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Gutterflower by The Goo Goo Dolls - Another Great Album By The Goos

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Gutterflower by The Goo Goo Dolls - Another Great Album By The Goos Powered By Docstoc
					  Gutterflower by The Goo Goo Dolls


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On the surface, the Goo Goo Dolls Gutterflower is a seamless con tinuation
of 1998s Dizzy Up the Girl, with sinewy guitars; muscular, anthemic
choruses; and Johnny Rzezniks perfectly articulated rasping vocals. But on
closer listening, the Goos eighth album is made of much sterner stuff.
Those quixotic, yearning lyrics of yore have taken on a darker cast, no
doubt due to Rzezniks divorce. As a result, Gutterflower almost has the
feel of a concept album about love gone wrong, with Rzeznik providing
anxious commentary rife with images of dislocation and agitation. The
listener is given barometric readings of the singers bruised psyche as he
attempts to put himself back together again. Luckily, Rzeznik is a clever
and facile lyricist with a knack for elevating garden-variety neurosis into a
rather compelling soap opera, sketching edgy characters that would feel
right at home in David Lynchs world. Swallow all your bitter pills, thats what
makes you beautiful, he advises in Big Machine, while in Sympathy
Rzeznik appears to be apologizing to his former wife for his past
transgressions, only to lash out with an elegant deftness, chastising her for
all these thoughts you stole from me. While he may have a face like an
angel, Rzeznik unleashes a cunning and a fascinating brutish force not
seen before, making this a much more interesting album than previous
offerings. --Jaan Uhelszki

All kinds of negativity towards this album, and any other Goo Goo Dolls
album, baffles me. Gutterflower is a direct collection of s ongs overflowing
with emotion, and it's very underrated because many people believe
nothing else can ever live up to 1998's Dizzy Up the Girl. That was indeed
a fantastic album and just as great as everything before and after it, but
Gutterflower's darker focus and heavier sound are rolled up into a fantastic
follow-up that earned its place on 2002's charts.

After a listen to the CD's twelve tracks, which are expertly but not overly
produced and have some of the most veteran lyrics on the market, it's hard
to believe that this is the same band that spawned lines like "And when I
get some cash it's already been spent / Oh, I can smoke and drink but I
can't pay my rent". This is in no way a knock to their earliest work (I own
and love all but their first release which I am dying to get), but you can tell
the evolution this band has undergone.

That being said, the Goo Goo Dolls journey back to their rock roots here
after a string of hit ballads from Dizzy Up the Girl. Starting off with the
explosive "Big Machine", the Buffalo trio's prowess couldn't be more
obvious--this song has some of the most amazing lyrics and captivating
hooks the band has ever generated. It's succeeded by the humid "Think
About Me" and the album's tender, polished single, "Here Is Gone". Bassist
Robby Takac takes the lead for the first time in "You Never Know", and
then thrice more in "Up Up Up", "Smash", and "Tucked Away". His songs
have a wily flair and his voice a gruff, crusty quality; both of which are far
too often berated or overlooked.

The album's shady and ruthless side surfaces at last in countercultural
anthem "What A Scene" and "It's Over", the latter giving off waves of
despair John Rzeznik has only barely hinted at in other tracks. His voice
begins in a hollow whisper that fits the mood perfectly. Other standouts
among the gloomy half of the CD include "What Do You Need?" and
concluding song "Truth Is A Whisper", equally murky and guitar -driven,
while the pure acoustic piece "Sympathy" is clearer in sound but just as
sensitive in wording. The aforementioned "Smash" and "Tucked Away" let
some light shine through the rafters, with the vigor that the Goos have had
for all twenty years of their career.

Though many passersby would be disappointed by the band's decision to
stray away from Dizzy Up the Girl-esque material, even casual or passing
fans should pick this up regardless, for the skill in songwriting and
musicianship speaks volumes, and with the album's theme being more
rock than string pop it may even pique the interest of fans of the older
recordings. With Gutterflower the Goo Goo Dolls succeeded in branching
out to a unique approach to their decades-old passion, and it's a beautiful
thing.

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posted:8/19/2012
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