Sound — 10
Before listening to this album, I hold my hand on my heart and admit that I knew very little about this exciting three-piece band from. And after numerous recommendations from friends, I decided to act spontaneously and take a chance on the Goo Goo Dolls. As I was walking home from the local music shop, I was in a mixed state of mind wondering if I had just wasted 11 or could this be the changing point in my love for music. The result was clear and I must say that after listening to the first three songs, I was completely blown away with how the band manage to write songs in such an upbeat and uplifting tone that would no doubt bring a smile to the most downhearted of faces. This is no poor reflection on the remainder of the album, but track 1, entitled Big Machine offers guitar lovers a powerful blend of riffs and energy, created through John Rzeznik's elusive style of playing. The track discusses how women can be very harsh in a world designed for love and a sense of longing for one particular girl can be clearly understood throughout the chorus "I'm torn in pieces, I'm blind and waiting for you. My heart is reeling, I'm blind and waiting for you." The second track is arguably the best song on the album and I fail to survive a day without listening to Think About Me on my iPod. It is such an uplifting gift to humanity and after being eased into the song by the calming use of the acoustic guitar, the lead and drums kick in, creating an inspiring notion of positive karma. The song questions a girl's sense of identity and she appears unable to grasp the concept of who she is. The chorus is set up perfectly by the superb bridge and I find it impossible to believe anyone who doesn't leave the room in a positive frame of mind after listening to the song. Here Is Gone follows on where the first two tracks started and the listener can really grasp the sense of longing and frustration on the part of Rzeznik as he continues to write in a manner which portrays pain and suffering as a result of the female species. Bassist Robby Takac has a positive impact on the album as he writes four tracks and I always believe that the use of a number of writers creates a brilliant variation which listeners fail to get tired of. The level of unpredictability is appreciated through track four, You Never Know as Takac's influence can be clearly seen through the emphatic use of the bass, which acts as the penetrating spine of the song. After recently listening to other Goo Goo Dolls albums, most notably, Dizzy Up The Girl, the band always manage to write a soothing acoustic number as witness through the power ballad that is Iris. With this in mind, the band creates a calming yet exuberant song entitled Sympathy which discusses the concept of regret. The song acts as the perfect tonic for slowing the pace of the album down and symbolises the band's ability to write in a varied manner which keeps the audience guessing throughout the album. Smash offers the most amazing and catchy guitar riff offered on the album and the lyrics on this song are extremely enticing, making it difficult for listeners not to join in and sing.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics throughout the album are powerful and strong emotions can be clearly drawn from each song. The words captivated within Big Machine are exceptional and poetry never sounded so good. The singing and vocal talents of all members of the band are unquestionable and not one wrong note is sounded throughout the album.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall, The Goo Goo Dolls' album Gutterflower comes highly recommended and such feel-good CDs simply aren't made enough anymore. This was a joy to listen to and the band's generic style of post-modern rock should be celebrated for years to come.