11:28 AM on 06/26/13
My own review (http://absolutepunk.net/showthread.php?t=3227891
) for this just went up as well; some things in common (particularly about "More of You" and it being the best album since Gutterflower), but a couple of major disagreements:
- I think "Slow It Down" is one of the best songs on the album, except for that one chord in the chorus that sticks out like a sore thumb
- "Come to Me" is solid, but VERY far from being one of the best songs Rzeznik's written. Honestly, I could put 50+ songs ahead of it on that list
- How the heck is "Bringing on the Light" cerebral? It's the most straightforward rock song on the album, and the lyrics are pretty bland.
- Not sure how you can compare "Bulletproof Angel" to "Iris"; it sounds like a R&B ballad a la OneRepublic
- Definitely did not find Let Love In to be "rather impressive"; most of it was weak attempts to remake "Iris" and none of it had any staying power
As I said in my review, I think the band is headed back in the right direction, but they're still not there yet.
12:02 PM on 06/26/13
At least half of Let Love In is great, classic Goo Goo Dolls material. Don't really get how anyone could like Gutterflower and not like that one.
Here's why I love Gutterflower and don't like Let Love In, and why I don't get how people think the two are similar:
- The lyrics are significantly worse
- The production is horrendous; everything is drowned in reverb and has no clarity or punch
- It completely lacks the dark angst and edge of Gutterflower; there are no songs even remotely stylistically comparable to "It's Over", "What Do You Need?", or "Truth Is a Whisper"
- "Without You Here" and "Become" are two of the lamest, sappiest ballads the band's ever written
- There's only one really loud rock song, "Stay with You", and it's pretty by-the-numbers and bland
- The only song that really sounds like those on Gutterflower is "We'll Be Here (When You're Gone)", and the song it sounds like ("What a Scene") is probably my least favorite Rzeznik song on Gutterflower
The one thing Let Love In has going for it is that I think "Listen" is Robby's best song on any album. Sorry for the rant-y post; if you couldn't tell, they are my favorite band, so I've been disappointed for the past decade as I keep hoping they'll release another killer album.
08:34 AM on 07/01/13
Fair enough. Gutterflower is definitely darker, but I've never really thought Let Love In was at odds with the arc their sound took after A Boy Named Goo: each album added more pop sheen and moved their sound in a safer and more mainstream direction. I don't really love either album (Gutterflower has some of their best songs, particularly "Big Machine," but there's too much Takac), but I do adore the first four songs and a few others on Let Love In. I also feel like Robby's songs disrupt from the flow less on that album than they do on most others, which is a big thing for me, since Robby is pretty much what has kept any of this band's albums away from my favorites list.
I agree that that's the direction their music went in, but I think LLI marked a turning point; it was the first time they officially co-wrote songs with the producer (which I think is huge, because it indicates a shift in the band's approach to creating the music), it was their first album to be totally dominated by ballads (and lame ones at that), and similarly it was the first time the production style pushed them towards pop rather than rock.
As for Robby, I basically listen to all GGD albums as if his songs weren't on there. I know what you mean about disrupting the flow, so I find it's better to just listen to their music as 8-10 song Rzeznik albums.
We can agree to disagree on "Slow it Down." I never said it was terrible, I just think of the first four, its number 4 to me. But every person hears stuff different, ya know?
I'm shocked you could put 50 songs ahead of "Come To Me." I think it is an absolute triumph, but to each their own, dude. Listen I'm just happy to find fellow GGD fans on this website.
When I called "Bringing on the Light" cerebral, I meant the verses. Robby always has a tone of cerebral in how he sings and how he projects his voice. I can't describe it well, but that's just my interpretation of his singing style and how he presents his words.
Bulletproof Angel is indeed a nod to OneRepublic, and that's a strong point that I probably should have presented. So I tip my hat to you. It's not nearly as sweeping or grand as "Iris," but I think it has some similarities. Just my takeaway.
When I call Let Love in impressive, I guess I'm comparing it against Something For The Rest Of Us, which I felt was very forgettable. There are only two or three songs on Let Love In, I can't stand. I actually really love that album and it reminds me of a really great time in my life, so it will always be super important to me.
Glad we agree on "More of You" and that this is the best album since Gutterflower.
As I said prior, I'm just happy to have a dialogue about GGD on this website. While they continually disappoint me in concert, their records are pretty important to me.
Yeah, it's awesome to see the band covered here and talk with people that really know their music. So often I find I can't talk about the band with people because they know nothing beyond the singles and don't understand the band's musical dynamic. And I see what you're saying about SFTROU; while I think it was a more interesting album overall, I would say that LLI was much catchier.
I'm surprised to hear you say they disappoint you in concert, because that seems to be the one area that most of their fans (from what I've heard) still think they're doing a great job. Is it the fact that they play mostly hits, or something else?
09:51 AM on 07/01/13
Well, here's the thing. It's a great live product because they are such good musicians and the songs are compelling. I love that they play all the hits (few bands do that these days) but there are times I wish I could hear something off the wall and unexpected.
Not only that, the songs themselves sound exactly like the record. There's very little, if any, improvisation. It's literally so predictable, EVERY single time. All of it just seems mechanical to me. I'm not saying I don't enjoy myself when I see them live, I do. I just don't think it's an amazing concert experience. Plenty I would put ahead of them.
Ah, I see, and yeah, I agree. The little things they do add (1,000 Words in "Cuz You're Gone", the saxophone solo/extended quiet bridge in "Broadway", the drum solo to open "Naked") are usually the best parts of the show, so I wish they would do more of that.
Also, I think Rzeznik's less and less frequent guitar playing is a serious detriment. He's been less involved in actually recording the guitar parts on the last few albums, and I think it takes away from the songs and their live show. He looks ridiculous running around on stage without playing, even more so when he doesn't have a guitar. More importantly, though, I would love to hear what his songs would sound like if he went back to basics and wrote an album without so much producer and co-writer input.
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