/ Articles / Review
The kings of rock-ish, love ballads are back with what they do best, singing about love lost, love found and love that stays. This is the Goo Goo Dolls’ tenth studio album, a year after their twenty-fifth anniversary as a band and so you expect them to bring a whole lot of new with this one. But keep such expectations low, well, because they don’t.

Goo Goo Dolls can probably never eclipse the over-played fame of their song Iris and that assumption comes nearer to being true as you go on listening to Magnetic. Rebel Beat, single #1, is an attempt to be not just different but also stay contemporarily relevant. They bring Greg Wattenberg as a producer on it, his touch is apparent as he’s produced a lot of feel-good music prior to this venture and even co-wrote Let Love In with the Goo Goo Dolls themselves. Does it reach that level though? Sort of, but it doesn’t feel like the Goo Goo’s best.

#1. Rebel Beat 3:34
#2. When the World Breaks Your Heart 3:33
#3. Slow It down 3:11
#4. Caught In The Storm 3:57
#5. Come To Me 3:45
#6. Bringing On The Light 3:16
#7. More of You 3:26
#8. Bullet Proof Angel 3:23
#9. Last Hot Night 3:37
#10. Happiest Of Days 3:31
#11. Keep The Car Running 4:05

John Rzeznik: Lead Guitar, Lead Vocals
Robby Takac: Bass, Vocals
Mike Malinin: Drums, Percussion

Rob Cavallo
Greg  Wells
Greg Wattenberg
John Shanks

11th June, 2013

Rebel Beat

When the World Breaks your Heart for starters, is the quintessential Goo Goo Dolls song. A track with such a dramatic beginning, with a splash of Rzeznik’s voice coming in to make everything seem and sound just fine. You can’t help yourself but love it. It’s the same stereotypical stuff but somehow they make it sound great, it’s as if they’ve copyrighted being awesome on singing love songs.

Bullet Proof Angel is also a treat and so is Keep The Car Running, a vocal and lyrical delight with Rzeznik playing the role of a great narrator on that one. Though certain other songs on the album like Caught In The Storm fail to stand out or even generate some amount of interest, as they seem to get lost in the sounds of the past. Oddly enough, bringing in new people in the creative process - including songwriting, hasn’t worked out for them, they just end up writing the same old and drawing out their similar and familiar theme.

A few songs begin to remind you of their old work, at which point the album becomes more of an auditory déjà vu. Malinin does try, despite that, the drums act only as an impinging support to the vocals. In fact, what you tend to notice throughout the effort is that they have shifted from depending on their primarily acoustic sound to a heavier variant: more beats, choruses that make you swing along and a few touches of the somber words and a moderate electronic influence, all play a part.

They don’t re-create Big Machine or Name anywhere on this album, that’s alright though; what was expected though was a bit of a deviation from their typical sound and that doesn’t happen either. The Goo Goo Dolls seem to be stuck somewhere between being average and being so much more than average. It seems like they need to rejuvenate their sound spirit, they are better and bigger than this.

But don’t totally disregard the album, it’s got a few great numbers and they’ll undoubtedly clock up on some new fans with it. Just like in their songs, a few prevalent hiccups won’t keep love from coming in with a grand entrance in the end, these legends will definitely come out with better. Bet on it.
Previous article
Peer to Peer Reviews
Next article
Live Performance on Good Morning America