Goo Goo Dolls – Gutterflower

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Album Review by Mark Bayross

This is the seventh album from Buffalo, NY trio Goo Goo Dolls and the successor to 1998’s hit album DIZZY UP THE GIRL (which sold 5 million copies and produced five US Top 10 singles, including two number ones). So, suffice to say, expectations must be high for this one…

Produced once again by Rob Cavallo (who has worked with everyone from Ash to Eric Clapton), GUTTERFLOWER will undoubtedly appeal to every one of those 5 million fans yet again. Whether anyone in the UK will take to their unremarkable play-it-safe college rock is another question entirely.

The album hits all the points of predictability, with the big-hearted ballads (IT’S OVER, SYMPATHY) and measured rock-outs (TUCKED AWAY, YOU NEVER KNOW) all present and correct. The 40-minute set even finishes with the requisite brooding slow-burner TRUTH IS A WHISPER, although the song does have an undeniable dynamism.

Of course, John Rzeznik and co. have been doing this for 17 years, so their ability to craft perfectly-formed soft-rock nuggets should come as no surprise. Unfortunately, with a couple of notable exceptions (the sprightly WHAT A SCORE and driving WHAT DO YOU NEED?), “no surprises” is exactly what this album delivers.

3 stars