Verdict: 2 / 5
Goo Goo Dolls are one of those bands who don’t make great artistic works but nevertheless have written endearing pop rock classics. Songs like ‘Iris’, ‘Name’ and ‘Slide’ are enough to make even the most crusty music lover have a soft spot for these Buffalo City natives. It helps that vocalist John Rzeznik and bassist Robby Takac seem laid back and unpretentious despite their high profiles. But perhaps due to their lovable traits and great singles over the years we’ve turned a blind eye to the band’s repetitive albums and lack of quality since ‘Dizzy up the Girl’. ‘Magnetic’ is the eye opener that says maybe the band is a spent force creatively.
‘Magnetic’ is a stale, generic sounding work that leaves a bitter taste in one’s mouth. The band plays it too close to the chest, staying safe and complying with all the checking points of making a contrived pop rock album. The opening song, ‘Rebel Beat’ starts interestingly; a groovy electronic tinged beat makes things seem fresh but alas, the song lacks a strong melody and good lyrics. It fumbles due to inane rhyme schemes and nebulous phrases. The ballad, ‘When the world breaks your Heart’ has lovely violins but overall it flounders, breaking real hearts via insipid lyrics… ‘when the world breaks your heart I can put it back together I’ll write your name across the sky so I’m always with you now’. Sorry folks but lines like that just don’t cut it, especially when the melody is not a good one.
Sappy sentimental lyrics and poor melodies infect most of the album. There are only pockets of relief via bassist Robbie Takac’s tunes. His lyrics don’t fair much better but at least they’re not as schmaltzy or as silly. Robbie’s rocker ‘Bringing on the Light’ and his acoustic jam ‘Happiest of Days’ are strong and the songs are more organic and grittier, something the album had more need of.
‘Magnetic’ is the band’s tenth album and while the band has earned its stripes long ago they need to pull up some socks and find a way to make their next album a far better one.