as you don’t compare it to the rough voice of Mr. Rzeznik, you could say he’s pretty good. The guitar playing here isn’t that amazing, just a lot of heavy riffs and a pretty good solo. The bass playing is different, during the chorus Robby plays some awesome high notes really fast. Also, I have to mention that the chorus is seriously catchy; there’s just something about Robby’s voice belting out “I feel like laughing, all because of you,” that makes it perfect. The lyrics aren’t anything special, but still a very fun song.

Just The Way You Are
This is basically a typical early Goo Goo Dolls Rzeznik sung song. The chorus is a little repetitive, but not really bad. His lyrics aren’t very sophisticated here, the way they would be in later years. The guitar solo is really, really good, before the end of the song, which is really cool.

So Outta Line
George’s drums in this song are really fast, and pretty cool. Robby’s singing is really catchy too, something he had a knack for. I really like the guitar playing in this one, where John switches from riff to riff. This is pretty generic when compared to the other tunes, but it’s still pretty fun.

There You Are
I’m pretty sure this was the band’s first song that was made into a video. John Rzeznik achieves basically all he needs to here, a song with some nice, catchy melodies. George adds his signature drum style by moving from cymbal to cymbal. I like the way that none of the guitar parts in any of these songs are at all watered down, and it’s always screaming right into your face.

You Know What I Mean
This is a great song. The drums change back and forth during verse and chorus. John Rzeznik's vocals are top notch here. The song sounds a bit darker than most other songs on the album. The tempo switches back and forth to make it sound pretty cool.{4/5}

Out Of The Red
This song is pretty wild, and fun to listen to. It's basically just an intermission. The best part is when Robby yells, "Son of a bitch!"

Never Take The Place Of Your Man
The was originally a Prince song, and in my opinion, the Goo Goo Dolls did a nice job of covering it, much better than the horrendous Give A Little Bit. Instead of John or Robby, the vocals are handled by Buffalo lounge singer The Incredible Lance Diamond. I think his deep voice handles this song well. The lyrics are pretty funny, about prostitutes I guess. John’s guitar playing really suits this song well.

By this time on the album, some of the riffs are getting a little old. This song has a nice punk rock feel to it. The chorus is really catchy, and does a good job of showcasing some neat vocal harmonies. The lyrics, as always, aren’t very deep or down to earth. But who cares, because this band could really rock.

On Your Side
This song is pretty similar to the previous one. The harmonies are really cool, a really awesome beat, and great bass playing. George Tutuska was a great drummer before him and John started feuding, so, like I said before, it’s too bad he had to go. The only flaw here is that it’s a little too repetitive.

22 Seconds
A brief interlude ("), I’d like to know the story behind this…

Kevin’s Song
I’m not sure, but I think this song was written as a tribute to a friend of the band, presumably named Kevin, who died. This is a lot like everything else on the album except slower. The other big difference is that instead of a lead singer, we have a piano. The piano part is really nice. This song is a definite highlight. It’s still pretty hard, and the drumming is impressive.

Know My Name
This song is pretty much about, as the title suggests, Robby’s dreams of fame. It’s just about as fast as everything else on the cd. Robby really knew how to write some catchy tunes. The bridge of the song is really cool also.

Million Miles Away
From the beginning of the song, you can tell this isn’t the Goo Goo Dolls’ original material. I’m not sure who wrote it, but it’s pretty good. The chorus is very catchy, and I like the vocal harmony a lot. The guitar riffing is pretty bland, but John Rzeznik is still up and coming at this point. He does, however, do some cool soloing.

Two Days In February
Plain and simple, this song is an instant classic. This was recorded live, and the bass is cranked way up for a cool effect. The lyrics are perfect, the type of thing you’d expect from A Boy Named Goo on. I don’t like the way the band makes tons of songs like this on their most recent albums, but a little acoustic guitar every now and then is really good. The bass solo is pretty cool, and this is obviously the best song on the album, probably the best song from their first three albums.

The Goo Goo Dolls showed here exactly what I love about their music. It’s heavy and aggressive, it’s very catchy, and just very lovable. This album does a good job of leading up to the epic, yet underlooked, Superstar Carwash. After A Boy Named Goo, their tough sound changed, sadly, but they made enough good albums before Dizzy Up The Girl that it’s still enough rockin’ for one person to enjoy. Unfortunately, if you want to get your hands on their first album, you’ll have to shoot for $50+. I think this is tragic because their music was a lot better before I had to consider them a guilty pleasure.

By the way, if you like the Goo Goo Dolls at all, this is a great buy.

Recent reviews by this author
Pearl Jam Touring Band 2000 DVDCollective Soul Afterwords
Lindsey Buckingham Under the SkinTool Ænima
Journey Greatest Hits: 1978-1997 DVDQueen Classic Queen

user ratings (65)

Comments:Add a Comment 
October 28th 2006


...apparently no one likes the Goo Goo Dolls?

November 10th 2006


Album Rating: 3.0

I do! I love them. Very good review mate. I like this album a lot, especially "There You Are", "Laughing" and "Two Days In February". Nice work!

EDIT: Maybe we could do a CO-review of a Goo Goo Album? Like "A Boy Named Goo" or one of the early ones.This Message Edited On 11.10.06

November 10th 2006


hmm...nah because I'd like to give everything of there's that I own (all but the first two) except this and Let Love In a 5.

May 9th 2007


Album Rating: 4.5

Nicely written review, however I actually like this better than Superstar Car Wash. Like said album, the vocal performances are nicely split up rather evenly between Johnny and Robby.

What I believe gives this album the higher mark is Lance Diamond's absolutely phenomenal take on one of my favorite Prince tunes, plus I feel Robby's songs are better on this album than on SCW. And I really have always prefered Robby's songs to Johnny's, still even now.

You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile


Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Site Copyright 2005-2017
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy