If bland became a band, it would be the Goo Goo Dolls on their new album. Lacking the hunger a much younger band would bring to songs about needs and desires, the band seems to be trying to audition for those Coca Cola commercials that come on before movies at the theatre—you know, the ones with young people who smile too much and are good shoving buddies in warm sunlight or on a lake under fireworks. In fairness, John Rzeznik, the trio’s primary singer, songwriter, and guitarist said this album was “really upbeat and fun,” and “I don’t think we’ve made a record like this in a while.” But, with lazy AABB rhyming structure and so-polished-it-sounds-forced music on every song, the album presents nothing new, which wouldn’t be bad if it were 20-year-old kids singing with the urgency youth brings. In their 40s, the Goo Goo Dolls should have had the confidence to give us something more daring.


-Patrick Thompson