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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 24 May 2002
I can only beg British rock/indie fans to buy anything from the Goo Goo Dolls catalogue of albums. Have barely met anyone who doesn't like their sound, and they definately seem to be improving with age. This album had a hard job to follow the (in my humble opinion) ground-breaking Dizzy Up but it manages to keep the same amazing sound, without giving you replica songs (Travis, Blink, Stereophonics all spring to mind as culprits). This album doesn't have the such obvious Tacak fillers as most previous Goos albums, although the strongest tracks are unsuprsingly Rzenik's Big Machine, Here is Gone and Its over. Big Machine and Here is Gone are as good as tracks as they've ever done, up with We are the normal and Slide in my opinion. Only thing lacking is a proper ballad to rival Iris or Black Balloon (the latter being my favourite Goos track of all time), but don't let that put you off, this is an amazing album that you will listen to time and time again, and probably lead you to buy most of the Goo's back catalogue (I bought 3 after buying Dizzy Up). Just make sure you tell your friends
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on 12 January 2003
This CD is something you rarely find in rock music anymore. It is a concept album. The thread that runs through most of this CD is one of anger and disillusionment at the end of a relationship. This no doubt stems from lead singer Johnny Rzeznik's divorce during the period from "Dizzy Up the Girl" to the making of this terrific milestone in the evolution of "The Goo Goo Dolls".
As happens with all bands who finally achieve great success after years where not many know about them but their loyal fans, those same fans tend to turn on them. If everyone likes them now, they must have sold out, right? Rzenik and "The Goo Goo Dolls" have just matured artistically and have created in "Gutterflower" an articulate and sometimes angry CD that blends their trademark guitar work with Rzeznik's powerful lyrics as he tries to figure out what went wrong.
This effort is less ballad driven that "Dizzy Up the Girl" and is much more serious in tone. It has something to say and does so in the eloquent way Bob Dylan use to years ago. But "The Goo Goo Dolls" still manage to give us the MUSIC we have waited for as well. Being able to do both shows the maturation of this great rock band. It is artistically rich and will probably be held in higher regard a few years from now as we look back.
"Big Machine" is about surviving the break up ("I'm in love and you don't care") and sets the tone for the entire CD, chronicling Rzeznik's bewilderment while taking a few shots as well. Even the infectious first single released, "Here is Gone" has lyrics like "I thought I lost you somewhere, But you were never really ever there at all". The best cut may be "What a Scene" with fast and edgy lyrics that have echos of Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" (How does it feel when your out on your own, and now it's to late to come home? And it's hard to be free when your down on your knees). There are some good songs scattered throughout written by Robby Takac as well but the overall feel remains the same.
Leave your preconceptions behind about what you thought this new CD was going to be like and you will enjoy it tremendously. If you're unfamiliar with the band you might want to pick up "Dizzy Up the Girl" first to get a feel for their unique style.
"Gutterflower" is a richer and more mature effort that won't leave you disappointed. If you dismiss it off hand as some have done you will be missing something truly uncommon in rock music.
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on 1 April 2002
This album is incredible. Not that I doubted it would be - John Rzeznik's efforts have been stunning since "Superstar Carwash". The opening track, however, proves his genius. "Big Machine" kicks in with an incredible riff that never stops rocking, and continues with beautiful harmonies throughout the chorus. "Think About Me" is definately the "Slide" of this album, gorgeous in its simplicity. The first single, "Here Is Gone", is track 3, and although being generic Goo Goo Dolls, it's great. There are (possibly unintentional) references to previous albums in the structure; "Truth Is A Whisper" being the last track and mirroring "Hate This Place" in a darker style.
There is, in fact, little doubt in my mind that John Rzeznik is some kind of musical deity in disguise; he just can't do anything wrong. Unfortunately, we only get 8 John tracks, and Robby Takac (bassist) takes over the songwriter position for the other 4. This is a mistake, and although his songs improve with every album, next to John's amazing work they fail to impress, sending my finger reaching for the "skip" button.
However, John's songs are worth the price of the album, especially the acoustic ballad "Sympathy". Buy this collection of heart-touching music, you won't regret it.
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on 10 October 2002
Any number of words could be used to describe Gutterflower, all of which being found deep within the positive end of the adverb scale.
The Goo's truely hit their peak with 'Dizzy Up The Girl', but unlike most bands, they've been able to keep the infallible standard with them onto Gutterflower. John Rzeznik's musky, melancholic vocals are delivered with an impecable standard, to which his guitar notes more than match, and whilst Robby Takac's vocals are perhaps not quite up to the standard of the lead singer's when he takes the mike, his bass playing is performed with exact precision, accuracy and beauty. Mike Malinin's drumming is truely superb, with complex and well thought out beats rare in today's world of manufactured 'make-music-to-make-money' bands. And the Goo's are anything but one of these. They know their emotions, they know their music, they know where the borders lie between the two, and take a sledgehammer to these in Gutterflower.
The individual songs are written deeply and meaningfully, and any listener can hear that none of the songs have been rushed out just to fill space on the disc. The quality of lyrics has not decreased at all since D.U.T.G., and in my opinion, has only increased. I never thought any lines could be written to possibly match 'it always rains like hell on the loser's day parade','just a young man sitting in an old man's bar/waiting for his turn to die' or 'don't you love the life you killed/the priest is on the phone' (all of which taken from D.U.T.G). But the depth, passion and even subtle humour of each individual word has been more than matched in Gutterflower, with the first song alone providing countless examples of the brilliance. For example,'still in love with all your sins/where you stop and I begin' or 'now this angry little girl/drowning in this petty world' provide messages that I have never and doubt could ever hear from any other bands.
Having all the Goo's albums, I have seen their style evolve from hard-hitting loud rock/metal into the flowing magnificence of their soft rock displyed on Gutterflower. However, their is still and essence of their initial sound that anyone who prefers the harder rock will undoubtably enjoy in songs like 'You Never Know'. To quote their lyrics again, a line from 'Big Machine' really sums it up 'take what's yours and leave the rest'; if all the songs are not to someone's liking all they need to is listen to their favourites a couple of times, then go back to the rest after getting more used to the unique style of the Goo's. They will, as one of my friends has said to me 'open the door to the world of goo'.
The Goo Goo Dolls are Gutterflowers really. Less well known than many other bands (though with, in my opnion, the greatest name in history), they perhaps lie in the gutter in that sense. But their majestic melodies, immense beats and unsurpassable vocal stylings have made them sprout as the flower. There will never be another Rzeznik, Takac or Malinin, and even if there were to be, they will never be able to form a band superior to the Goo's.
Buy Gutterflower.
Listen to Gutterflower.
Feel better about life.
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on 2 April 2002
I was baffled by the lack of interest from the UK in this American Trio. Having bought their six previous albums dating back from 1987, I didn't need much persuasion to get my order down for Gutterflower.
Their single "Here is Gone" takes pride of place on the album as a catchy indie-rock (but not too rock) ballad that has timed itself perfectly to become my summer anthem.
Watch out for their re-badged "Disco" song that has been a mystery to GGD fans for a while now. Rumours are also circulating that 4 tracks will be released from the CD.
Taking lessons from their previous albums and singles, I think they've toned some of their early days thrash (which is a shame) but also re-tuned their efforts to curing an intense writers block (lead singer J Rzeznik suffered for a long time).
I can sincerely state that the Goo Goo Dolls will have an affect on your taste in Music (ie. they're a bit like Marmite) and if you want a band that you want to call your own, I suggest you get this album whilst they are still relatively unknown in the UK.
It rocks, it chills, it thrills and it most certainly makes a giant leap for "Amerindie" in good old blighty!
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on 9 April 2002
I was eagerly waiting to hear this new album from the Goos and was not disappointed, in fact very impressed. It reminds me of the sound they had after A Boy Named Goo and before Dizzy Up the Girl; their 1997 single 'Lazy Eye' fits with the sound of this album. I agree that 'Big Machine' is a masterpiece and won't get out of my head, but I think all the tracks have something. 'What Do You Need?' is dark and moving, 'Sympathy' is beautiful acoustic genius and 'Here is Gone' is a great radio friendly first single. But who can forget Robby Takac's numbers? I really love 'You Never Know', fun polished pop punk I think would fit in with today's charts. And 'Smash' is very summery, great for driving. Robby's songs are his strongest since A Boy Named Goo, I think he's excelled himself this time, so much so I reckon some of his should be singles to make a bit of variation with Johhny's. I have to agree though that Johhny Rzeznik is a musical God and deserves more attention for his talents. I think this release shoould do it.
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on 11 June 2002
Well it has took them near enough 4 years but finally it's hear. It is nearly impossible to beat the quality of Dizzy Up The Girl but it definetly comes close. Starting with the pumped up sing along song "Big Machine" which is one of the best on the album along with the classic Mid Tempo ballad "Here Is Gone" which will be a huge radio hit. Another one of my favourites is "Its Over" a very personal song from Rzeznik but is very, very catchy. Takac gets 4 mentions on this album but still isn't able to reach the hightt or quality of Rzezniks songwriting or vocal talents but he is improving fast. Only a matter of time to see if the GGD's will ever make it in the UK we all hope they do as they are only one of the few bands worth mentioning nowadays.
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on 28 April 2002
After buyiing and listening to the gem that is Dizzy Up The Girl I was hooked to the power of the Goo Goo Dolls sound. I had bought A Boy Named Goo previous and that was again the start of a new band for me. The Goo's sound is just rich with hooks and Gutterflower is no exception.
The first album I bought was A Boy Named Goo and this was an album that I played over and over again, Name was just one of those tracks that glimpsed the future of the Goo's. After that album Dizzy Up The Girl was my next purchase and that was even better than A so called child named Goo. Iris was a lushful track with huge dynamic and breath. The problem with that album (as with Gutterflower) was Robby's tracks. They lacked the breath and scope of Jonny's.
Gutterflower is a grower and a gem of a release and I have to say that I've palyed my edition non-stop. The first three tracks are brilliant with hooks and guitar riffs and then some. What a Scene for me is what a song. This is probaly my favourite track on the LP. It's Over is a rich track that starts of like a Dire Straits song and ends in pop heaven that Goo's do so well. Sympathy is a Gutterflower's is Acoustic #3. What Do You Need is a great sing along track covered with a great guitar riff. The last track is dark gloomy rocker of a song that ends the album off nicley.
They are the Pros of the album and the cons are all Robby's songs. His song only act as fillers and the creativity and craft off The eight wonders that are Jonny's. Ya Never Know's intro is a replica of a Blink 182 song and is the best of his four. Up Up Up is something of a disaster that would have worked on Superstar Car Wash. His songs look to past musically . Jonny's is looking to the future and with his break up, the juxtaposition of the two gel like no tomorrow.
On reflection of the album it is abit on the unbalanced side. But Jonny's songs are so good that it doesn't matter. They work as a great Minialbum on mindisc. Robby needs to move on and catch up with Jonny. So as I say this album is still good but not enough to surpass the excelence of Dizzy. This album does show the movement of the band, there just not quite there yet. Oh well there could be worst things. They could be nu-metal.
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on 22 April 2002
A recent Goo fan, in that I only discovered the Goo Goo Dolls after 1998's groundbreaking single Iris, Gutterflower is the first CD to finally oust their last album Dizzy Up The Girl from my CD player. Having played it at least three times daily since I got it, I can honestly say I've never had an album I've wanted to listen to constantly throughout the day, as I do this one.
Eight extremely strong and catchy tracks from John Rzeznik, all of which would make great singles, as well as four tracks from the rather under-rated Robby Takac make Gutterflower a bargain buy in anyone's book. From the anthemic 'What a Scene' to the pop-rock perfection of 'Here is Gone' to the folksy lilt of the marvellous 'Sympathy', there isn't a single track on this album that could possibly disappoint.
If these guys don't make it soon in the UK, then I'm going to have to move somewhere with better musical taste.
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on 2 December 2003
The first song off this album i heard was 'Big Machine' which really got me to buy this album. this album is different to the goo goo dolls previous stuff, as this is what they call progresion in their music. with their new album producer the songs have much more variety in them, and take the roles of much newer types of songs. this album is excellent to listen to and outbeats many other ones out at the moment. it is hard to compare this album to the goo goo dolls others as it is differnent, but it still has their trade mark in the songs. songs like big machine, here is gone, think about me, its over, sympothy, thruth is a whisper; really add enforced class to this album. i cant wait for the goos new album coming out next year, which they are currently working on. it shud be good as their last 5 albums got my 5 star rating. if you dont own this album, get it as you wont regret it one bit.
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