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Goo Goo Dolls return with a patchy, back to basics CD
on 28 March 2002
"Gutterflower" marks a return to the more basic, stripped down sound of "A Boy Named Goo" era Goo Goo Dolls. After the string sections and epic grandeur of 1998's "Dizzy Up The Girl", the band have adopted a back to basics approach to songwriting. The arrangements are still as solid as ever, and the production fantastic, but there is something perhaps a little more closed off or insular than their last effort. In some ways, this works well with a little of the bands edge returning to the music, but on occasion, it seems that the more simple arrangements have allowed the melodies to weaken and in some cases, the songs pass you by with little memorable about them. This is not to say that this is a bad album, just patchier than would be hoped and when it is good, it is really good. Things start off great with "Big Machine", a big rocker in the classic Goo's vein that rates amongst their best. Other highlights include "Here Is Gone", the first single, and the gorgeous acoustic guitar and hammond organ ache of "Sympathy".
Basically, this is a good Goo Goo Dolls record, not a great one but it will do okay for now. Anyone who has recently picked up on the band could do much worse than checking out their "Ego, Opiniom,Art & Commerce" retrospective which truly shows off what the band can do at the top of their game.