The Goo Goo Dolls: Magnetic

magneticThe Goo Goo Dolls
(Warner Bros. Records Inc.)

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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 band’s tenth album and demonstrates a bit of growth since the days of “Iris” being all over the charts. Much of the material revolves around relationships, though there’s an optimism here befitting a band getting a bit older and wiser.

Opening track and lead single “Rebel Beat” has an interesting pop beat, sounding less like a rock band and more like a clever remix. Frontman John Rzeznik’s vocals are distorted in the background to add some dimension. Even if the lyrics are familiar territory, there’s an upbeat, singalong chorus reminiscent of acts like The Script. It’s a clever contrast to the next song, as “When the World Breaks Your Heart” places more emphasis on strings than traditional instruments.

Another delicate song, “Come to Me,” is a highlight with how delicate and vulnerable the lyrics are. “Today’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,” 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. There’s a reason why this band got so big decades ago, and it certainly wasn’t a fluke.

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About Casey Hicks

Casey Hicks toils her daylight hours away in an office high above Manhattan in order to afford nights of passionately scribbling. The first song she remembers ever hearing is "Lola" by the Kinks. She thinks this explains a lot.
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