Goo Goo Dolls album “Gutterflower” blooms

Elizabeth Nieto

Have the Goo Goo Dolls been struck with a bad case of déja-Goo? Or will their recent release, “Gutterflower,” fully blossom? Johnny Rzeznik and his fellow Dolls released their seventh studio album which has already flooded radio airwaves with hit single, “Here is Gone.”

The “true-Goo” fans may have had a bit of trepidation as to whether or not their new album would just be overshadowed by their multi-platinum album, “Dizzy Up the Girl,” which sold five million copies worldwide and included two number one hits, “Iris” and “Slide” along with three top 10 singles, “Black Balloon,” “Broadway” and “Dizzy.” But for those of you who have stood by the Goo Goo Dolls ever since you heard Rzeznik serenade you with “Name,” rest assured; “Gutterflower” will certainly meet your expectations.

The album starts out with an unusually upbeat song, “Big Machine,” that could possibly be another single from the album besides “Here is Gone.” Although the lyrics deal with the typical saga of unrequited love, they are anything but the sappy, melodramatic whines heard from other artists. Rzeznik has such a way with words that even the saddest of situations sounds curiously appealing.

Their current hit single is gaining its well-deserved recognition. Not only is it audibly pleasing, but it is also lyrically fantastic. The Dolls seemed to have strayed from their typical sound, which consisted mainly of heavy guitar and bass rhythms, but this song incorporates more percussion instruments.

Overall, this release is possibly the Goo Goo Dolls’ most lyrically uplifting, though it does have a signature downbeat hit. The acoustic song, “Sympathy” is probably the second best song on the album, next to “Here is Gone.” The song has such heartrending lyrics – typical of a “break-up song.”

The refrain of the song entitled “Smash” closely resembles the song “Burning Up” found on the “A Boy Named Goo” album. Bassist Robby Takac sings this song, like several other songs recorded on their releases. Most of Takac’s songs on “Gutterflower” have the same basic sound as on all of the other albums.

The title “Gutterflower” was inspired by a poem by Pablo Neruda that uses the title to describe “street kids.” The poem really inspired Rzeznik during his time of writer’s block that occurred just before the release. Rzeznik commented, “I can’t stand any, like, ivory tower, pretentious, nonsense poetry. I like people who get down to gut-level and really say something.” And he himself certainly does that through his lyrics. Rzeznik’s voice still emits that same deep, sensual sound that seems to be whispering in your ear. Bottom line-if you were a Doll fan to begin with, you’ll certainly get dizzy over “Gutterflower.”