Goo Goo Dolls

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 11 June, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 11 June, 2006, 12:00am

Goo Goo Dolls

Let Love In


After forming in 1986, Buffalo power-pop trio the Goo Goo Dolls struggled in search of mainstream success for 12 long years before their uber-hit Iris catapulted them to stardom.

Used on the soundtrack to the Nicolas Cage/Meg Ryan weepy remake of City of Angels, the single topped the US charts for an astonishing 18 weeks and helped the album from which it came, Dizzy Up the Girl, sell more than three million copies.

Since then, the band haven't looked back, ditching the alternative rock and post-grunge pretensions that had categorised much of their earlier work in favour of a more commercial sound.

For most bands this might be considered selling out, but for the Goo Goo Dolls it's a case of smarting up, given that they clearly have more of a knack for writing power-pop ballads in the classic rock mould than they ever did for being hip or edgy.

Let Love In, the band's eighth studio album, is a case in point. It knows its market and its limitations, and behaves accordingly. Consequently, it's as groundbreaking as a marshmallow sledgehammer, but as an album of mainstream rock-cum-power pop, it's difficult to find fault with it.

Lead singer John Rzeznik has an unerring aptitude for writing guitar-driven ballads about love, loss, holding on and letting go. His lyrics are simple and nothing new, but he sings them with a sincerity and a sense of understatement that is endearing.

The songs start to sound a tad similar midway through the set, but Rzeznik's ear for an uplifting chorus keeps things ticking along nicely, particularly on the soaring opener Stay With You and the spirited Listen.

Not too deep, but not too bad, either.