The Goo Goo Dolls were one of those bands that had a brilliant presence in the 1990s, walking the line between commercially-successful and still-edgy. But where are they today?
Magnetic is the bandâ€™s tenth album and demonstrates a bit of growth since the days of â€œIrisâ€ being all over the charts. Much of the material revolves around relationships, though thereâ€™s an optimism here befitting a band getting a bit older and wiser.
Opening track and lead single â€œRebel Beatâ€ has an interesting pop beat, sounding less like a rock band and more like a clever remix. Frontman John Rzeznikâ€™s vocals are distorted in the background to add some dimension. Even if the lyrics are familiar territory, thereâ€™s an upbeat, singalong chorus reminiscent of acts like The Script. Itâ€™s a clever contrast to the next song, as â€œWhen the World Breaks Your Heartâ€ places more emphasis on strings than traditional instruments.
Another delicate song, â€œCome to Me,â€ is a highlight with how delicate and vulnerable the lyrics are. â€œToday’s the day I’ll make you mine/So get me to the church on time./Take my hand in this empty room/You’re my girl, and I’m your groom,â€ Rzeznik sings in one of the most honest, specific moments on the record.
The Goo Goo Dolls have been purveyors of romantic power pop for a long time, and some of these songs do feel interchangeable. However, there are enough electronic notes and hints at deeply personal content to make Magnetic worthwhile. Thereâ€™s a reason why this band got so big decades ago, and it certainly wasnâ€™t a fluke.