10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 13 December 2006
As the Goo Goo Dolls enter their forties, many fans may find themselves starting to look back on what is a long career in the business. Some may rediscover the punk roots of the band on Jed, having originally allowed it to gather dust somewhere in the last twenty years or so. Meanwhile others may well get back into Dizzy Up the Girl having listened exhaustively to Let Love In. Hopefully, every one will find a place for A Boy Named Goo.
The artwork for this record is bizarre, and belies an album that is more formulaic than it is off the wall. But it is also a brilliant album. It seems to sit comfortably between the days when the Goo Goo Dolls were a punk band, afraid to turn down their guitars, and the more focused songwriting and polished production of more recent outings. It is certainly not an earlier version of Let Love In, however.
This is a riff-driven record. The opener, Long Way Down, kicks things off in style, and the guitars don't stop until the abrupt end of Slave Girl forty-odd minutes later. As has become the norm with this band, John Rzeznik's songs are more sober affairs whereas Robby Takac injects that element of fun along with that voice that so divides opinion.
Stand-out tracks are numerous. Takac's first vocal comes on track two, Burnin' Up, a raucous and rocky effort comparable to, say, Tucked Away on Gutterflower. On Track four, Flat Top, John Rzeznik delivers his finest lyrics ever, sticking it to the establishment as he declares a 'tunnel vision war between the cynics and the saints', and informs us that 'there's knowledge wrapped in blankets on the streets.' Truly this is a fantastic protest song that puts the likes of Green Day in the shade, not least because it is delivered over soaring and relentless guitars. On 'Name', we catch perhaps the first glimpse of the 'Iris' Goo Goo Dolls we've come to know. It's a touching reflection of two people afflicted by the tragedy of losing their parents at a young age, 'Now we're grown up orphans that never knew their name/We don't belong to no-one, that's a shame.' For the Goo Goo Dolls' finest ever riff, look no further than Ain't That Unusual, a hidden delight towards the tail of this sublime album.
This no concept album. It did not break new boundaries. But not every album has to do so. Ths album is a triumph because it is simple and effective, maximising the talent of the bands various members. It is a huge disappointment that Let Love In did not too find as much glory in simplicity.
All told, this may just be the finest hour the Goo Goo Dolls ever had. It certainly makes their earlier work seem somehow ill-thought out and rough around the edges, whilst also making Let Love In look a little tame. Any fans of the band's work who don't own A Boy Named Goo should rectify this as soon as possible.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 15 May 2003
From the storming opening track "long way down" to the last (the thumping "Slave girl") the goo goo dolls treat their listeners to a thing of wonder. Every song on this album is special, some are works of pure genius. US number1 "Name" is slow and moving, "Impersonality" is punky and fun, "Disconnected" is pure rock at it's best. This is clearly the goo's at the very peak of their powers, the album Bon Jovi wished they could have made but never will. At times it feels like two albums squeezed together with John penning the more arty, thoughtful tracks and Robby sticking more to his punky roots and supplying the sense of "fun". They only co-write a handful of tracks which is a shame because they tend to the pick of what is a very fine crop.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 23 August 2000
Being a great Goo Goo Dolls fan, I can say this album; A Boy Named Goo does the band justice! If you are looking for a good rock album, this is the one. The songs on this album are not as rock/pop orientated as the ones in Dizzy Up the Girl, and are definitely more original and less "manufactured". If you haven't got anything from the Goo Goo Dolls yet, I think you will appreciate them more if you brought A Boy Named Goo first, as this album captures what the band is really about.Don't get me wrong, Dizzy Up The Girl is also a very good album, but not as captivating as A Boy Named Goo. My favorite songs are "Naked", "Name" and "Burnin' Up".I garuantee none of the songs will let you down with their meaningful lyrics and catchy tunes! A truly brilliant album!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 4 August 2004
This is by far the best Goo Goo Dolls album, because of tracks such as Long Way Down, Aint That Unusual and Only One. All the other tracks on the album are top class stuff as well.
As I said in my title "A very influential album", I mean that I have been ifluenced to play my guitar more and to write songs, good lot of them turning out rubbish, but at least I am trying!
This band are so powerful and confident in playing their music. Thats what makes them so good!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 23 December 2003
Top class album from the Goo Goo Dolls, capturing them at the peak of their pop-punk phase before they mellowed down for 'Dizzy Up the Girl'. Production is arguably the best of all their albums, it doesn't sound dated and is produced better than a lot of recent albums I could mention. Really really powerful and punchy!!! Vocals are spot on, musically it's perfect...but these guys never fail to impress and are criminally almost unknown in the UK even after 'Iris' was a hit.
'A Boy Named Goo' would undoubtably be very popular in the UK if it was a new release, especially due to pop-punk making a (sort of) comeback.....but this completely walks over the decent enough but overly manufactured schoolkid sounds of bands such as Busted (who would probably give just about anything to sound as good as this).
I can't single out any particular tracks because the whole album is perfect. Buy it!!!
on 23 April 2012
Like most reviewers, I simply cannot recommend this album enough, it's a fantastic sister album to Superstar Carwash (that just pips this one to their best ever), and Boy Named Goo for me marks the start of the end.......as great as it was, Name was the song that started them down the road of woeful soft rock balladry and the downward spiral. But thank heavens before that they could excite us with stonking tracks on here like Flat Top and the fantastic Only One with those brilliant chiming guitars and attitude.
Buy this and listen to a band at the top of their game (and weep at what followed years later.......Let Love In).
on 13 February 2009
This album is one of the best by the Goo Goo Dolls, you can't be a fan without it. Though it is not their best (Dizzy up the girl is the best), it is a close second and is well worth the money. Each song reflects the bands own style and genre perfectly, each song is a worth while listen and you won't be disappointed!!!
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 23 September 2005
This is a must listen for all people who have enjoyed "Dizzy Up The Girl". This album demonstrates their earlier, punkier roots, whilst not compromising on the polished sound.
on 3 March 2008
I LOVE THIS BAND
awesome cd with the great song name on it.
Dizzy is my fav album but this is still amazing.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 7 July 2009
Back in 1995, The Goo Goo Dolls released their fifth album, but in most people's eyes it was their first.
"A Boy Named Goo" was their mainstream breakthrough record, their blend of acoustic rock ideally suited to rock radio of the time.
Grunge was in fast decline and a new blend of rock was emerging, that suited the Goo's just fine.
Actually "A Boy Named Goo" is a very strong record, acoustic rock ballads like "Name" and "Naked" were the signature sound of a band rapidly on the rise.
If you've not heard much of the Goo Goo Dolls music, then "A Boy Named Goo" is a very nice place to start, it might not quite be as strong as follow up effort "Dizzy Up The Girl" but the Goo's major discography starts here, so you owe it to yourself to be checking this record out.
Best Track: "Name"