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Hold Me Up isn't as instantly accessable as any other Goos CD, but it grows on you. For the first time Johnny gets equal billing as the singer and comes out with some quality tunes, "Two Days In February" and "You Know What I Mean" being highlights. Frog-voiced Robby also provides tracks more worthy than anything he's done after SuperStar Carwash, particularly "So Outta Line".
Overall this is a great fun record, with only the cheesey Prince cover "Never Take The Place of Your Man" showing any dip in quality.
If you like the Goo Goo Dolls other albums this is a must have. If you're new to the band get "A Boy Named Goo" or "GutterFlower" first. Then buy this!
But it is one hell of a grower!! After repeated listens it certainly didn't take long for me to realise what a damn fine album this is, how unique it is and HOW MUCH FUN it is! They obviously had a blast in the studio.....
In my opinion Johnny and Robby are equals on 'Hold Me Up' probably because they wrote more stuff together in those days. 'Just The Way You Are' was the single released at the time and is a classic piece of punky pop, resembling The Replacements. Each track is fast and melodic with the exception of a couple, the acoustic 'Two Days in February' resembles Johnny's future work although the production is rough (it was recorded outside) but it just adds to the fun factor.
It is an album containing songs with mostly extremely fast tempos and sound very Robby-ish, so it kind of suits being turned up LOUD before going out in the evening. A real adrenalin booster!
Of course 'Hold Me Up' doesn't match the quality of their next releases but definitely beats their first release and 'Jed'. Plus 'Hold Me Up' has it's own unique quality that only comes out properly after repeated listens.
Don't take this album too seriously, approach it as a fun record, give the songs time to grow and realise this is the sound of a band finding their way. Then you'll understand why I'm giving it 5 stars.