Sound — 10
Singer/songwriter John Rzeznik doesn't know how to play the standard EADGBE guitar tuning. The result is unique sounding songs that can't be matched by any artist. The intro to Slide, is just one of these examples. John tunes his guitar to whatever sounds cool, and writes a song on it. At the same time, he performs amazing solos in many songs, such as in All Eyes On Me. The Goo Goo Dolls know how to write music. John Rzeznik and Robby Takac are amazing vocalists. John's voice tends to be laid back, but when needed, he hits the high notes. Robby's songs are a little more hardcore than John's, or as hardcore as a Goo Goo Dolls song can be. The mixture of the two makes the album a diverse joy.
Lyrics — 10
The Goo Goo Dolls had been writing the lyrics on this album for the duration of about 8 years. Each song tells a lot about them and their backgrounds. For instance, Broadway, the 3rd song on the album, is straight from Rzeznik's soul. The song mostly about his father, who was an alcholoic who died one night, due in part to his alcholism. Lyrics like: "you choke down all your anger, forget your only son" and "see the young man sitting in the old man's bar waiting for his turn to die" clearly show John's perspective of his father. Additionally, the Goo Goo Dolls tend to take seemingly random topics and turn great songs into them. Examples: Slide is a song about a boyfriend and girlfriend. The girlfriend gets pregnant, and they are trying to decide whether they should get an abortion, get married, etc. Black Balloon is about a kid's heroin addiction and the pain it caused his loved ones. Even if you don't like the genre the Goo Goo Dolls stick to, this album should be purchased just for the lyrics.
Overall Impression — 10
This album had five singles - Dizzy, Slide, Black Balloon, Broadway, and Iris, and is without question their most sucessful album, possibly surpassing their latest album, Gutterflower. The best song on the album, from a guitarist's standpoint, is All Eyes on Me. The song starts out in a soft way, but then switches over to distortion to a powerful, indepth chorus with equally moving lyrics. Then, after another chorus, Rzeznik plays a solo of harmonics, drops his pick, and finger picks for a short time, takes pick in hand again and plays the rest of the song. Played live or on the stereo, All Eyes on Me is the best song on the album. If stolen or lost, I would run out and buy it again, and then kick the s-- out of whoever stole this work of art.