Album Review: Something for the Rest of Us by Goo Goo Dolls
Satisfactory, Based on 4 Critics
PopMatters - 70 Based on rating 7/10
The title of the Goo Goo Dolls’ ninth studio album, Something for the Rest of Us, reflects the uncertainties faced by everyday people, digging through the scrap bag of life, trying to find some fabric of hope to cling to and make the centerpiece of a reworked design. Hailing from the long-depressed, working class town of Buffalo, New York, the Goos understand this struggle better than anyone and have witnessed its effects in their hometown. In the four years since the Goo Goo Dolls’ last album, Let Love In, the rest of the country has had a taste of that economic downturn Buffalo has long felt.
The Goo Goo Dolls were sliding toward the placid on 2006’s Let Love In, an album as sincere and passive as its title, so a shake-up was due. To a certain extent that’s what 2010’s Something for the Rest of Us delivers in its content if not in its sound. This is the album where Johnny Rzeznik decides that it’s time for him to look outside himself and take in the mess of the outside world, addressing everything from ongoing war to economic devastation.
If you remember the Goo Goo Dolls as that unfashionable Buffalo-born trio wearing jammer shorts and bursting onto the mid-90s rock scene with a high-octane, undeniably catchy power pop sound, you might take some solace in their new album's hard-driving opening track, Sweetest Lie. [rssbreak] But from there it's right back to the kind of borderline adult contemporary schmaltz (Notbroken, As I Am) the band embraced post-Dizzy Up The Girl, which included their super-smash ballad, Iris. Dizzy's producer, Rob Cavallo (Green Day), as well as 90s big cheese Butch Vig, were enlisted to work on Something after a finished version with producer Tim Palmer was in the bag.
New York rockers’ ninth album finds the trio playing to established strengths. Mike Diver 2010 The UK has never embraced the Goo Goo Dolls as readily as the US. The New York trio’s biggest hit, 1998’s Iris, topped the Billboard chart but only limped to number 50 here. It took Ronan Keating, of all people, to make it a hit – the Boyzone singer’s version peaked at 12 in 2006, but was also his first single to not break the top 10.