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"Ego, Opinion, Art & Commerce" is a recapitulation of the Goo Goo Dolls' less-than-overnight success story. While more obvious big hits such as "Name," and "Black Balloon" are not included, the disc is arranged in reverse chronological order, so that the listener can hear the band from the height of its fame (1998's "Dizzy Up The Girl") back to its humble beginnings (1987's self-titled debut). The most notable insight that this 22-song collection's sequence offers is how little the Dolls' essential attack has changed over the years. Even on the tracks from the group's '89 effort, "Jed," leader John Rzeznik was splitting his time between mid-tempo, Replacements-influenced rockers and bittersweet acoustic balladry, while bassist Robbie Takac supplied faster, harder change-ups. Whether you buy into the Goo Goo Dolls' commercialization of old-school indie-guitar rock or not, "Ego, Opinion, Art & Commerce" reveals a band that stuck it out while sticking to its guns.
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